Waukegan parents demand remote learning amid growing number of COVID-19 infections

Calls for a "sick out" at a Waukegan elementary school have been set aside after the school superintendent agreed to meet with parents.

Parents at Glenwood Elementary School were calling for all parents to keep their kids home to protest COVID-19 policies.

They want the option of keeping their children home for remote learning in the face of a growing number of infections at the school.


Their concern is that they are hearing from other parents about positive COVID-19 cases in their own children's classrooms and not getting it firsthand from the administration.

One first grade mom claims half of her child's class was quarantined and she had no idea until her child tested positive. She says the whole class is under quarantine.

The school district confirms remote learning is offered only to children who are at special health risk.

But community advocate Julie Contreras says transparency is key since these children are too young to be vaccinated.


"We're not arguing vaccine, non-vaccine. We're talking about human life. We want to save lives," Contreras said. "That's why we're saying this because when that contaminated, maybe asymptomatic child comes home, grandma is there and mom who may have a chronic condition or dad, that's a death sentence. We're trying to stop COVID in its tracks. And it's going to begin with being a responsible school district."

But the district says it's relying on the advice of health professionals from the Lake County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC.

A spokesperson for the Waukegan Community School District 60, Nicholas Alajakis, said "from August 12, the first day of classes, Glenwood School has had 5 … covid cases (as of Friday)."

He said the school has about 700 students and staff members.

A statement from the district explains how the school district determines who to notify about Covid cases.

"Our District has a process in which we contact parents when there is a COVID case in a building. General COVID notification emails are sent to all parents at a school whenever a staff or student in the building tests positive. The notifications are general and among other things, they detail how many people have tested positive, and what dates those persons were in the building when potentially contagious. The notifications do not give information about an individual's class or work assignments, in order to protect the individual's privacy. These emails are sent out after our contact tracers complete their building impact investigation. A parent or staff member receives separate personal phone calls if our contact tracers determine they are close contacts. If parents are not receiving these email messages we always encourage them to reach out to their school to ensure their contact information is up to date."

Accommodation Requests for Masking and Attendance