District 7 shared its plan for the second semester in an email sent to parents on Friday, Oct. 23. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, all students who have chosen to continue in-person learning will attend school five days a week.
This decision was made after parents had protested the hybrid schedule for months through a Facebook group and by attending board meetings. The school also polled students and although the results showed most students would prefer for the schedule to stay hybrid, that will not be the case.
The email promises that “students will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible,” it also clarifies this will not always be sufficient in large classes.
Seniors have the option to take AP and Honors classes not offered online in school and the rest of their courses virtually. Dr. Stuart announced this in a separate email.
District families must make their decision on whether to return to in-person learning, switch to all virtual learning or continue virtual learning by Nov. 4.
Sophomore Desirae Snyder was surprised by the decision to return to full in-person learning.
“The governor had just said he was going to shut down the state again implying our COVID cases are still increasing,” Snyder said.
The decision to switch also surprised senior Jalil Roundtree.
“When I first heard the plan for second semester it completely threw me off,” Roundtree said. “Everything is running smoothly with the hybrid schedule so I didn’t feel as if we needed to change anything.”
Roundtree will be continuing in-person learning second semester.
“I really want to be able to experience my senior year so to be able to have a normal-seeming one, I wouldn’t deny that opportunity,” Roundtree said.
Senior Lilly James is switching to virtual learning next semester because she feels as though the proper safety standards cannot be maintained with the full student body attending.
“Of course I don’t want to stay home the last semester of my senior year,” James said. “I feel like the district has forced my hand. I think it’s a little unfair of the school district to do this to us and I just don’t feel safe going to school with that many people that frequently. I feel like I have to choose between my health and having a social life. I shouldn’t have to make that decision.”