Peoria Public Schools extends winter break amid COVID-19 surge, offering lunches for students

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Schools is pushing back students’ return to school by one week in response to rising COVID-19 cases in the region.

Students went home for winter break on Dec. 17 and were supposed to return Jan 3. They will now return Jan. 10.

But instead of going remote, students will make up the week at the end of the year, said Thomas Bruch, director of public relations and community engagement for Peoria Public Schools.

He said their top priority is keeping the kids safe and in school.

“We know that the in-person learning is the number one thing that we’re trying to preserve for our students so that they can get the best education as possible in a way that is not destabilizing, and so that’s why that’s what our focus is, and that’s what we keep working on here,” said Bruch.

Bruch said in some ways it will look a lot like the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. Mask wearing will be strictly enforced, and some classes will be rerouted to minimize congestion in the halls.

“We’ll definitely have very strict mitigations in place to maintain safety when everyone comes back. We really want to weather this out and continue that in-person learning,” he said.

Breakfast and lunch are available to students for pickup during the extended break starting Tuesday, Bruch said.

Meals can be picked up between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. through Friday, Jan. 7 at the following schools:

  • Glen Oak
  • Harrison
  • Lincoln
  • Mark Bills
  • Maude Sanders
  • Roosevelt
  • Sterling
  • Hines
  • Manual
  • Peoria High (at the entrance to the atrium)
  • Richwoods

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