Students at Streator High School will return to a full-day schedule beginning Monday, Nov. 8.
Since the beginning of the school year, students have dismissed at 12:50 p.m. to bypass eating a lunch at the school as an extra precaution during the pandemic.
Interim Superintendent Bill Mattingly said the school has had 12 COVID-19 cases so far this school year. Mattingly told the board Tuesday it was difficult to determine whether that was a good showing, because La Salle-Peru High, which has an enrollment of about 1,200 students compared to Streator’s roughly 850, has had 14 cases, yet Seneca High School with about 450 students, has had 21 cases.
The district began the saliva-based SHIELD testing last week, resulting in one positive case. Mattingly said the district will have a better handle on the spread of the virus following the next round or two of weekly tests.
The COVID-19 transition team recommended returning to full-day schedules Monday, Dec. 6. Board member Heather Baker motioned for that suggestion, but no one other board member seconded it, defeating the motion. Board President Steve Biroschik then motioned to return to a full-day schedule beginning Monday, Nov. 1, but changed his motion to Nov. 8 after Board Member Gary Wargo suggested school staff be given an extra week to prepare for the change. The board voted 6-0 to return to full-day schedules Nov. 8. Board member Mike Mast was not present Tuesday.
During the 12:50 dismissal schedule, students attended four of their eight classes every other day, per the district’s block schedule. The early dismissal reseulted in 13 less minutes for each class, but it still constituted an official full day. Sack lunches were distributed to students.
Mattingly said Streator High’s approach to the school day was unique to the area, but it also was a “very safe approach.”