Return to Remote for East Students


D303’s high school calendar for the month of December, detailing the full remote schedule.

Katie Kempff, Editor-in-Chief

In mid-November, District 303 parents received the call that many had been expecting: “In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and our community, all students in District 303 will participate in full remote instruction from November 30 through December 18”. This means that students will not return to the building for in-person instruction until after winter break. 

This is the third change in plans thus far in the 2020-2021 school year. At the beginning of this academic year, East opted for a fully remote model. The district then transitioned to a hybrid model in mid-October. However, due to a recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Illinois, District 303 announced that all of its students will participate in full remote instruction from November 30 until December 18.

The schedule for each school day in this fully remote period mirrors the schedule from the hybrid model, rather than reverting back to the schedule from the previous remote plan. East students are continuing with a block schedule, attending odd and even classes every other day from 7:20-12:15 (Tuesday-Friday). On Mondays, students have “full days,” which means they observe the normal school hours of 7:20-2:30. 

Many students have mixed feelings about returning to remote instruction. Faith Amedeo is a freshman whose first experience at East is during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think the way that the district has handled remote, hybrid, and in-person learning has been unclear and a bit chaotic at times,” Amedeo says.  

Amedeo feels that the frequent schedule changes have been confusing for both students and parents, even though she is sure that the district is doing their best in the current situation. 

Alexis DiOrio is another freshman who says she has struggled with fully remote learning. 

“Fully remote has made it a lot harder for me to pay attention in classes and to learn as well,” DiOrio says. “It’s been a lot harder to have motivation to do work since so everything is so much more laid back.” 

DiOrio says that fully remote learning is also difficult because she can’t see her friends and teachers. “[During the hybrid days] I looked forward to going to school and seeing everyone and interacting with people. I feel like I got to know my teachers better and I understood work better.”

There are some positives to the return to remote learning, though. Amedeo says she is grateful to have “less of a risk of getting COVID” while at home. Many students have shared this sentiment throughout the year. For some students, this full remote shift was not a change at all, as they had made the decisions to stay home even during the hybrid model.  

DiOrio has found some positives to the new model as well, even if she would prefer to be at school. She says that she is happy to “spend more time with her family” while she is at home. 

In the coming weeks, it is likely that the school schedule will change yet again. With the possibility of a vaccine in the near future, it is impossible to predict when East students will be permitted to return to campus, and in what capacity.