The Somonauk School District is the latest to announce plans to move to remote learning following the Thanksgiving Holiday with a return in January.
The Board of Education voted to move the district to total remote learning at a special meeting Wednesday night. The virtual meeting had around 100 attendees. Superintendent Jay Streicher says the board is following the recommendation from the DeKalb County Health Department that all schools in the county take an "adaptive" pause.
"The health department is the expert when it comes to public health," Streicher said. "While we can look at the data and come to some conclusions on our own, our expertise is in education and we're going to stick to that and do that the best that we can and let them [the health department] make the decisions about health."
Other than a brief closure at the start the school year, the Somonauk school district has remained largely open for in-person, hybrid learning. Streicher says that due to the district's strict adherence to COVID-19 rules.
Streicher recognizes that many families think that students ought to be in school.
"It was a tough decision for our board, Streicher said. "We have a lot of parents who want their kids in school and we have a lot of parents who think it's more important to keep kids safe at home."
The Somonauk School District joins the Sandwich School District and the Plano School District, in Kendall County, in transitioning into remote learning. Elsewhere across DeKalb County, the DeKalb School District has been remote learning, but plans to start bringing back elementary students to classrooms have been canceled and the Sycamore School District is also moving to remote learning.
In LaSalle County earlier this month, the Serena School District made the announcement that it was moving to remote learning through the Thanksgiving holiday due to too many students and staff being exposed to COVID-19. School districts across the WSPY listening area have faced challenges with keeping buildings properly staffed. Just one person testing positive for COVID-19 can lead to several more having to quarantine.
Other school districts that have either moved to full remote learning as a district or just one building include the Earlville School District and the Newark School District. The Oswego 308 School district has been remote learning since the start of the school year.