A student walks between classes Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at A Vito Martinez Middle School in Romeoville, Ill.
A student walks between classes Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at A Vito Martinez Middle School in Romeoville, Ill.

Like surrounding districts, the Valley View School District 365U Board of Education voted Thursday to begin the upcoming school year with only remote instruction as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The district originally chose a hybrid plan in which some students would be physically in school while others were learning from home on a given day.

The new plan will have all students learning remotely for the first quarter of the school year, which ends Oct. 23, according to a news release. Classes in Valley View will begin Aug. 26.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic," Valley View School Board President Steve Quigley said in the release. "As a community, we are doing the best that we can under the circumstances. We are choosing a full remote return because we have to consider what causes the least potential disruption to student learning."

Quigley added that if the district moved forward with the hybrid plan, but then was forced to revert back to entirely remote learning, it would be disruptive and Valley View students "have already suffered enough disruptions."

Valley View Superintendent Rachel Kinder said the change of plans came about due to the state and region seeing higher positivity rates for COVID-19, recent guidance from state officials and trends among other districts choosing remote learning.

"While our original draft plan presented on July 20 aimed to offer an option of a hybrid or full remote learning, recent developments have brought us to the conclusion that accomplishing these goals under our current plan is not attainable," Kinder said in the release.

Valley View is the latest Will County area school district to change plans and opt for an entirely remote start to the school year.

Both public school districts in Joliet originally planned for some degree of in-person instruction for the fall and then changed those plans in recent weeks. The Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 also chose to begin the year with remote learning.

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