District 97 officials have decided to transition the minority of students who were taking on-site classes to full remote learning. The decision, which took effect Oct. 28, came a day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he was implementing more pandemic restrictions as cases of COVID-19 increase across the state, including in suburban Cook County.
Donna Middleton, D97’s senior director of student services, announced the decision — which in education jargon is called an ‘adaptive pause’ — in a statement released on Oct. 27.
“This pause will remain in effect for at least 14 calendar days, with students and staff tentatively scheduled to return on Wednesday, Nov. 11,” Middleton said, adding that students would be out of school on Election Day Nov. 3, which is a state holiday.
“This adaptive pause is only applicable to on-site District 97 programs for specialized populations,” Middleton said. “This mitigation does not impact childcare providers that are currently operating out of designated school sites.”
Last week, Pritzker said Region 10, which includes the Cook County suburbs, had moved into a warning phase of the pandemic, which indicates an increase in cases.
“The village of Oak Park has seen significant growth in COVID-19 rates over the past week,” Middleton said in her Oct. 28 statement. “As of today, the seven-day rolling average for test positivity in Region 10 is 8 percent, and the 14-day rolling average for the number of new cases per 100,000 Oak Park is currently 224.6. Both of these numbers exceed the thresholds outlined in our guiding metrics.”
D97 offers mental health checks
District 97’s school psychologists and nurses are offering virtual mental health wellness checks at each school this fall, officials said in D97’s Weekly Wrap-Up email.
The wellness checks are 25-minute Telehealth sessions designed to help students cope with stress and learn methods of self-care. Students are allowed to attend up to three sessions per trimester and may also be referred to other supports, if they’re needed, D97 officials explained.
Parents can sign their children up for the service, or learn more about it, at: https://bit.ly/3m3Xece.
District officials cautioned parents to call the Thrive 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 708-383-7500, if their child is experiencing an immediate health crisis.