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The Bond County Community Unit 2 Board of Education met for over three hours Monday night, with the big discussion regarding how students will be taught to start the new school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the end, no definite decision was made.
The board did pass a resolution, developed by the district attorney, which says it adopts the Unit 2 re-opening plan and authorizes the superintendent to make decisions and implement the plan. The vote on the resolution was 6-1 with Brian Zeeb voting no. He said early in the meeting that he favored returning to school five days a week.
Zeeb was concerned the board would have no more input in the process.
Superintendent Wes Olson said the board could meet again to provide input.
In reality, the district remains in a situation where none of the options have been decided to be used. Olson told the board that based on the recommendations of health and education professionals, if he had to make a recommendation it would probably be the hybrid plan.
That plan would have half of the students going to school Monday and Wednesday, the other half going Tuesday and Thursday, and everyone involved in remote learning on Friday. The two days they do not attend school, students would do remote learning.
The other options are full-time in-person or online learning. Remote learning would only occur if the pandemic situation worsened and school were ordered to shut down, like what happened this past spring.
Olson said he doesn’t see full-time learning at school possible and still remaining in compliance with the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education safety guidelines.
These include limiting groups to no more than 50 while still maintaining some type of social distancing and providing a continual clean environment for students and staff. The superintendent added that if the district doesn’t follow the guidelines, there is a risk from a legal perspective.
Online student registration begins this week. It is July 22 through the 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and July 27 from 4 to 6 p.m.
It is important to register because during that process parents will be asked what option they prefer for their children.
It was mentioned if many parents decide they want their children to use online learning, that would reduce the number of other students going to school and then district decisions could be made based on those figures.
One thing that was decided Monday night was the school calendar to start the year. Teachers will report to school August 17 and 18 for remote planning days. Student learning, in whatever form eventually decided, will begin August 19.
Another teacher remote planning day is set for August 21.