School district superintendents say they won’t use hybrid learning model

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MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Schools agreed on a tentative plan for the upcoming school year. Students may experience hybrid learning, which is a mixture of in-person and virtual education.

Peoria County Regional Superintendent Beth Crider said this has been difficult for school leaders, but they are working on finding the best possible option for each community.

“What we know how to do is school and how to do school in the school buildings and we’re good at it and that’s what we want but we can’t go back to that yet so there are guidelines that we have to follow to keep everyone safe,” Crider said.

Scott Dearman, Dunlap Community Unit School District Superintendent said the A/B hybrid model comes with minimal benefit. “I have zero interest in doing that,” he said.

Dearman said his students will have in-person class five days a week with safety mitigation factors in place.

“We want our kids back in school they are best served when they are in school,” Dearman said. “They learn best when they are in school but we need to be smart we need to be safe.”

Morton School District Superintendent Jeff Hill echoed Dunlap. “I don’t see any reason why we can’t be face-to-face in the fall,” Hill said. He said in-person instruction uis superior to E-Learning.

Morton School District 709 have identified their priorities for the fall of 2020.

The school board plan to prioritize providing a high-quality educational experience, while taking safety precautions to protect students and staff, and providing the community with a sense of normalcy with a regular and predictable schedule.

To help keep the students safe, Morton will follow all the Illinois State Board of Educations safety measures, including wearing masks, limiting gatherings to less than 50 people, and intense regular cleaning of the school.

School officials are anticipating several problems, including modifications to lunch and PE classes to alow social distancing, and modifying bus transportation. Hill said they will have to balance precautions with what is best for student learning.

The school board is looking at four possible schedules for the upcoming school year.

Parents that have kids in Morton Schools should expect to receive a survey to give their input.

All district plans are tentative, school leaders said they must be prepared for instant changes like transitioning back to remote learning.

“If I’ve learned nothing during this global pandemic it’s that what you have on one day can change and evolve and be radically different the next day,” Crider said.

Region superintendents will meet this week with a health expert, lawyer and insurance agent to gather information that will lead to better decision making for students.

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