Jump in county COVID-19 cases prompts Bannockburn teachers to demand return to remote learning

Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read

Alarmed by the spike in COVID-19 cases in Lake County, teachers with Bannockburn School District 106 are demanding an immediate return to remote learning for students and staff.

Despite the Oct. 20 recommendation from the Lake County Health Department that all schools in the county should shift to virtual learning because of growing COVID-19 infection rates, the District 106 school board has not moved away from its decision earlier this month to keep the district’s sole school open for in-person instruction.

The board’s vote to continue in-person instruction was made against the advice of District 106 Superintendent Scott Herrmann, who has joined teachers in supporting the health department’s recommendation that Bannockburn pivot to remote learning due to increased community spread, according to the teachers union.

“By keeping the Bannockburn school building open, we are risking sickness, hospitalization and death in our community," the Bannockburn teachers union co-president Deb Kramer said in a Monday statement.

"Not adhering to the county guidelines is reckless. Disregarding the fact that the district could get sued by not adhering to the guidelines is fiscally reckless. We are asking the board to reconsider their decision to remain open for in-person learning and open when the county, state and CDC guidelines recommend opening the building,” Kramer said.

On Oct. 5, Bannockburn’s 21 teachers and 148 students in kindergarten through eighth grade moved to a hybrid instruction plan that features in-person learning five days a week, with a morning and afternoon cohort.

Bannockburn feeds into Deerfield High School, which along with Highland Park High School, Deerfield Elementary School District 109, and several other districts within Lake County, have closed school buildings, and resumed a fully remote learning plans for students.

Teachers plan to call for an immediate switch to remote learning for students and staff at the District 106 school board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.

kcullotta@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @kcullotta

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