D. 202 will delay returning more students to in-person learning

Tom Hernandez, Community Relations Director

Plainfield – The plan to return District 202 students to in-person learning will be delayed until further notice because of changing COVID-19 conditions, staffing challenges, and scheduling.


About 300 multi-needs special education students returned to school on October 26, 2020. About 100 multi-needs students opted to continue with remote learning.


They were the first group of students to return and will remain in in-person learning because they need direct attention and support more than other students.


However, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lane Abrell told the Board of Education at its October 26, 2020 regular meeting that the district will take an “adaptive pause” and not return other students until further notice.


Preschool and kindergarten students were scheduled to return on November 5, 2020. District 202 started the school year August 31, 2020 with remote learning for all District 202 students.


“We all understand the importance of having students in school for face-to-face instruction,” Abrell said. “It was wonderful seeing those students come back through our doors this morning.”


However, he said increasing COVID-19 cases, staffing issues, and scheduling challenges forced district leaders to reconsider its schedule for students to return to school in person.


Abrell said district administration will continue to monitor five key metrics over the next 10-14 days:


  1. Positivity rate (5 consecutive data points flat or trending down of COVID-19 cases in Will County)
  2. Guidance from IDPH, ISBE, and CDC as well as Kendall and Will County Health Departments
  3. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are readily available and able to be refilled in a timely manner
  4. PPE supplies readily available and able to be refilled in a timely manner
  5. Substitute pool is greater or equal to the number of substitutes needed for in person learning.



“We are looking at this situation as a community health issue, which is on the verge of overwhelming all of us,” Abrell said.


“No one wants the students back in school more than we do, but we need to make a balanced decision,” Abrell said. “The health and safety of our 26,000 students and 3,200 staff will always be our first priority.”