CUSD No. 7 board of education brings back
Gillespie students went back in their classrooms on Jan. 11. Students had not been in the classrooms since Nov. 30 due to a coronavirus outbreak.
By: JACKSON WILSON
Coal Country Times Reporter
On Jan. 7, the Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7 board of education conducted a special meeting via Zoom and agreed to make in-person learning an option for students at the start of the spring semester.
The motion was made by Bill Carter and seconded by Jennifer Alepra before getting unanimously approved by all seven board members.
All of the district schools officially re-opened for in-person classes when the students returned from winter break Jan. 11. The schedule has remained in the same four-day format that had originally been established prior to the schools shutting down for remote learning in response to a coronavirus outbreak Nov. 30. According to building principals Angela Sandretto, Tara Cooper and Jill Rosentreter, about 30 percent of the CUSD No. 7 student population were opting to become present in classrooms at that time.
In an effort to ensure the most comfort and safety amongst all families, the district is making in-person learning optional at this time. Students are still allowed to remain on a remote educational plan if they wish to do so.
“The district does not want to be placed in a position where it must pick and choose which members of the public can attend in-person versus which members must attend remotely,” Owsley said as he read a district statement prior to the vote. “The safety of our staff and students has been and will continue to remain a top priority. The administrative team and board of education understand what a challenge this will be and I have full faith that we are once again up for it.”
Owsley read that the district may consider restoring a normal five-day schedule if everything goes according to plan prior to Jan. 25. If the board chooses to approve the schedule at its regular meeting that evening, students will be granted 1 p.m. dismissals each day. Online learning would still be an option.
Owsley reminded everyone in the district to be prepared for a return to mandatory remote learning in the event of circumstances taking a drastic shift.
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