LA GRANGE HIGHLANDS, IL — The La Grange Highlands School District 106 board decided this week to go fully remote in the fall. This has upset many parents, who are signing an online petition. As of Friday morning, more than 230 people have signed it.

During Tuesday’s school board meeting, the administration presented a “hybrid” plan to return to school, in which students would have a mix of in-person and remote days. But after deliberations, the board decided to go entirely remote. It cited the need to keep students safe and healthy.

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But the board left the door open for in-person classes.

“After listening to community response, we will hold a special (school board) meeting next week to discuss the administration’s plans for remote learning,” the board said in a statement Thursday. “We will also consider if ongoing discussions improve the viability of the hybrid option.”

The district serves more than 900 elementary and middle school students in unincorporated La Grange Highlands and a part of Western Springs.

Many area school districts are choosing hybrid models as they decide how to proceed during the pandemic.

The parents’ petition said the current positivity rate for area coronavirus tests is well below the 10 percent threshold. At that level, the petition said, some form of in-person learning is deemed appropriate.

“The board voted after listening to emotionally charged, subjective testimonies primarily from teachers. There was no vetting or fact checking. Individuals were free to say whatever they wanted,” the petition said.

In a phone interview, parent Nicole Spreck said many in the community are opposed to going fully remote. She said that while she could appreciate the concern about the coronavirus, the administration provided a detailed plan for social distancing.

“It’s unfortunate the board made decisions without a medical professional,” Spreck said. “This is our kids’ future.”

This article originally appeared on the La Grange Patch

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