West Harvey-Dixmoor School District 147 prepares for school year, parents say they are skeptical

HARVEY, Ill. (WLS) -- Chromebooks and iPads have been programmed and are ready to be distributed to 1,000 West Harvey-Dixmoor School District 147 students.

"Our first six weeks of school will be full remote learning," said Johnetta Miller, the district superintendent.

Just a few short months ago, remote learning wasn't even possible. When schools closed in March, 75% of the student population did not have regular internet access.

Since March, Superintendent Miller has made it her mission to make sure every student has access and devices by the start of the school year.

"It's literally been non-stop, it's been seven days a week almost 24 hours, you are constantly working on a plan to get children back to school," Miller said.

First grade teacher Sparkle Rogers said she knows there will be challenges ahead, but is confident her students at King Elementary can learn outside of a classroom setting.

Online summer school classes gave the district a dry run to work out the kinks

"We are going to do what we can to get our students to where they need to be and make their safety and education and major drive for us," she said.

Some parents have said they are skeptical.

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"I don't have fear, but I do have fear. I'm trusting that everything is going to be alright, but once remote is over I'm going to let mine go indoors," said Yolanda Brown, a Harvey parent.

After six weeks of remote, the district plans to move to a hybrid model depending on COVID-19 numbers.

Challenges for a district does not end with internet access.

Miller said she needs to make sure there are enough resources to address families emotional and social needs, considering many parents may have lost their jobs during this time.
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