After a survey indicating a higher number of students selecting in-person learning for the second trimester, the Mendota Elementary Board of Education approved a new schedule at its meeting Thursday.
With more students, social distancing isn’t possible in most of the district’s classrooms, causing the board to approve an alternate day schedule.
For second grade and older, one group of students will attend Mondays and Wednesdays with a second group attending Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Both groups will have remote learning on Fridays.
“The regulations and requirements with social distancing are not things within our control,” said Mendota Elementary Superintendent Kristen School. “We’re trying to balance the educational needs of our students with safety. It’s a very difficult thing to do. We’re trying to do our best to get as much face-to-face in-person learning in place as we possibly can because we know it’s best practice.”
Preschool students will remain on the same schedule, while kindergarten and first grade students will attend in person all four days. Life skills students also will attend all four days.
“They have larger rooms and smaller overall class sizes and they have some of the greatest needs for in-person learning,” School said about the K-1 students.
A survey is being sent out to all parents Friday for a definitive commitment for the second trimester, which is due Friday, Oct. 23.
The choice will remain in place for the entire trimester, which runs Nov. 16 to Feb. 26.
The initial survey, which was not filled out by all families, indicated the number of in-person learners would jump from 144 to 177 at Blackstone (kindergarten and first grade), from 216 to 263 at Lincoln (second-fourth grades) and 290 to 344 at Northbrook (fifth-eighth grades).
If the number of in-person learners remains similar to the number currently attending, the only change to the schedule would be to switch Fridays to remote/blended learning for all.
“Friday remote/blended learning days will be days that no new materials will be pushed out, but rather used as a review, meetings via Zoom, arranging for in-person extra help and assistance for students who need help the most,” School said.