School board votes on new in-person guidelines for Elmhurst CUSD 205 schools
February 11, 2021
In a 5-2 vote, the Elmhurst CUSD 205 school board decided to move forward with Superintendent Dr. David Moyer’s plan to resume in-person schooling four days a week for high school students that opt-in for hybrid learning. At the high school, the target return date is currently March 15 once all eligible teachers and staff have received their second vaccine dose.
“The approved plan was vetted by an advisory panel of doctors with expertise in infectious diseases, pediatrics in allergies and immunology, and public health,” Moyer said. “The panel will reconvene regularly to review implementation and plans for next steps throughout the spring and into the fall.”
Students who opt for hybrid learning will return to school with the current block schedule of four periods a day from 7:40 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. Wednesdays will continue to be remote learning days for all students for all eight periods from 7:40 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
“[Families will] have a second opportunity to declare their intent for in-person or remote instruction after spring break for the remainder of the end of the year,” Moyer said. “Communication to parents will be forthcoming with more details once the target return date is solidified.”
A few aspects will operate similarly to the two-day hybrid model. Self-certification is still required, and students who do not self certify will be removed accordingly until their health status can be verified. Other regulations currently in place will still exist, including hand sanitation and desk cleaning.
“In order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment where the COVID positivity rate remains low, the daily self-certifying of students and staff remains important,” Moyer said. “However, our self-certification process will change due to the increased numbers of students returning to school in-person. Families will need to complete the process by 7:15 a.m. each day so building principals can run daily attendance reports.”
Masks will still be required, and double masking will now be recommended and possibly required later on in accordance with new CDC guidelines. The school has dropped from recommending students maintain a distance of six feet, to three. Teachers will be provided plexiglass shields at their desks, and are required to try to maintain a distance of six feet.
Last evening, the Board of Education also approved a contract with SafeGuard Screening to support saliva testing for students in grades 6-12 beginning on March 5. Students in grades 6-12 will be required to participate in the program if they wish to attend in-person or participate in athletics or extracurricular activities.
During the past period of hybrid learning, students had the option to not come into school on any given day. With the upcoming plan, this will change. The choice between remote and hybrid learning is a permanent one for the remainder of the school year. Those choosing to go in-person will be required to attend school or will be marked absent. Under the new guidelines, any students having “excessive absences” are designated for full in-person learning, encouraged to opt-out of remote learning.
For more information about the upcoming changes to remote and in-person learning, please visit the link below: