Elk Grove Village school welcomes students back for in-person learning

More suburban school districts are pulling the plug on in-person learning and opting to start the year remotely.

The first day of school had a whole new look at Queen of the Rosary in Elk Grove Village. Teachers with thermometers and hand sanitizer welcomed students back Monday. But schools in Lincoln Way, Lockport, Downers Grove, New Lenox and more switched suddenly to all remote learning, with many school leaders blaming the state health department.

A letter Monday to Lemont High School parents said, "We cannot begin in-person learning without knowing the IDPH metrics for safely reopening schools."

Some of the districts pointed to new state guidelines about quarantine protocols, testing and close contact as making it too tough for a big district to open in-person or even impossible.

Governor JB Pritzker's office responded by saying in part, "Because no two school districts are the same, the state's guidance seeks to account for the vast diversity of Illinois’ 852 school districts."