State board of education updates COVID guidelines for schools

Over 700 west suburban students had to quarantine last week due to possible COVID-19 exposure, according to the Naperville School District 203 website.

Video Transcript

CATE CAUGUIRAN: Well, Cheryl and Alan, the major recommendation from the State School Board of Education is that students should be back in classrooms as soon as possible, but parents we spoke with tonight are wondering will their districts listen. The Illinois State Board of Education and Department of Public Health gave the OK for students to go back to in-person learning today.

NGOZI EZIKE: It's a very controlled setting. And again, we have not seen lots of transmission within the school.

CATE CAUGUIRAN: The state also changing social distancing rules for schools. IDPH says as little as three feet is safe when teachers are fully vaccinated. School superintendents across the area say the new guidelines offer more logistical flexibility.

DAVID SCHILLER: Hands down, I mean, teachers want kids back in classrooms. We certainly want kids back in classrooms.

SCOTT ROWE: Some seismic changes in terms of how we're going to operate schools, which is exciting. It's a good step in the right direction.

CATE CAUGUIRAN: These parents and school board candidates in the Western suburbs have been advocating for in-person learning. Tonight, they hope their districts will take notice.

PAT PADIYAR: We want the option of going back to school full-time, 5 days a week, because we know it's possible.

MICHELLE CASILE: And I'm hoping that this is it. That now we can start looking at some of-- at this guidance specifically, and say, OK, how can we bring more in?

SHANNON ADCOCK: So much has been lost, and we can't go back in time and get it. But going forward, we need to harness this opportunity.

ADAM RUSSO: We're not going to let perfect be the enemy of good. There's a way to do this, and let's start making some common-sense decisions to do what's best for kids.

CATE CAUGUIRAN: These new guidelines will still allow for remote learning to be an option for students who have an increased risk of severe illness or who lives with someone who does.