Students at some suburban Chicago schools have been told to revert to an all-remote learning plan, even after working under a hybrid model for some weeks, because of a spike in Covid-19 cases in their communities, The Chicago Tribune reports.
“As in the previous week, our pause this week is due to the continued seriousness of the Covid-19 numbers across Illinois and in our community, not the number of New Trier student and staff cases,” the paper quoted New Trier High School Superintendent Paul Sally as writing in a letter Friday. Students at the high school in Winnetka returned to e-learning Monday.
Between a rock and a hard place
“I think everyone recognizes that in-person instruction is better for students than remote learning, but the problem is, reopening schools is not about an inconvenience—it’s a matter of life and death,” the Tribune quoted Timothy Dohrer, an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, as saying.
“My daughter and I talked about everything, including what the scientists are saying about how COVID spreads, so we both knew it was silly to think there was not going to be this back and forth, if school reopened,” the Tribune quoted a New Trier parent as saying. “She’s going to be doing this first semester all remote to keep things consistent, but of course, she looks forward to being back at school at some point, and misses her friends and teachers, and all her extracurriculars. It’s a struggle, and it’s going to be a painful junior year.”
In related news, the University of Michigan has put undergraduates under a stay-at-home order because of a spike in Covid-19 cases, allowing them out of their residence halls only to go to class and go to approved work, The Detroit Free Press reports. Plus, the school is increasing the number of classes offered online, although officials say the spike came from social gatherings among undergraduates, not from students attending class.