Chicago area schools are getting ready to welcome students to socially-distanced classrooms, but NBC 5 spoke to a teacher and parents in the western suburbs who said it is too early to send kids back for in-person learning.
Colleen and Chris Hanna of Elmhurst said they are planning to keep their nine-year-old son home this fall to remotely learn.
“The knowledge and the information that we have about the virus is changing all the time,” Colleen Hanna said. “I don’t feel like there’s enough concrete information to really say that our kids are safe.”
The Elmhurst Teachers’ Council said it favors starting the school year online and gradually bringing students back when the conditions make it safer.
“All the teachers want to go back in the classroom as soon as it’s safe, but we’re just concerned that the plan, as it stands right now, is going to create disruptions to the educational process every time the virus spreads and students and teachers have to go in to quarantine,” said ETC president Max Schoenberg.
Elmhurst District 205 said 85 percent of parents want their kids in school, either in person or in a hybrid model. But the district said it is considering concerns expressed by its teachers.
“The District and Elmhurst D205 Board continues to commit to allocate resources to support both a safe and healthy opening of school that follows the guidance and requirements of federal, state and local authorities and a rich learning experience for all our students no matter which learning environment they are in this school year,” said District 205 superintendent Dr. David Moyer.
According to District 205, additional talks have been scheduled for next week and the administration said it is "looking forward to a collaborative dialogue about how to best support student learning, while protecting the health and safety of our students and staff."
Schoenberg said online learning in the fall can be done more effectively and it will keep students safe.