D308 Parents Organize Car Rally To Demand Reopening Of Schools

OSWEGO, IL — Before the Oswego School District 308 Board of Education votes on the reopening plans Monday evening, a group of parents, teachers and students from the district will participate in a rally, demanding that children be sent back to in-person learning.

Organized by the Facebook group called Rally to Open SD308 for All Students, this event will see cars decorated with signs, asking the district to reconsider its prior decision and send students back to school earlier. The rally will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, giving participants enough time to go back home and watch the board of education meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

“We understand the effects that Covid-19 has had on you and your family but, we BELIEVE that the in-person education outweighs the risk from Covid-19 and remote learning,” the group description on Facebook states.

The group also created an online petition, which currently has 769 signatures.

“We, the parents, teachers, family, and students of SD 308 who want In-Person learning, are calling for the immediate return to school with NO MORE DELAYS,” the petition reads. “We believe parents/guardians of SD308 should have the OPTION to CHOOSE In-Person Learning.”
The group is also asking for more in-person instructional time than the current remote model and the proposed hybrid model provide.

The majority of the district’s students have been participating in online instruction since the start of the school year last August. According to the district’s current reopening plan, general education and special education elementary and early childhood students are set to enter hybrid learning Jan. 19. General and special education junior high students, along with high school students in self-contained special education classes, will begin Jan. 25. General education high school students would begin hybrid learning Feb. 1.

Under the current hybrid plan, students would be divided into groups that would alternate in-person for half of the school day, and would finish their days in remote learning throughout the week.

In a letter to parents on Jan. 3, Superintendent John Sparlin said that the district is looking at ways to bring older students into the hybrid learning plan sooner than scheduled, as well as to increase hours of in-person learning.

Sparlin said this change is possible because the metrics will shift from what was recommended by health experts in the fall, such as monitoring community spread, to a focus on consistent and correct use of the mitigation strategies in each school, cases connected to school transmission, staff availability, and PPE supply.

This article originally appeared on the Oswego Patch

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