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Details On The Rockford Public Schools Reopening Plan

Peter Medlin
RPS officials meet for press availability at Constance Lane Elementary School

Rockford Public Schools just became the latest district to release a plan for reopening.

No matter the grade level, parents can choose full-time remote learning.

But in-person will look different depending on a student’s age.

The elementary school option will be all day, five days a week.

Heidi Dettman is the executive director of academics.

“The biggest reason is because of how critical their time with their teachers is at this developmental stage,” said Dettman.

She says the elementary school model of having a small group of students with one teacher is safer than a lot of kids moving between classrooms.

Educators will also devote a considerable amount of time to teach about hygiene, like washing your hands and properly wearing masks.

Middle and high school students will be split into two groups and have a hybrid in-person and online format.

They’d only come two days per week and learn virtually the remaining three days.

The district just sent out a parent survey to get an idea of how many students will opt for online classes.

Matt Zediker is the chief human resources officer at RPS. He says they feel comfortable giving an in-person option.

“As long as we're being able to give good guidance from our medical professionals and the science, we want to try to make sure that we give that as an option for our families,” he said.

He says the district is opening remote teaching positions and educators can apply. That could be one accommodation for teachers who may have a medical condition or are otherwise at-risk.

Zediker says the district’s already hearing from those educators and others who are just uncomfortable returning during the pandemic.

The reopening plan says some teachers may be considered for a leave of absence. But if the leave is not approved, the district can’t guarantee a staff member’s position is secured.

Earlier in the week, some Rockford educators held a car parade to protest in-person classes.