University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022

SW Regional Publishing Peoples MORTGAGE Banner Ad 728x90 03 31 22

Schools allowed to reopen in August

Palos Heights School Dist. 128

Palos Heights School District 128 administrative center at 12809 S. McVickers Ave., Palos Heights. (File photo)

 

By Dermot Connolly

Now that the state has signaled schools can reopen for in-person classes in August, local school districts are working on plans to make that possible while still meeting Illinois Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Schools have been closed statewide since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with classes held remotely through the end of the school year. The Illinois State Department of Education issued a 60-page document earlier this month with guidelines that schools can follow to reopen safely.

“We will create the best possible, safest plan for our students and staff, and the community as a whole,” said District 230 Supt. Dr. James Gay at the June 23 school board meeting.

He told the board that an oversight committee including himself, three assistant superintendents, and principals of Stagg, Sandburg and Andrew high schools is coordinating the work of 13 subcommittees to make recommendations “on how to best serve our students and staff in the safest and most effective instructional settings.”

The committees include administrators and representatives from the three employee unions for teachers, support staff, and food services. Explanatory letters and surveys were going out to parents last week, to get their input as well.

Gay noted that guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, in response to Gov. JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan, is for school districts to prepare for three potential scenarios—fully onsite, fully remote, and blended remote learning. “Depending on the COVID-19 situation, it is possible that we would move between the above scenarios. We will be discussing reopening options at our next board meeting on July 13. Feel free to reach out after the meeting.”

Supt. Michael J. Riordan of Oak Lawn Community High School District 229, and Supt. Ty Harding, of District 218, sent similar letters to parents explaining what is going on.

“This 60-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the 2020-21 school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process,” said Harding, whose district includes Richards, Shepard and Eisenhower high schools.

“Right now, we don’t have all the answers to those questions as this document was released to school districts at the same time it was released to the public. Therefore, we kindly ask for your patience as our staff thoroughly reviews this detailed guidance and implements the suggestions into our school’s own transition plan.”

Riordan said “Oak Lawn Community High School is keenly aware of the urgent need to communicate to families about what to expect next school year and we anticipate releasing our own transition plan in the coming weeks.”

He said he was confident that the reopening task force is providing feedback to the school administration and Board of Education as they create a reopening plan.

“I’m confident our school can put forth a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, staff, and families while maintaining a dynamic learning environment,” he added.

Districts encompassing elementary and junior high schools are in a similar position.

Orland District 135 Supt. John Bryk said reopening options would be discussed at the next school board meeting on July 13.

“The North Palos District 117 administrative team has been sifting through the recent ISBE guidance documents to determine the safest way to open our schools. It is our preference to offer face-to-face instruction for the 2020-21 school year,” said Supt. Jeannie Stachowiak in a statement.

“We will continue to work through this process and keep our community aware of our district’s plans,” said Stachowiak, whose district includes Conrady Junior High School and four elementary schools in Hickory Hills and Palos Hills.

“Palos 118 is working as quickly as possible to develop plans for reopening schools in August,” said Supt. Anthony Scarsella, who oversees three elementary schools—two in Palos Park and one in Palos Heights. “Our goal is to release our plan in mid-July so parents have adequate time to prepare for what will most likely be an unusual start to the school year.”

“The safety mandates from the Illinois Department of Public Health and recommendations from the Illinois State Board of Education present many logistical challenges for our school district, particularly the 50-person occupancy limit in large spaces such as lunchrooms. This will be a challenge for our schools because of their relatively large enrollments—much larger than some surrounding school districts,” he said.

“I’m afraid that when it comes to reopening schools safely, there is no perfect plan. Each school district will have their own plan for reopening based on their particular set of circumstances,” Scarsella added.

Included in the state’s list of guidelines: use of face masks, a limit of gatherings in one room to no more than 50 people, regular temperature checks and increased sanitation of all school facilities.

Gov. JB Pritzker said the guidelines, while “strongly encouraged,” are up to each local district to implement, “based on its unique student enrollment, school facilities, staging, transportation and technological capacity.”

To ease the way, the state is making 2.5 million face masks available, enough for every K-12 public school student and staffer. The state also is allotting $569 million in federal COVID relief funds to local districts, most for general needs, and $54 million for laptop computers, internet connectivity and related staff training. The Illinois State Board of Education will give priority to districts with a large number of low-income students.

Local News

Rich Miller

‘Easy layup’ on abortion looking complicated

By Rich Miller As I’ve been telling my newsletter subscribers for several weeks now, talks began in mid-May about a possible special state legislative session to address the abortion issue. Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch had some brief chats about bringing legislators back to town back then. Illinois…

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

Funeral-Flowers.4 logo

Obituaries June 23, 2022

WIESŁAW TADEUSZ ‘Ted’ CHODOROWSKI Wiesław Tadeusz ‘Ted’ Chodorowski, age 93. Mr. Chodorowski served in the Polish Home Army during WWII. Mr. Chodorowski joined the Polish Home Army Veterans Association in the United States, eventually becoming President. Beloved husband of Anna (nee Sobecka); loving father of Beata (Keith) Niebrugge, Izabella (Johann) Stefnis, Joanna Chodorowska and Jolanta…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Palos Pines residents say cars speeding in their neighborhood are dangerous. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights neighborhood pining to eliminate speeding

By Jeff Vorva Residents in the Palos Pines subdivision are worried for their safety and their children’s safety because cars are constantly racing through the Palos Heights neighborhood. Two people spoke up at Tuesday’s city council meeting and a third had an e-mail read to the council members. Also, other neighbors have been contacting police…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion overturning…

6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker

6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker

By PETER HANCOCK & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republican voters in Illinois will choose from six candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the upcoming June 28 primary. The field includes a conservative farmer and state lawmakers who is the recent polling frontrunner, the mayor of Illinois’ second largest…

Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office

Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Illinois voters might know Alexi Giannoulias as the state’s treasurer from 2007 to 2011, or they might know him as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010. He’s now looking to get back into public life as he runs for secretary…

Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights

Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released…

Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state

Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago City Clerk…

Republicans see opening in secretary of state race

Republicans see opening in secretary of state race

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, there is an open race for the office of Illinois secretary of state as incumbent Democrat Jesse White prepares to retire, and Republicans hope that will give them an opportunity to pick up a statewide elected office.…

Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore

Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to all of the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago…

Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement

Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago handed down a one-year prison sentence Tuesday for a former state senator who once chaired the Senate Labor Committee. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzlement for receiving salary and benefits from…

CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act

CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – In a 4-3 decision with a blistering dissent from the Republican minority, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to rule on a question of whether Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional. It was the second time the case of the People v. Vivian Brown came before the court and…

State audit finds billions in unemployment fraud

State audit finds billions in unemployment fraud

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A state audit released Thursday found nearly $2 billion in federal money intended to help unemployed Illinoisans during the pandemic was lost to fraudulent claims in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security blamed “insufficient and flawed federal guidance” and a lack of controls on a…

Regional dermatology associates House Ad
Reporter Mecy Circle House Ad