Hybrid learning plan depends on COVID numbers in January


Peter Meyer

Students in Project Lead the Way Principles of Engineering class work in the classroom with Greg Geiger on some of their assignments. Some of the students from the CTE classes came to school first semester to work socially distanced with the teachers.

COVID-19 cases have risen exponentially as the holiday season hits, and the return to school at Grayslake North is questionable again. January 19 is the scheduled date for going back to school with a hybrid plan, but with cases on the rise and no way to account for students who see others outside of their household, there is uncertainty on returning in January.

“We hope to have everything go as planned and go hybrid in January, but right now we have to wait and see. Our decisions are all based on what the numbers are, and we work with the health department to see if we should even consider going hybrid,” said principal Dr. James Roscoe.

Since the holiday season has started, cases have risen, seemingly coordinating with get-togethers for special occasions.

“So far it has been bad since Halloween. Since August, we’ve had 21 positive cases reported from staff and students at North, with the last couple of weeks increasing. After Halloween, we started seeing cases come in starting November 9th,” said school nurse, Annie Swiatek. 

If cases aren’t under control, Lake County may go into lockdown to slow the spread, and school would remain remote until the situation is under control. 

“If people are being responsible, washing their hands, and wearing a mask, they’ll be okay. When we get back to hybrid, the school has plexiglass and cleaners in every room. There were no problems with getting back to school, as we were ready for it until the cases shot up again,” Swiatek said. 

The hybrid plan for North was supposed to go into action in December, and when the interest survey was sent out to families, roughly 30 percent chose to stay remote, with the rest choosing to go hybrid. 

“As a school, we’ve been very cautious with activities we hold, and with everything we’ve done with contact days, such as students coming in who need extra help, there have been no cases at all or signs of it. We’re following all the safety protocol and taking this seriously,” Dr. Roscoe said. 

A meeting will be held to determine whether or not the hybrid plan will go into effect on January 19, but there is currently no date for the decision to be made.