Illinois schools to suspend in-person instruction for the 2019-2020 school year

Governor Pritzker announced on Friday that all Illinois schools would suspend in-person learning for the remainder for the 2019-2020 school year. Remote learning will be in place for IPSD students until May 28. 

Pritzker’s decision comes on the heels of new information about the novel coronavirus. While the rate of infection in Illinois is decreasing at an encouraging rate, Pritzker acknowledges that it would be difficult to have large amounts of students interacting with each other on a daily basis. Due to the flattening of the infection curve, health officials do not believe Illinois has hit the peak yet as infections will be spread out over time.

“My priority remains the same: how do we save the most lives?” Pritzker said. 

Guidance regarding grades from the Illinois State Board of Education will remain the same, focusing on using grades for feedback rather than for compliance. School districts have the option to either provide paper packets or on-line assignments, but are encouraged to check in with students daily.

Dr.Carmen Ayala, superintendent of education, and Donna Leak, Vice Chair of the ISBE, commented on changes to the school system. They outlined the state’s guidelines for transition back into the school environment and how to best support students emotionally and academically.

Pritzker took the time to acknowledge seniors specifically who are missing out on traditional rites of passage, and students and staff across the state for adapting to the changes. 

“To our high school seniors, who are leaving this phase of their teen years behind, I know you are feeling sad. You will go on to do amazing things. I am very very proud of you,” Pritzker said.