District 99 creates task force for full in-person learning


Luc Alvarez

The task force consists of students, staff, parents and teachers.

With the release of vaccines and the COVID-19 positivity rate staying under 10%, District 99 has put together a task force to determine what going back into full in-person learning should look like.

District 99 Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele explains the reasoning behind forming a task force made up of students, staff and teachers.

“We believe that multiple perspectives could help us better understand the concerns across the district,” Thiele said.

Each member of the task force is there to share their thoughts and concerns about in-person learning. While there is a variety of perspectives, junior student representative Edie Pawlak comments on the lack of underclassmen on the task force.

“I was surprised that they didn’t include any underclassmen though… I only recognized juniors and seniors and I think the lack of younger representation was interesting,” Pawlak said.

Even though there are only upperclassmen on the task force, the district still is taking students’ opinions into consideration. Junior student representative Delaney Madiar explains her position on the new learning options.

“I personally would love to be in-person for all eight periods a day, but with the circumstances we are in, it is not possible at the moment. I am very open to any of the potential schedules, but I know that having to coordinate lunch areas for students could be challenging. I support coming in-person for four classes a day, but believe that whatever decision the district makes will center around the safety of our community,” Madir said.

English teacher Courtney Linnemeyer, a representative on the task force, explains why she prefers students to come back in-person.

“It’s much easier to provide individual help/support to students when they are in person. I can begin to gauge whether or not students understand what I am teaching based on their facial expressions or by doing a quick sweep of the room to see how they are progressing on an activity,” Linnemeyer said.

Currently, the district is considering four different learning options explained in a student survey. These changes will be implemented beginning on April 6. Go to the District 99 “Guide for 2020-21” for changes about in-person learning and safety guidelines.