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Charleston school board to hear latest on district's reopening

Charleston school board to hear latest on district's reopening

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CHARLESTON — There are some COVID-19 cases among Charleston school district students and staff, but none of them was because of contacts at school.

District Superintendent Todd Vilardo said that will be part of a report the Charleston school board receives during its meeting Wednesday.

Vilardo said the report will update the board on the district's return to in-person school attendance after starting the year with remote learning only, a precaution because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted that, as of Dec. 9, there were eight students and one staff member in the district with COVID-19. That information is available on the district's website, charleston.k12.il.us.

Of those people with the virus, it appears that none of them were infected while at school or in a district building, Vilardo said.

"What we're doing appears to be working," he said.

With the approach of the district's holiday break, Vilardo also said the current plan is to continue with in-person attendance at least through the end of the school year's third quarter.

The holiday break begins next week and students return to school on Jan. 4. The end of the year's third quarter is March 26.

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Students returned to classes in school on Nov. 4, working through a plan that includes shortened attendance days, a continued mix of remote learning and the option for students to continue exclusively learning at home.

The board also received a report on the reopening during its meeting last month.

Meanwhile, votes scheduled for the board's meeting include formalizing an agreement with Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center to allow the hospital to use district buildings if needed.

Specifically, SBLHC would be able to utilize the west gym at Charleston High School in case of overcrowding or emergencies.

The move isn't directly related to the coronavirus pandemic but the virus outbreak did delay its consideration, district Assistant Superintendent Chad Burgett said. He said the district and the hospital first approached the agreement in February.

The board's meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the district's main office at 410 W. Polk Ave., but public attendance will be limited because of the pandemic.

Phone access to the meeting will be available by calling 1-415-655-0001. Some callers might be asked to enter a password or passwords: 1264107733 and 43677999.

Also, anyone with questions or comments about the meeting can send them by email to boardofeducation@charleston.k12.il.us before 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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Reporter

Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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