Starting April 12, students choosing to go back to school will be returning to the standard 7:40 a.m. -3:06 p.m. school day. Instead of having four classes a day, the school day will now consist of all eight classes. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Starting April 12, students choosing to go back to school will be returning to the standard 7:40 a.m. -3:06 p.m. school day. Instead of having four classes a day, the school day will now consist of all eight classes. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

School Board votes to return to full in-person learning beginning April 12

March 24, 2021

On Monday March 15, the Elmhurst CUSD 205 School Board voted unanimously to initiate Superintendent Dr. David Moyer’s plan to return all D205 students to in-person learning five days a week on the pre-COVID-19 schedule.

Beginning April 12, this decision will have high-school students switch from block scheduling to eight periods a day, middle school students returning to a nine-period schedule and elementary students returning to a 7:40-3:06 schedule.

Remote learning will continue to be an option for all students. The district will be sending out a new survey allowing all families to choose whether to have students return to school in person or remote learning.

“Even since the beginning of the school year, the state board made sure that we knew that at any point, a student can determine that they can be remote,” York Assistant Principal Meredith Sheriff said.

The schedule change will have students eating during their lunch periods, with administration ensuring the placement of health and safety regulations for all students. More information regarding the guidelines for lunch will come within the upcoming weeks.

“We have to follow the Dupage County Public Health in coordination with the State Board of Education, they provide the guidance for us,” Assistant Principal for Curriculum Adam Roubitchek said. “So I think we’re looking at things like we’re going to clean surfaces between students eating; we’re going to designate the places where students can eat. And then the rest of the school have places where students can’t eat. Six feet distance. Everyone facing the same direction.”

This decision also means that student athletics and clubs will be able to return to the normal activity schedule, although they’ll have to follow specific regulations dictated by the state.

“And so just anything in athletics will follow the IHSA guidelines, [and for] clubs or activities, those will call the State Board of Education guidelines,” Roubitchek said. “So it’s a fun kind of juggling act for us to figure out what’s the same and what’s different. But, all the things that are happening right now with limiting spectators, and limited schedules and all those things, those will stay in place.”

Opinions surrounding the new plan are varied. While many students and their families welcome the return of the full school day, others appear to be against it.

“I see very little point in going back to school full time,” in-person junior Luke Lamorte said. “The district is attempting to undergo the safety risk of having lunch at school, for a “return to normalcy” that is simply too little too late. Teachers will have to scramble to edit their lesson plans that they’ve already needed to improvise on changing several times throughout this year, and by the time that everything actually settles back down, the year will practically be over already.”

However, many students view this new change as a step towards normalcy after these difficult circumstances.

“I am happy that we are going back 4 days a week now. Things [are] getting closer to being “normal” now and I think that is so important,” freshman Isabella Pingel said. “I am very excited to be back […] with a full schedule, even if it’s only for a month and a half, and I can’t wait until everyone is back in the building.”

Regardless of public opinion surrounding the new schedule, it will be coming soon. With the new incoming schedule changes, York’s administration notes that district wide participation will be necessary moving forward in the year.

“Everybody has been awesome about keeping forward,” Roubitchek said. “So as much as we the adults can do to keep students safe, it’s really everybody that’s in the building, whether they’re teachers or administrators, or students or all of our support staff. Everybody’s kind of working together on this.”

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