© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WNIJ News and NPR is committed to connecting you with the latest news related to COVID-19 in northern Illinois and across the country. We are taking precautions to keep staff safe while providing you with the resources you need. Thank you for your continued support which allows us to remain your trusted source on the coronavirus pandemic.

Teachers Are Pushing Back On In-Person Reopening And Some Districts Are Delaying Starts

Spencer Tritt
DeKalb High School

Only weeks from the first day of school, some districts are reversing course and choosing not to have any in-person instruction right away.

Several teachers’ unions are calling on their schools to start the year virtually. Educators in Elmhurst are opposing their district’s back-to-school plan.

Max Schoenberg is the president of the Elmhurst Teachers’ Council. He says Elmhurst District 205’s plan would bring hundreds of students back into its buildings.

It’ll be even more difficult to police social distancing and face coverings with younger students. He said it’ll be hard for educators to go against their instincts and break up elementary students trying to work together.

“If they reopen right now in person, what's joyful about school is something that will probably not be safe,” said Schoenberg.

The first day of school looms around the corner, but he said there are still a lot of unanswered questions. He said teachers are still seeking guidance about both in-person safety and what online instruction will look like.

“How many families are opting for online instruction? How many teachers would prefer online instruction? They have to go through hundreds of medical exemption requests,” he said. “It's a very complicated picture that they have to try to resolve in a very short period of time.”

Schoenberg says teachers can’t prepare because they don’t know if they’ll be working with students in-person and online at the same time.

The request for virtual learning is meant to limit the spread of coronavirus, but it’s also to give the district more time to flesh out instruction plans.

And with Illinois seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and rising positivity rates, Schoenberg is concerned disruptive quarantines will be inevitable.