York staff check in students on a white schedule day. York began gradually transitioning to hybrid learning on Sept. 14; the district is temporarily transitioning back to remote learning on Oct. 22. (Photo by Lucy Valeski)
York staff check in students on a white schedule day. York began gradually transitioning to hybrid learning on Sept. 14; the district is temporarily transitioning back to remote learning on Oct. 22.

Photo by Lucy Valeski

Elmhurst CUSD 205 announces return to full remote learning

October 18, 2020

On Friday, Elmhurst CUSD 205 announced the district will return to full remote learning beginning on Thursday, Oct. 22. The announcement followed the news that DuPage county moved from the Moderate (5-8% positivity rate) to Substantial Transmission Level (>8% positivity rate). The DuPage County Health Department advises a full remote learning model with the current county status.

“I trust the district is doing the right thing to keep us all healthy and safe,” freshman Isabella Pingel said. “Their plan allows them to easily pivot to hybrid and remote learning. Since cases are soaring again, I think it is better safe than sorry. It may not be what everyone likes, but as long as everyone is healthy and safe, I am glad we are doing it.”

While cases decreased in Elmhurst since last week and remained consistent amongst District 205 students, the positivity rate rose in the county by 34%. For people under the age of 20, cases rose by 46.7% in the county.

“This means that the presence of COVID-19 is on a large scale and is widely spreading throughout our community at a rapid pace that jeopardizes the health and safety of our families,” Superintendent David Moyer said in the Friday email to families. “100% remote learning is recommended by the DuPage County Health Department at this time.”

York plans on returning to the hybrid learning model on Thursday, Nov. 5 with the white schedule. The school will communicate with families whether the switch will happen by Oct. 30.  In the meantime, students will continue to learn remotely with synchronous learning. 

“I think the safety precautions such as wiping down desks and masks may be preventing the spread but not eliminating it entirely,” sophomore Veer Sule said [prior to full remote learning announcement]. “Our focus should not be just to reduce cases, rather, to fully cut down on cases all together, and I believe that the only way to do this would be to go full remote again. Besides, for most basic academic classes, the hybrid and remote experience is essentially the same.”

For the week of Oct. 12, six District 205 students and one teacher tested positive for COVID-19. 250 students and 37 teachers were quarantined.

Cases from the last 14 days in Elmhurst decreased since last Friday, Oct. 9 (168 positive tests). As of Oct. 16, Elmhurst reported 141 cases in the last 14 days. Naperville (178 cases), Carol Stream (148 cases) and Addison (141 cases) reported more cases than Elmhurst in the last 14 days. 

As the first district to open in DuPage county, the administration continuously encourages flexibility among teachers, students and parents. 

“This decision is not an easy one in a community that so highly values education and in-person learning,” Moyer said. “The District 205 Leadership Team, our teachers, and staff have worked hard to keep our schools physically open and we look forward to our students’ return to the classroom as soon as possible. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families must always come first.”

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