Elmhurst CUSD 205 updates the number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff every Monday. (Image courtesy of Elmhurst CUSD 205)
Elmhurst CUSD 205 updates the number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff every Monday.

Image courtesy of Elmhurst CUSD 205

Elmhurst CUSD 205 continues full remote learning through Thanksgiving

November 10, 2020

On Monday, Elmhurst CUSD 205 announced the district would remain remote learning until after Thanksgiving. Hybrid learning could resume again on Nov. 30. D205 will communicate whether or not the district will move to hybrid learning by Nov. 23. DuPage County remains in the Substantial Transmission Level in all six categories. Cases in youth increased from the week prior to Oct. 30 to the Halloween weekend by 55.8%.

In District 205, positive tests from the week of Oct. 26 stood at six cases for both teachers and students. This week, the district reported 16 positive student cases and five teacher cases. As of Nov. 7, in the last 14 days, Elmhurst reported 273 cases. Surrounding municipalities have also seen increases in COVID-19 numbers; Naperville reached 583 positive cases in the last 14 days. 

“Due to the significant increases in county and local positivity and case rates, the District will remain in remote learning through Thanksgiving,” Superintendent David Moyer said in Monday’s email to families. “Assuming that transmission rates stabilize or improve and that local metrics support a return to hybrid learning, the District will return to hybrid learning on Nov. 30.

As parents and students voiced their concerns with full remote learning, most notably with a “Reopen D205” last Tuesday, Oct. 27, the York administration made some changes to scheduling and policy. Students are now required to keep their cameras on throughout the 70-minute periods. Every student must also attend all of their Wednesday classes. The weekday initially acted as a check-in day for students.

“In valuing and incorporating the feedback provided by students, families and the Board of Education, the weekly schedule at York High School has been adjusted to include mandatory student attendance on Wednesdays starting Wednesday, November 11th,” Principal Shahe Bagdasarian said in a newsletter to families. 

In response to the new mandatory Wednesday attendance policy, York student Cassidy Touissant created a petition on change.org requesting Wednesdays revert back to their initial purpose. The petition garnered 2,121 signatures, and many students left comments.

“I don’t understand the need for this change now after we’ve been in school for two full months,” York student Isabel Jones said. “It is only harder to adjust to these changes now after everyone has settled into their new remote learning style and schedule. I know many students that have scheduled other classes or work during Wednesday’s with the new time. The students are using their time to their advantage and their further betterment academically and in life. This will only cause issues for those students and myself who have done something similar with their time. “

With many differing points of view and rising COVID-19 cases in the community, county and country, student and parent understanding is important for the best possible education. 

“Since the District has shifted to remote learning on October 22 due to health and safety considerations, many community members have reached out with their thoughts on their child’s learning experiences and our school environments,” Moyer said. “The District is listening to all points of view, and while health and safety will always be the first priority, it recognizes the benefits of students and staff being in-person and is committed to resuming the hybrid learning model as soon as is safely possible.”

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