The District 186 school board narrowly approved a plan for some students, whose families so choose, to return to the classroom. The Aug. 3 meeting went on for more than three hours and had its moments of contention. "Every medical person in town (is) saying it's not a good idea – what is wrong with you folks," board member Mike Zimmers said. Supt. Jennifer Gill had said a majority of local health experts consulted preferred a remote return-to-school. Many teachers and staff have flooded the district with questions over details on what safety precautions will look like. Gill reported that 80% of students were registered for fall and about half preferred the hybrid model which would have them in class on certain days and learning remotely on others. Others registered for strictly remote learning. The first day of class is Aug. 31, pushed back a week. Whether everyone will have to begin remotely due to the amount of local COVID-19 cases remains to be seen. Board president Scott McFarland said the district will "monitor the data and listen to the experts to determine when it is safe to offer the hybrid portion" of the approved plan.

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