Registration for District 186 open July 21-31

Families can choose whether they prefer a blended or remote model

The Springfield Public Schools board met last night to review a plan created by Supt. Jennifer Gill and some 100 or so staff. The board did not vote on a calendar for the coming school year or what model it might choose, instead voting to open the registration period from July 21-31. Registration is available here.

Families who register are asked whether they prefer a remote learning option, that is 100% online learning at home, or a blended/hybrid model that would have students going into class on certain days.

The board said it will vote on August 3 what route to take. While the Illinois State Board of Education has prioritized planning for in-person learning, Gill said the trajectory of the virus might the ultimate decider when it comes to plans for opening schools. “The spread of COVID-19 is going in the wrong direction,” she said.

Board member Mike Zimmers, the previous board president and longtime education professional, said he would not approve a blended model plan, saying the idea that kids could adequately follow protocol to wear masks and stay socially distanced was “naive.”

School board president Scott McFarland said ISBE needs to make its recommendations for districts more clear, and that if there is an option for students to return in the fall, he will choose that option for his own children. “There is no right answer, and anyone who believes there is one is flat wrong,” he said in his opening statement, which you can read in full, here.

You can review a series of tweets that followed the board meeting, here:

Do you wish to share your thoughts as a district employee, parent or student? You may contact Rachel Otwell at

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