Prairie Grove to re-start hybrid learning for all students starting Jan. 19

Prairie Grove School District 46 confirmed that it will bring back students to hybrid learning starting on Jan. 19 at its school board meeting Tuesday night.

This hybrid learning model will consist of modified in-person learning and remote learning.

The board also approved appointing David Costa to the board, replacing Anna Olas, who resigned her post in November.

Superintendent John Bute said in a presentation that all factors were taken into account and that parents should expect communication from the school district Wednesday with further details on the transition. Bute said that most McHenry County school districts plan to be back in hybrid learning by the end of January.

“Based on this updated guidance, we believe we are in a position to be able to meet the mitigation strategies outlined by the CDC and feel very comfortable with the in-person/hybrid learning platform,” Bute said in an email regarding the shift. “We have consulted with health department officials and are on the same page.”

Fifth- through eighth-grade students will be at the school Tuesday and Thursday mornings while students in early childhood education through fourth grade will be at the school Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Bute also said that educators are part of Phase 1b for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Several health and safety protocols are going into place for this hybrid model of learning.

Families with in-person students will have to complete a health screener before their child boards the bus.

Bute said in a communication to parents that District 46 schools will continue adhering to Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health and safety protocols, including wearing face masks at all time, regular deep cleaning, disinfecting of classrooms and common areas and social distancing.

If a student has COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms, according to IDPH guidelines, they will either need to isolate for 10 days, have a medical doctor’s note, or written documentation of a negative COVID-19 test to return to school.

Families and students who need technical support or have technology-related questions can send a message to webmaster@dist46.org.

On Mondays, a weekly food pack, with meals available for all Prairie Grove students, will be available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the district’s food service entrance, located off the circle drive. Pick up will be on Tuesday at the same time if Monday is a holiday.

Students can receive lunch for up to seven days per pickup. Families will need to reserve a food pack order with the Webstore.

When it comes to transportation, students will be required to wear face masks on the bus.

“We encourage families to carpool or drive their student[s] to school if possible to reduce the number of students on the bus to allow for social distancing,” Bute said in his superintendent communication.

If inclement weather closes the school buildings, families will be told by email, text or a phone call, and all students would engage in remote learning for that day, Bute said.

Jon Styf

Jon is the Senior News Editor of the Shaw Media Local News Network and the Editor of the Northwest Herald. He was previously the editor of The Herald-News in Joliet and Morris and a sports editor for Shaw Media at the Northwest Herald and Daily Chronicle.