MCHS expands in-person learning

All in-person students will return full-time to classes five days a week after spring break following new guidance from the state and county health departments

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Kennedy Tetour

Though in-person students will attend classes “full-time” five days a week, they will still be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing where possible.

Emma Westermeier, Staff Writer

After spring break, District 156 will expand its in-person learning to five days a week. All students currently participating in the hybrid learning schedule will attend every class each day in-person. The bell schedule will also stay the same.

 “The new learning model will follow a continuous instructional format,” District 156’s Superintendent Ryan McTague wrote in an email to the community, “and would eliminate asynchronous learning days as well as the orange and black schedules.” 

The decision to bring back full in-person learning was prompted by the support from both the Illinois and McHenry County Health Departments. As the county moves onto the next phase of in-person learning, social distancing guidelines will change from six feet to three feet, and the number of people that can be gathered together will no longer be limited to 50. 

However, most current safety measures will still apply to in person learning. The rules still require students to wear a mask and social distance within the new three feet mandate. There will also be increased sanitization as well as the tracing of students’ symptoms and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Even though the new guidance provides schools some flexibility in terms of space requirements, we still need to follow important mitigation measures to keep everyone safe in the buildings,” said McTague. 

Teachers will also be fully vaccinated by the time the new learning model is introduced, which reduces further risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

More learning environments will be utilized to accommodate the schedule. McTague says, “We will also open classrooms and labs on the third and fourth floor of the new West Campus extension to provide additional space.”

After the initial expansion of in-person learning, McTague says that extracurricular activities and sports will be the next focus.

I know this is a major shift in our current instructional delivery model, however, I’m confident that we will meet this challenge as an important benchmark in returning to a sense of normalcy, hope for a better future, and the pathway to fully reopening our campuses in the fall,” he states.