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Unit 5 Superintendent looks back on pandemic year; says traditional learning coming in the fall

BLOOMINGTON (WJBC) – After almost a year at the helm of the Unit 5 school district, one local Superintendent is looking back on a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unit 5 Superintendent Dr. Kristen Weikle joined Unit 5 last July, before the COVID-19 pandemic. After less than a year of running the district, Wiekle said she’s breathing a sigh of relief that the school year is coming to a close.

“I’m extremely grateful for the flexibility and really how resilient our students are. But our students were flexible, our families, our staff. I felt like that was kind of a keyword for the school year that we just finished and wrapped up was flexibility, resiliency, pivoting. You know, maybe people didn’t like every decision, but they, you know, did what they needed to do to meet students’ needs, and I’m eternally grateful for that.”

As for next year, Weikle told WJBC’s Scott Miller, she thinks next year would bring a more traditional school year with students conducting in-person learning.

“Based on what we know today, June 3rd., we expect it to look more like a typical year in that students will be in person five days a week; regular school hours, and most students will be in-person. There will be probably less than one percent of our population that may qualify for remote instruction…We know a lot of students in McLean County, ages 12-18, have been getting the vaccine. We encourage people to continue to do so. If you are identified as close contact, you are fully vaccinated and not showing symptoms; you will not have to quarantine.

Weikle added that the district still requires wearing masks unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not to.

She added that around 1,000 students would participate in summer school learning to take a class they could not fit into their schedules next fall.

The district honored graduating seniors last weekend by holding 35 different graduation ceremonies.

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