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Local News

Plainfield District 202 will begin school year with remote learning

Plainfield schools will open Aug. 31 with remote learning, according to a plan approved by the district board this week.

The Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 Board voted to approve a plan to begin the school year with entirely remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan allows for students and staff to return to in-person instruction later this fall if public health conditions allow for it, according to a news release.

The school board didn't pass the original version of this plan last week.

District 202 Superintendent Lane Abrell said both versions of the reopening plan prioritize the safety of students, staff and families.

“We know some of our neighboring districts are choosing to start the year with in-person learning,” Abrell said in the release. “We sincerely hope no one anywhere gets sick or worse, but we must be concerned first and foremost about our own students, staff and families.”

After the board failed to pass the original proposal, members of the Association of Plainfield Teachers union voiced their concerns about beginning the year with in-person instruction.

APT President Dawn Bullock released a statement after the vote on Monday, saying that the decision to start with remote learning was "what's best" for the district during a pandemic.

"No one wants to get back to in-person learning more than our educators, but right now we have to do what’s safest for our students, our staff and our community," she said in the statement.

District 202's plan would allow for school to begin Aug. 31, rather than Aug. 24, to allow for more time to buy protective equipment and custodial supplies for when in-person instruction resumes.

The district will distribute laptops for students in middle and high school, and administrators are exploring the possibility of giving laptops to fourth and fifth graders.

District officials will work on a plan to transition to in-person learning. They'll also monitor public health conditions and neighboring districts' success with in-person learning.

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