Opposing Voices Grow Louder as Hybrid Learning Approaches

AURORA – As the January 15 deadline approaches for remote learning to expire in exchange for hybrid learning, the two sides for and against in-school learning are growing louder around Indian Prairie School District 204.

Community residents, parents, teachers and staff have all been voicing their opinions about what they think is best for students.

Last week, a web site called free204kids.com, was published. In a statement addressed to district superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley and the IPSD 204 school board, the web site says, “By keeping the schools of District 204 closed for in-person learning after the initial Covid-19 statewide emergency declaration, you have exceeded the legal authority granted to you as a school board by the State of Illinois.”

​”As a local school board, you simply do not have the ability to involuntarily quarantine completely healthy students,” the statement continues. “The law is designed to keep contagious students isolated.  Your policy is not only unprecedented, but illegal.”

The web site even went so far as to mass e-mail their statement to hundreds of Indian Prairie School District employees on Monday.

A Facebook group called IPSD 204 Parents Advocating for Choice has also surfaced. The private group has over 1,300 members.

Days after free204kids.com was published, a change.org petition was started by Patricia Wood in support of Dr. Talley and the school board.

A statement reads, “This petition requests that IPSD 204 remains fully remote until the school board deems it safe and reasonable to offer the hybrid option, in conjunction and alignment with DuPage County Health updates and recommendations.”

“We the undersigned parents of District 204 students thank you for collaborating and following the guidance of public health experts and the established research in how to protect our communities, including our teachers, staff, and household members of students.”

On December 13, supporters of in-school learning are scheduled to hold a “Rally to Reopen” in front of IPSD 204’s Crouse Education Center in Aurora.

Remote learning for all students is expected to last through January 15. The community transmission level for DuPage County continues to remain substantial. There have been over 50,000 cases and 800 deaths related to COVID-19.