Superintendent Dr. Theresa Rouse reviewed first trimester mid-point data with the Board of School Inspectors at its' October 14th board meeting, including parent/employee survey results and COVID-19 data in Region 7 (Will and Kankakee Counties), Will County, and individual zip code areas of Joliet. Based on the current positivity rates, new cases in Joliet and the current rise of cases among children, the school board unanimously approved Dr. Rouse’s recommendation to keep District 86 students in fully remote learning until at least the middle of January.
“As much as we would all like to see students and staff back in our schools, as long as coronavirus cases remain high, it is not safe.” said Dr. Theresa Rouse, “We will continue to review the data to see when transitioning small groups of students to schools makes sense.”
“Our main concern is to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Board of School Inspectors President Tonya Roberts. “We can’t let our guard down.”
“All the data says that we are not ready to reopen.” Board of School Inspector Vice President Anthony Contos added.
“We know this decision is a hardship for many families,” Board of School Inspector Jeffrey Pritz said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience in this time of uncertainly.”
In addition to approving the continuation of remote learning, the school board voted to change November 23rd from a student attendance day to a staff remote learning planning day. Students will not participate in remote learning on this day. Virtual parent/teacher conferences will take place that afternoon and early evening.
Free grab-and-go meals for all children 18 years and younger will continue on Mondays and Thursdays during remote learning. The meals are available for contactless curbside pick-up at Dirksen, Hufford, and Washington Junior High Schools from 6:30-7:30 a.m., from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Dirksen, Gompers, Hufford, and Washington Junior High Schools, and between 4:30-6 p.m. at Gompers Junior High School.