Families in Waukegan School District Seek Remote Learning Option

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With a growing number of students across the Chicago area testing positive for COVID-19, some families believe they should be able to decide whether or not their children will attend school in-person.

Many parents, students and community members gathered in Waukegan Sunday, calling on Community Unit School District 60 to reinstate a remote learning option.

Sebrina Jamison, whose granddaughter attends the district's Glenwood Elementary School, said when she learned about a positive case there, she urged other families to get tested, because some were unaware.

Her granddaughter tested negative, but was required to quarantine for 10 days due to being a close contact.

"But she doesn’t have the schooling from the teacher, the books that she needs to do her work with," Jamison stated.

The grandmother is among those who believe families should have a choice of whether to return to remote learning.

"When we were in remote learning, I can control where my grandchildren go and how safe they can be," she explained. "When they’re in school, I can’t control what’s going on with them."

Anita Hanna, a school board member, too supports giving families the option.

"If they don’t feel like it’s safe for their child, then they should have a choice to be able to send their child or not to send their child and continue their children’s education," she said.

The school district told NBC 5 that since classes started on Aug. 12, five cases have been reported at Glenwood Elementary out of about 700 staff members and students.

The district added parents and staff members will be contacted if it's determined their students were a close contact, and families are notified by email when someone in the school test positive.

As parents rallied, COVID tests were being performed at the same site Sunday - courtesy of Chicago COVID Control.

"If four children tested positive, then Houston, we’ve got a problem, and all those children should be standing here in line to be tested," said Julie Contreras, whose organization United Giving Hope partnered with the test facilitators.

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