Parents are upset about fall learning plan; want in-person instruction

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) – After updating the fall learning plan, Unit 5 superintendent, Dr. Kristen Kendrick Weikle, says she is certain students will get the best education the district can provide. However parents say otherwise, and on Wednesday night several told the school district things need to change and fast.

“How can this board shut down the schools, so close to the beginning of the school year,” said Charles Baugh.

Last week the district notified parents that the fall plan had been amended, resulting every student will have to learn online this semester.

“Our hearts are broken for these children,” said Kendra Long. “They need to be in school.”

Prior to the amendment, families were given the option to choose in-person or online instruction. But according to Superintendent Weikle, the deal is off the table, due to a second surge of COVID-19 in the county.

“I work in healthcare, the idea that we are going to have COVID-19 running rampant through the schools, if people are wearing masks, is highly unlikely,” said Debra Marquis. “Those kids are going to be getting together outside of schools if they are not in schools.”

Some parents are concerned about childcare, despite several agencies saying their doors are open for kids, parents say either the cost is too much, or they just don’t have the time.

“My children are 11 and 12, they are in middle school,” said Marquis. “Their day does not allow me any flexibility to get too and from childcare in the middle of the day.”

Others saying online is not the best instruction.

“I understand a lot of kids do well online, and I wish that were the case for mine and for many others but its just not,” said Long. “It’s ridiculous to think what they plan to do is actually going to work.”

The district will review the plan on October 1st and if leaders feel kids are safe they will give families the option of switching to a blended curriculum or stick with the online instruction.

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