Springfield school board to decide whether to begin year remotely

New resolution would declare remote learning to start 2020-2021 school year, meeting Thursday

Springfield Public Schools is set to discuss whether to begin the school year remotely. A special District 186 school board meeting was announced for Thursday night to discuss the plan.

Families had been asked to choose between registering students either for remote-only, or for a hybrid model that would have them attend school on certain days.

At a subsequent board meeting on Aug. 3, the board narrowly approved plans for hybrid learning. School board president Scott McFarland who voted in support of the measure said the plan for a return to the classroom would not take effect until it was safe to do so.  During the meeting he said, "If the numbers continue to rise, if people don't figure out that you probably shouldn't be singing karaoke at a bar right now, we will not open on August 31." Most public commenters at recent meetings, including various staff, have asked the board to begin the school year remotely.

If the new resolution is approved, the board will "review local conditions" at each regular board meeting to discuss when the hybrid model will open. Further: "The Superintendent and District administrators may identify and prioritize small, appropriate groups of students for in-person hybrid instruction prior to the implementation of the full hybrid model and implement IHSA athletic and extracurricular programs which must follow pandemic restrictions and as described in the Return to Learn Plan and IHSA Return to Play Guidelines."

The resolution also stipulates that meals be provided for pick up at 24 school sites.

For more about the meeting and to sign up for public comment, click here.

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