District Proposes Return-To-School Plan

AURORA – The Indian Prairie School District 204 Board of Education tackled the task of returning students to in-person learning at a virtual Zoom meeting on Monday night.

Proposals were presented to return students to in-school learning in some capacity for elementary, middle and high school students.

For Waubonsie, Neuqua and Metea students, the proposal asks that in-person instruction would be provided for 25% of the high school on Mondays through January. Students would be broken up by class and alphabet. In-person learning would begin November 2.

The district proposed this schedule for in-person learning for high schools. (photo credit / IPSD 204)

The current Tuesday through Friday remote learning schedule would remain unchanged.

The decisions are difficult ones as a recent parent survey given by the district was almost split down the middle between those that are comfortable having their children in school and those who are not.

“I’m surprised the high school didn’t follow the middle school to do something that was in-person and the teacher could also be doing online,” said board member Mark Rising. “I understand. I was just surprised, and I hope we move to that sooner than January.”

“We’re talking about equity in this meeting,” continued Rising, “and I’m not just seeing equity at the high school level, and I’m not seeing it where it’s inspiring for all students to achieve their greatest potential. When I look at other districts that are sending their high school kids back, it’s a little frustrating.”

“We all were hoping for more in-person, more live-time, but also, I go back to the health issues and making sure that we minimize the exposure that we have in the classrooms,” said board member Laurie Donahue.

“I’m disappointed where we are at with in-person instruction,” commented board member Justin Karubas, “but I attribute none of that disappointment to administration, staff, teachers, parents, students. I’m very impressed with the local effort.”

“We’re still operating under these emergency orders by the government,” said Karubas. “The challenges we are facing are multi-variable. We have a limited budget, physical space, staffing. When I hear people compare districts, it’s a gross oversimplification of what we’re dealing with. I appreciate looking at other districts to see if we can learn a nugget and take it and apply it to our district, but to say that we should be at a certain place because another district is, does not reflect the reality on the ground.”

The school board will meet in person at their next meeting on October 19. For more information, visit www.ipsd.org.