The Illinois State University Lab Schools are following Unit 5 and District 87 in telling parents and families the fall term will start with online classes.
Barb Meyer, acting director of the Lab Schools, has sent a letter to Metcalf and University High School parents that cited rising coronavirus cases in the state and nation as a reason to set aside a whole summer’s worth of planning and begin remote learning Aug. 17, the day ISU classes also begin.
The lab schools have about 1,000 students, who also serve as a testing ground for ISU students in the College of Education.
Meyer said she realizes the decision just seven days before school begins will create challenges for parents and students, but school officials did not make the decision lightly.
Faculty will use three teacher institute and planning days next week for additional planning on delivering course material, said Meyer. Individual teachers will communicate with their classes about remote learning expectations and guidance once the teachers assess their needs, said Meyer.
The letter holds out the possibility of moving to a blended model of course delivery at the start of the second quarter. That mid-October time frame also is when Unit 5 and District 87 will assess the strength of the pandemic and make further decisions about the rest of the year.
The lab schools not only offer instruction to K-12 students, they are a proving ground for teaching candidates in the ISU College of Education. Those university students also will be required to adjust to new methods of experiencing clinicals and delivering test lessons and student teaching.
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