Wilmington School District 209-U will offer a choice between in-person and remote learning for the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
All students and families will be able to choose between the two options, according to a message from District 209 Superintendent Matt Swick.
The superintendent said of about 800 responses from parents and students the district received, about 40% said they were interested in fully remote learning,the remaining 60% said they preferred to return to in-person instruction.
At first, Swick said the district was planning to offer remote learning only to “medically fragile” students.
Swick said District 209 still is making plans to provide on-site instruction at each of its four buildings at the beginning of the school year.
Still, he warned that the situation and the district’s plan could change based on mandates from the governor, the Illinois State Board of Education or the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Parents and guardians are required to fill out a selection form online for their student by Aug. 5. Whatever selection is made, students in kindergarten through eighth grade will be locked into their choice through the first trimester of the year. High school students will be locked in through the first semester.
Students who choose to participate in in-person learning will be required to wear cloth face masks. No more than 50 people will be in one space at the same time and social distancing will be observed whenever possible. Students and staff likely will be required to conduct self-symptom screenings each day.
Swick also wrote the district decided to delay the first day of school to Aug. 26 to give staff and administration enough time to prepare for classes.
Some Will County school districts are planning to provide students with a choice for totally remote learning or some in-person instruction. Others will begin the year with entirely remote learning amid increasing COVID-19 cases.