Unit 5 welcomes students back to the classroom

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Some students in the Unit 5 school district got to head back to the classroom for the first time in months.

The district is moving forward with a hybrid learning plan, part in the classroom, and part remote.

District leaders said they are taking a staggered approach. This week, students in Pre-K to 2nd, 6th, and 9th grade will return to class with the remaining students coming back the following week starting Oct. 26.

The new plan has half the students in the classroom on Mondays and Fridays with the other half on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We’re ready, we’ve been waiting for this day for a long time it’s been seven months,” said Sugar Creek Elementary Principal Kristina Peifer. “That’s why I tell a lot of parents when they pull up that their kids look totally different, seven months has been a long time and it’s just nice to have kids back in the building where they’re supposed to be.”

Leaders said about 76 percent of students opted in on the hybrid learning plan, leaving 24 percent staying at home to continue remote learning.

Peifer said she is confident in their plan to keep students and faculty safe.

“Desks will be six feet apart within the classroom and we have dots along the entire hallway inside for students if they have to stop and use the bathroom, they have to be six feet apart in the hallway as well,” said Peifer. “Each teacher has a table shield if they have to work with a student in a small group format.”

For lunch, kids are limited to two people per table. Drop off and pick up is also staggered, allowing kids to enter their classrooms while still distancing themselves from other kids.

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