Three public school districts in Oak Park and River Forest. Each one attempting to thread the needle on how to educate our youngsters in the face of a COVID-19 pandemic determined to show us it remains in control.
We’ve been reporting since mid-summer on the many and changing plans school administrators and school boards have discussed, implemented, ditched and remade as they faced up to a resurgent COVID virus in our villages, tried to balance the real needs of families for some stable approach with the genuine concerns of teachers and staff for safe conditions.
This week we report on a new OPRF committee charged with forming a plan on remote and in-person learning. We also report that the District 90 public elementary schools in River Forest, who have faced their own drama in making these impossible choices, will now go fully remote for two weeks as cases rise sharply. And two weeks back, we reported on the District 97 Oak Park elementary school board taking the unusual step of detailing an administration plan to reintroduce a level of in-person classes sooner than later.
The conclusion? There isn’t a right answer. There is nothing approaching a consensus among school leaders, staff and parents on what the right mix might be. And especially given the abysmal federal leadership in knocking down COVID, the virus remains a moving target and an immediate threat.