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Students ready to start the Spring semester

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Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) -- District 87 will continue in-person learning in the Spring semester but not until they've had two weeks of virtual learning.

"Two weeks would be a little bit better of a timeframe it just buys us more time. Those numbers have been creeping up in our county and in our city to cities here in Bloomington, Normal. So, I'm hopeful that that makes a difference by the time we come back on January 19," said District 87 Superintendent, Barry Rielly.

New this semester, students in grades 7th-12th can now join the rest of the district in actual classrooms.

That brings the percentage of those learning virtually versus in-person to 50-50.

"I have no doubt that as we continue to move forward, we feel that we have a really good plan in place but it wouldn't surprise me if, as we go we might have to assess and reassess and tweak things as we move forward," said Reilly.

He said his staff deep cleans multiple times a day and students have been receptive to new procedures like mask wearing.

Now at Peoria Public Schools, students are starting back virtual there as well.

They come back to the hybrid model on Jan. 19.

"One of the things that I've learned is that I've noticed that with positivity. Positivity numbers are significantly lower than our community numbers. And of course we have a so many good mitigations and precautions embedded in our plan," said Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, superintendent of Peoria Public Schools.

Upon returning, testing will be a main focus.

"Every day kids will be tested. The idea is to test everyone on an ongoing basis and then we have the PCR test," said Dr. Kherat.

In both districts, if you don't want your student returning to the classroom, remote learning will still be an option.

Alex Menke

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