D47 Announces Opening of Elementary Schools After Spring Break

D47 Opens Elementary Schools


Yesterday Superintendent Dr. Kathy Hinz announced in a video that the elementary schools in D47 will be open for full time in person instruction after spring break. There have been mixed reactions from parents. Most parents are happy for the elementary kids who will finally be in school for full time in person instruction. But once again the district has disregarded the needs of middle schoolers.

The middle school students have been overlooked this year. They were the last ones to return to school in February.  And now they will stay on half days in person with the afternoon remote.

Middle School Schedule

District 47 failed to consider transportation time when in person school ends at 11:58.  Some students have long bus rides and they are deprived of a lunch period if they are on their bus from 12-1.  Middle schoolers are expected to log into zoom at 1pm for either an encore, XLT/Band or enrichment.

Parents Comments

Other districts are using the encore classrooms for encores.  PE is taught in the gym, art is taught in the art room.  D47 is using the larger encore rooms for core classes forcing the encores to be taught remotely.  They are using the larger rooms for other classes because kids can spread out more.  However, according to a D47 parent who is also a teacher at a neighboring district, the CDC announced that social distancing can be 3-4 feet instead of 6 feet.  Three feet should be enough distance for schools. Our middle schools have plenty of space to social distance in the regular classrooms for the core classes.

The start times are different for the elementary schools and the middle schools. This was in place pre-covid and helped with bus transportation.  The middle schools will start at 8 am and run until 2:34.  The elementary schools will star at 9am and end at 3:30.  The in person day ends at noon for middle school students.  They are expected to be in their remote class an hour after in person instruction ends.

Parents are not satisfied with the districts decision to keep in person middle school students on half days. D47 opens elementary schools but leaves out middle schools. Dr. Kathy Hinz stated that, “A full instructional day is in our students best interest academically and social-emotionally and our mitigation measures support it.” According to Hinz and the D47 Board of Education a full instructional day is not in the best interest of middle school students. This is disgraceful. The whole board should be ashamed of how they are treating our middle school students. They are being left behind. Middle school is a trying time for kids. Their bodies are changing and hormones are just starting to rise. Kids at that age are more sensitive, are just learning how to handle their emotions and can suffer greatly with mental health issues. Keeping those kids away from school will just cause more harm socially and emotionally. This is wrong and parents are speaking up.

parents comments

It is safe to open all the schools for full time in person instruction. Huntly will be open full time starting on March 15. Marengo has been open all year. What is wrong with Crystal Lake? I would like to know what the reason is behind keeping the middle schools closed in the afternoon. Why are the encores still only 30 minutes long? They used to be much longer. Are they staying closed because they are using encore rooms for core classes? How are they going to make sure our eighth graders are prepared for high-school? They are in for a rude awakening after having a year of half days. What about lunch? Students are not allowed to eat on the bus. If they have a long bus ride can students eat lunch while in their 1pm zoom class? There are too many unanswered questions.

If I am elected to the D47 Board of Education I will advocate for all of the schools to be open for full time in person instruction. Our children deserve better. Our middle schoolers should not be left behind. Please join Friends of Cascia L. Talbert to support our kids and the opening of our schools.

Cascia Talbert is a Catholic mother of five special needs kids. In 2018 she published the book, "Taking Care of Your Family's Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold. She is also a professional flutist and an Avon Independent Sales Representative. You can learn more about Cascia on the following websites, cjsfunandgames.com and avoncrystallake.com. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, children and Baby, the playful black kitty.

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