Burr Ridge, Elmhurst school districts plan for return to full-time in-person learning

BURR RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Students at Pleasantdale Middle School in Burr Ridge get their temperature checked automatically by a DuthermX system on their way in every day.

A green light indicates that they have a normal temperature.

According to administrators, it has helped them in their efforts to move from a hybrid schedule to full time beginning next month.

"Safety is number one from the beginning... hybrid mode," said Griffin Sonntag, Pleasantdale Middle School principal.

While school for many students in the last year has mostly involved sitting in front of a computer screen at home, educators in some districts are aggressively moving toward more in-person learning. Doctors say studies show it can be done safely.

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" We've had a lot of evidence to suggest transmission of Covid between students is very low," said Dr. Zachary Rubin of Oakbrook Allergists.

Dr. Zachary Rubin consulted Elmhurst's District 205 on their plans to bring early elementary school kids back to full time in-person learning by the middle of this month.

Their superintendent, Dave Moyer said this is the first step to bring all students who choose to come back full-time.

"When you start to weight all the factors with the learning implications.. the best path forward," said Moyer.

Moyer said a number of parents have chosen to keep their kids at home doing remote learning out of safety concerns but others have been lobbying the district to bring the kids back to class.

Becca Harpster has children in third and sixth grade.

"I just think the connections with the teacher in-person not through a screen can be helpful," said Harpster.

According to the district, one of the factors that helps them increase the amount of in-person learning is the safety of teachers. Elmhurst teachers began getting the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
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