Unit 5 continuing to review potential back to the classroom options

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CORRECTION: This story has been updated from a previous version which stated Unit 5 is on track to go back to some form of in-person learning in October. No decisions about the second quarter have been made and all options are still under review by Unit 5 leaders.

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Unit 5 School District leaders say despite the recent spike of COVID-19 in McLean County, they continue to look at ways to potentially move back to the classroom when it’s safe.

The county’s positivity rate has quadrupled since last week and is still rising, but leaders say parents and teachers still want students to be in the classroom. The district’s superintendent says if they go back to in-person learning students may not be in the classroom every day.

“We recognize we are probably going to have to be in a hybrid approach,” said Unit 5 Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle. “So half of the students in Pre-K – 12th grade on a couple days a week, and the other half a couple other days a week.”

She says if they choose to use the hybrid option, they will initiate the process with Pre-K and Elementary students, because they have significantly less students in the building than the older students.

“The rates in McLean County have really skyrocketed in the last week or two, while I wish I could say staff are immune to that, we are not,” she said. “We’re going to continue to look at our local metrics, as far as health metrics, but then we are also going to take a look at our own employees to know how many have had a quarantine over this first quarter.”

Dr. Kendrick-Weikle and her team plan to meet to decide on second-quarter plans by early October.

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