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Kaneland K-8 students to return to full in-person learning after spring break

SUGAR GROVE – Kaneland elementary and middle school students will return to full in-person learning after the spring break, while Kaneland High School will continue using the hybrid model.

The Kaneland School Board on Thursday approved the plan for finishing out the school year, during a four-hour special meeting at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove. The new learning structure will start on April 7 for kindergarten through fifth grade and April 6 for sixth through eighth grade.

Under the plan, in-person classes would resume five days a week for elementary and middle school students in Kaneland Community School District 302.

Students at Harter Middle School will return to a shortened day, from 7:25 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., with 30-minute class periods and no lunch, according to Patrick Raleigh, the district’s director of education services for the middle school and high school.

State guidelines will allow no more than 50 persons on a school bus, including the driver, Raleigh said, meaning that buses will be forced to make multiple trips, resulting in delays.

In classrooms, the state is reducing the required six-foot separation between students to three feet, Raleigh said. This means most classrooms will be able to accommodate 28 students, or 32 students for science labs, he said.

In the four grade schools, classrooms will accommodate either 20 or 22 students, according to Sarah Mumm, the district’s director of education services for elementary school students.

For the middle school and elementary school students, the option will be either to return to in-person classes or go to an all-remote learning model.

The cost of implementing the plan, including additional teachers and lunchroom supervisors, transportation and materials, is estimated at between $214,000 and $293,000, Superintendent Todd Leden said.

School maintenance workers will move desks and other furniture to accommodate the new plan between March 26 and April 5, Leden said.

The school board approved the plan on three separate votes, one each for the elementary schools, the middle school and the high school.

Raleigh presented an option for returning the high school to full in-person learning, but told the board that to do so would not only be more expensive, but result in numerous disruptions for students.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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