As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here
Geneva and St. Charles school districts will be switching to full remote learning this month in the face of a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
In light of the recent surge, the Kane County Health Department has asked all Kane County school districts to move to full remote learning for a two-week period. Kaneland School District has already made the decision to go to full remote learning starting on Wednesday.
Batavia School District has not yet announced what it plans to do. The Batavia School Board will meet on Tuesday.
The issue was discussed during St. Charles School Board's Learning and Teaching Committee meeting on Monday. Board members decided on an option for students to participate in full remote instruction from Nov. 30 through Dec. 18.
Students will be on winter break starting Dec. 21. School will be back in session on Jan. 5.
School Superintendent Jason Pearson told school board members the Kane County Health Department's concern stems from the 16.7% positivity rate countywide across all age groups and also the growth in the number of youth cases to a total of 628 new positive cases reported to the county for the week ending Nov. 7.
"Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers does feel like we are reaching a critical mass," Pearson told board members.
As of Monday, Dist. 303 has had 280 COVID-19 cases since Aug. 19, with 217 of those being students and 63 being staff members, according to the district's COVID-19 case dashboard. The district has 116 active cases.
“At this point now, it’s my opinion that we need to listen to what the experts say and what the data shows,” School Board Vice-President Carolyn Waibel said during the meeting. “It’s just not a safe environment for our staff and students to be in. I really believe that we need do what is right for the students and for the staff and their families.”
Following the Thanksgiving holiday and starting on Nov. 30, all Geneva CUSD 304 students will transition to full remote instruction through at least Friday, Dec. 4.
Geneva School District Sup. Kent Mutchler announced the school district's plans on the district's webite.
"As our dashboard reflects, we reported 54 active cases and 145 total last week," Mutchler said. "This has a significant impact on the number of individuals sent into quarantine from contact tracing efforts, which means more students are missing out on their learning opportunities and an increased burden on our staffing capabilities."