School will be different when a new academic year starts this fall, but whether students are still learning remotely or the number of days per week they attend class will likely vary by location and district.
The Illinois State Board of Education is expected to release health and safety guidelines by the end of June for districts trying to prepare for fall during the coronavirus pandemic. Some will be requirements, such as wearing masks or cleaning regimens for school facilities.
But Illinois State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala says there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Because community A in southern Illinois is not the same as community B in suburban Illinois or in urban Illinois,” Ayala told WUIS-FM.“ As much as we have tried to provide some common things, it still will remain the district’s ability, given their community context, to make the best reopening plan to meet the needs of the community and children that they serve.”
Districts will have the option of continuing remote learning, bringing students and staff back to buildings, or doing a combination in which fewer students are in a classroom at one time.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday signed legislation that changes the school code to give districts more options for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes “blended learning,” in which students receive instruction both remotely and in person.