Board members: Hybrid learning soon

The+hallways+at+Cental+Campus+are+currently+empty+of+students.+Teachers+teach+inside+their+classrooms+while+students+learn+remotely+at+home.++This+could+change+on+Sept.+14%2C+as+the+Board+of+Education+has+plans+for+hybrid+learning+to+start.+

The hallways at Cental Campus are currently empty of students. Teachers teach inside their classrooms while students learn remotely at home. This could change on Sept. 14, as the Board of Education has plans for hybrid learning to start.

Claire Evelyne Edwards, Editor-in-Chief

“We’re gonna need a special board meeting as quickly as possible to come up with an alternative plan, because right now, there’s no school. We don’t have a plan,” Mr. Mike Brozovich, Minooka District #111 school board president said after a vote at the Aug. 19 meeting. 

This 4-3 vote by the school board after much discussion threw the fate of student learning into a moment of uncertainty. The meeting was held in the Central Campus Performing Arts Center, and the public had the opportunity to listen in on the meeting via phone call if they could not physically be present. 

A few weeks earlier in July, the board of education had voted to approve a hybrid learning plan intended to start with some students in the building on Aug. 12.  

However, on Aug. 6, Dr. Kenny Lee, superintendent, informed the community that all students would be remote learning with a new start date of Aug. 13. 

But the 4-3 vote at the Aug. 19 meeting showed that the board did not approve of the school’s Return to Learn plan that had students currently learning remotely.

In this vote, Brozovich voted yes, along with two other board members, to approve the school’s plan that started the year remotely. That wasn’t enough for approval, as four members voted no, which meant essentially beginning hybrid learning now.

Since Covid-19 began spreading across the world, many schools have resorted to remote learning for the fall while others pushed towards hybrid. At the Aug. 19 meeting, the board members were having an open, candid discussion as they were deciding whether remote learning would continue. 

Ms. Wendy Arlis, one of the board members who voted against students learning remotely at this time, was adamant that MCHS switch to hybrid learning. Arlis stated that she feared students were having an extremely difficult time with remote learning, and that we should focus on returning students back to school as soon as possible. 

During the meeting, the board members continued to converse about what they felt most comfortable with regarding the new plan for learning. The board eventually voted out remote learning.  This is where the board members ran into a dilemma. 

Since the board members voted that remote learning was out of the picture for now, they had to set a date for when hybrid learning would begin. Otherwise, technically remote learning wouldn’t resume the following day, Aug. 20. 

“I will continue to push for in-person school,” Arlis said. “And I sure hope to get there sooner than later.”

After some discussion and a re-vote with an amendment, the board members, 6-1, decided on a return date for the beginning of hybrid learning in the building on Sept. 14. The plan is to have no more than 15 students in each class at a time with social distancing being mandatory. 

A special board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 2  at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Central Campus for more details on the plan.  People can attend the meeting remotely via Zoom or through YouTube with this link