Mendota elementary students to begin school year with remote learning

Plan will be reassessed after first two weeks

MENDOTA - Due to concerns about the increase in COVID-19 cases in Mendota, as well as in the county and state, Mendota elementary students will begin the school year on Aug. 24 with remote learning. The District 289 Board of Education approved the changes to the transition plan during a special meeting held Aug. 6. The meeting was accessible to the public via Zoom.

Superintendent Dr. Kristen School said because of the very large uptick in cases in Mendota, the district no longer feels comfortable with starting the school year in person. “We need to look at different options,” she told the board, adding that the union supports having a new plan. “This week with the news about COVID cases, each of our buildings was inundated with parents changing their mind [about sending students to school]. We spent the entire summer planning for school to reopen and we’ve had almost daily changes . . . we want to be as prepared as we can for whatever comes.”

Following a discussion among board members, an updated plan for the start of school was approved:

  • STAFF - District 289 staff will return to school on Aug. 18, 19, 20 and 21 for two institute days and two COVID planning days to prepare and train for remote learning.
  • STUDENTS - All students will begin on Monday, Aug. 24 with remote learning. Teachers will contact each student and family during the first week of school to provide training on logins, expectations, curricular materials, and other information. The first week will also include student assessment.
  • The District will work with the LaSalle County Health Department during the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 4 to determine whether remote instruction should continue for all students or if the schools can return to the previously approved hybrid plan on Sept. 8.
  • Regardless of the decision made during the week of Aug. 31, the district will revisit the plan approximately every six weeks and communicate this decision in a timely manner to enable parents to plan.

School noted that even when the district returns to in person instruction, families may still opt to continue with remote learning.

“We feel strongly that in-person instruction is best, and we are hopeful that we can return to some configuration of in-person learning at some point in the near future,” School said. “We will do our best to address any questions you may still have. Please reach out to building administrators or myself with any questions.”


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