School board to hold special meeting

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — School board members will hold a special meeting Tuesday night.

This is the first meeting since the district unveiled its fall reopening plan, and is meant to focus on Thomas Paine concepts. However, parents and staff voiced concerns via email during the citizen comments regarding the district’s reopening plan.

Officials said they are “recommending a blended plan of remote and in-person instruction for the return to school in the fall.” They are working to offer smaller class sizes as well as shorten students’ days and adapt instruction models. Some of the ways they will combine learning activities are in-person instruction; teachers giving their lessons through a recorded video or live stream; remote small group work through Zoom; and independent/flexible student work time.

The blended plan would divide students into two groups to create an “A” and “B” schedule for them. The groups would primarily be based on their last names. Each group will attend school two days a week while Wednesdays are remote days for students. “District and building administrators will be careful to assign siblings to in-person days that align across all levels K-12.”

Officials said this model would allow for smaller class sizes and more ability to maintain six feet of distance in classrooms. “To the extent possible, we also minimize student transitions by moving teachers between classrooms instead of moving the students.”

The district is still looking into whether they can allow families to opt for entirely remote learning if they do not want their children attending in person. They said this would depend on instruction from ISBE, IDPH, and other officials. However, the remote option would likely not always align with the in-person hybrid.

Committees and other district officials are still working on finalizing their plan.

Follow Jen Lask’s live tweets of the meeting:

During the meeting, an email from a parent was read asking the district to consider a survey to see whether parents want to keep their students at home or in the classroom. This way they can determine density at each school.

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