Mix of emotions as more Chicago area schools revert to online learning

There are disappointed and frustrated families as more local schools revert to remote learning.

The DuPage County Health Department is now recommending that all schools in that county go remote, and District 203 in Naperville just scrapped plans to have students return to class.

Just two weeks ago, District 205 in Elmhurst was the first in DuPage County to welcome all students back to campus for hybrid learning. Well, that did not last long. Starting Wednesday, they revert to remote learning at the recommendation of the health department.

“We were hoping to go back full time and the fact that we’re going back full remote is unfortunate,” said parent Nathan Gray.

“Even though you knew it would happen, it still felt abrupt but it’s the safest thing, so what are you going to do?” said parent Kristie Hudzik.

In Elmhurst, it is not cases within schools specifically but the community. The health department in DuPage raised the community transmission level from moderate to substantial.

With these escalating numbers, the DuPage County Health Department says it is challenging for schools to prevent transmission.

The rising overall numbers is also keeping new trier high school remote this week and pushing Deerfield District 109 in Lake County to switch back to remote learning -- the same day they announced two new COVID cases.

“The numbers have just been climbing and we felt this was a move that put safety and our students’ best interests first,” said Eric Steckling of Deerfield Public Schools District 109.

As COVID cases went up 50 percent in a week, Deerfield's mayor blasted "large parties" and "groups of maskless youth" -- writing "we can do better than this."

“We have had some parents and other community members reach out to us to express frustration and disappointment at seeing activities that you know might be considered unsafe,” said Steckling.

So in these different districts, the message is the same: to get kids back in school, everyone must help get the numbers down.