Suburban School Districts Struggle With Staffing

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- As suburban school districts finalize their return-to-school plans, some are facing new challenges.

Wheaton District 200 and Elmhurst District 205 represent a minority of school districts planning to start the year with hybrid learning.

Students will attend school both online and in-person, with the option to be fully remote. 

In Elmhurst, a majority of parents opted to have children learn in-person, but the same can’t be said for teachers. 

District 205 Superintendent David Moyer sent a letter to families explaining the district doesn’t have enough teachers committed to report to work to support any form of in person-learning.

"As of today, D205 does not have a sufficient number of teachers who are committed to report to work on August 24, 2020, in order to fully support any form of in-person learning. We are committed to ensuring compliance with ISBE, IDPH and CDC guidance for a safe return to in-person learning, and equally committed to allaying the ETC’s concerns related to the District’s ability to adhere to health and safety regulations and guidance. To this end, we are negotiating with the ETC, and we are making every effort to get the ETC leadership to commit to criteria for returning to in-person instruction if possible."

Even districts starting fully remote are dealing with staffing issues. 

Highland Park Township High School District 113 is starting the year fully remote with the exception of a freshman orientation held this week – in person Wednesday at Deerfield High School and virtually Friday at Highland Park High School.

The Lake News Sun reported a staff member at Highland Park High School tested positive for COVID-19 days before the orientation.

School District 113 is now working with the Lake County Health Department to notify those who may have been in close contact, though it’s not believed any students are at risk. 

Elmhurst District 205 is scheduled to hold a school board meeting Tuesday night at 7 p.m.