URBANA — Elementary students could be back in Urbana classrooms on a part-time basis by month’s end if the school board signs off tonight on administrators’ recommendation.
Much like the plan under review in Champaign, the 29-page “Modified Hybrid Phase 2.0” document up for discussion tonight in Urbana calls for “a partial return to in-person learning for some students, primarily at the elementary level,” at the start of the second quarter.
While remote learning, in place districtwide since March, is “working well for a large number of students,” administrators note, “some of our most vulnerable, marginalized students are not engaging in remote learning.”
“Our younger students need us the most,” they go on to say. “We believe our younger students will learn better physically in the classroom.”
Two options will be discussed, both of which involve in-person learning for students in grades K-5 who choose that option from 8:30-11 a.m. Wednesdays would be devoted entirely to remote learning and deep cleaning.
Should the county’s COVID-19 metrics necessitate altering plans, Urbana would “pivot back to remote learning immediately.”
Most middle and high school students, meanwhile, would continue with remote learning, administrators said, citing the extensive planning needed to execute a hybrid schedule at those levels and the start of the semester being a more “natural break” for coursework.
District officials also plan to devote a chunk of tonight’s meeting to sharing the results of a survey of students about how remote learning is going from their perspective.
The packet for the meeting includes the results of a survey of 485 staff members, who were asked about their comfort level in returning to work at the start of the second quarter for a transitional hybrid in-person model.
At the district level, 39 percent expressed some level of comfort while 61 percent had some level of discomfort.
At the elementary level, it was 37 percent comfort and 63 percent discomfort.