Dunlap students return to the classroom for full school days, five days a week

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DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) — Students in Dunlap headed to class for the first day on Monday.

On Sunday, Many parents expressed concerns about sending their kids to school, but leaders said the back-to-school plan is what’s best for the district and community.

“I’d rather open smart than shut down because we have so many people sick,” said Chrissy Malson, a Dunlap parent.

Some parents are opting for virtual learning, rather than sending their kids to school for a full day, five days a week.

“Once we saw what the classroom sizes were, we switched to remote just to give us some comfort and I think make them a little more comfortable too,” said Dunlap parent Shital Shah.

They said the board isn’t being transparent after making the decision less than three weeks ago.

“It’s to me, really unacceptable that the board doesn’t want to answer any questions from parents,” said Teri Rainey, a Dunlap parent.

Peoria County Regional Superintendent Beth Crider said her office has served as a sort of connecting point.

“We’ve been the information gatherers, we’ve been asking questions, we’ve been aligning resources, and we’ve been the direct connection to the administrators at the Peoria City/County Health Department,” said Crider.

Crider said Dunlap’s back to school plan was made by the board, which is a group of elected officials.

“Local control means those school districts can make their own decisions for what’s best for their children, their families, and their situation because every district is different,” said Crider.

In a statement, Dunlap Superintendent Scott Dearman said the district is focusing on safety and well-being, high-quality education, established school calendars, and frequent communication.

Leaders and staff are working with the health department to prepare for any situation.

“We talk about, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and they change on a daily basis,” said Crider.

As schools plan for the alternatives, parents and families are encouraged to do the same.

Crider said she also speaks to district superintendents regularly and continues to monitor situations with the health department.

The full statement from Superintedent Scott Dearman is below:

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