new trier

New Trier to Pause Hybrid Instruction Due to ‘Surge' in Positive Cases

The school had just started allowing its first group of students back for 25 percent hybrid learning, but that program will now be paused Thursday and Friday

New Trier Township High School Winnetka

New Trier High School has announced plans to pause hybrid instruction one week after allowing some students back in classrooms, citing a rise in positive cases traced in part to a party and weekend gatherings involving students, district officials said.

The school had just started allowing its first group of students back for 25 percent hybrid learning, but that program will now be paused Thursday and Friday along with athletic contact days for out-of-season sports this week, Supt. Paul Sally wrote in a letter to parents.

"The state of Illinois, our general area, and our township are seeing a surge in the number of positive cases of COVID-19," Sally wrote. "This week the state has seen some of the largest numbers of cases since May."

As of Monday, 11 students were positive for the coronavirus, Sally said, adding that none of the cases were from school-based transmission.

"In fact, most of these new cases have been traced back to a party and a series of weekend gatherings that many students from New Trier students [sic] as well as students from other schools attended," he wrote. "It has been challenging to conduct contact tracing from these events. I'm disappointed that these events are a contributing factor to our rising numbers."

The school hopes to return to a hybrid plan the week of Oct. 19 and said its planned SAT and PSAT tests set for Oct. 14 and 17 will continue as planned "under the strict safety protocols we have been following for standardized testing."

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