River Forest District 90 Superintendent Ed Condon announced on Oct. 26 that schools will revert to full remote learning for 15 days, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11 because of a spike in Illinois COVID infections.

Last week, the district had begun implementing a phased-in transition to in-person learning, but Governor J.B. Pritzker’s announcement on Oct. 26 that Region 10, suburban Cook County, was experiencing an ongoing elevated COVID-19 positivity rate and an increase in hospitalizations, led to the change. A rise in cases and the positivity rate of COVID-19 in River Forest also contributed to the decision, said Condon.

“District 90 will begin an ‘Adaptive Pause’ shift to remote learning for two weeks,” said Condon in a letter to families, faculty and staff. 

“The remote learning model will follow the same model that was instituted in the fall of 2020. Recommended by the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public health as an effective risk mitigation strategy, a pause of in-person instruction allows school districts to respond to the safety concerns presented by increases in community disease transmission,” said Condon in the letter.

He acknowledged that the district had only just begun a phased transition to in-person learning but said this “pause” is necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff, families and the community.

“Administrators recognize that this pivot to remote instruction in the midst of returning to in-person instruction will cause scheduling and other challenges for many of our families and genuinely regret the need for this step,” Condon said. “Talks are underway with the West Cook YMCA about reinstating the Supervised Remote Learning program for district families. More information will be forthcoming within the next few days.”

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