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B-N public schools are closed Friday: District 87 due to COVID, and Unit 5 for weather

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Emily Bollinger
/
WGLT
The Unit 5 school district said it would shift to an E-Learning Day (remote learning) on Friday. Students should not report to school in person. Unit 5 said this was "due to forecasted temperatures and wind chills."

All District 87 schools will be closed on Friday due to staff issues caused by COVID-19. Unit 5 students will be learning remotely Friday for a different reason: the weather.

The moves affect 17,000 children and their families.

The Bloomington-based District 87 school district notified parents Thursday and posted the information to its Facebook page.

"Due to the number of COVID cases and quarantines across the community that is impacting our ability to staff our buildings safely and appropriately, all District 87 schools will be closed on Friday, January 7th. The use of this as an emergency day will move the last day of student attendance to Thursday, May 26th."

In an additional email to WGLT, Superintendent Barry Reilly underscored the role of COVID in the decision and added "there is no remote or E learning tomorrow for D87."

School leaders raised the possibility of staffing issues earlier in the week, as students returned from winter break.

On Monday — before classes even resumed — district data showed 21 staffers had tested positive for the virus, three were quarantining due to COVID-like symptoms, and two unvaccinated staffers were in isolation after close contact to a COVID-positive person — meaning there were 26 staffers in the district who were already out of commission.

Unit 5, Olympia districts shift to E-Learning Day

Meanwhile, the larger Unit 5 school district said it would shift to an E-Learning Day (remote learning) on Friday. Students should not report to school in person. Unit 5 said this was "due to forecasted temperatures and wind chills."

Indeed, there is a wind chill advisory in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday. Very cold wind chills are expected, as low as 15 below zero.

Any Unit 5 student who would like to pick up a sack lunch (sandwich, fruit, vegetable, milk) can do so from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Normal West High School. Please drive behind the school for curbside pickup.

Coaches and extra curricular sponsors will contact their groups regarding practices and events.

The Olympia Community Unit School District, which serves areas including Danvers, Stanford and Atlanta, will also move to an e-learning day due to the weather, according to a district announcement that added officials are "sorry for the inconvenience but feel as if these extreme wind chills warrant an e-Learning Day."

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