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  • Writer's pictureOpenNewTrier

Important new details about our Nov. 14th rally

Join us at OpenNewTrier’s rally/news conference on Saturday, November 14, as we let the school board, the administration, and the teachers’ union know that we want our classrooms to open safely and responsibly – and to stay open. Mark the date on your calendar if you haven’t done so already.  What: OpenNewTrier’s “Half a Day, Every Day” Rally Why: To advocate for a half a day, every day in-class option for New Trier High School Where: New Trier High School’s West Campus, 7 N Happ Rd, Northfield, IL 60093 When: Saturday, November 14. 10 a.m.

Our collective voice has already had an impact. The New Trier board has announced that school will finally reopen next week under the district's original hybrid plan, starting at 25% capacity. We thank them for opening the classrooms again. However, while the district’s announcement is good news, there are still four key reasons why supporters of OpenNewTrier must continue to work together:

  1. Last time, New Trier classrooms were open for only one week before closing again. That shutdown occurred even as many neighboring districts were expanding their reopening plans.

  2. We know the unions don’t want New Trier to reopen at all. Union members made their opinions clear in the latest board meeting, which you can watch here (starting at minute 2:50).

  3. The district’s 25% hybrid plan simply doesn't deliver an effective educational experience when kids are in near-empty classrooms for just four days in one month.

  4. We need teachers back in the classroom. Too many are still teaching remotely through Zoom.

What we need is our schools to be open for the parents and students that want that choice. According to the district’s own poll, 88% of parents expressed “importance of having in-person school” (52:40). Our goal is to advocate for an option that puts children in the classroom, with teachers physically present, for half a day, every day. One half of NT students go in the morning, the other half in the afternoon.

Some districts in our area already operate under a similar setup, including Glenbrook HSD 225, which has been operating a half-day, every day model for a few weeks. Other smaller districts or schools are operating full schedules, 5 days a week (i.e. Regina, Sears). For what other districts are doing, see the board meeting video at 1:12:15. With cases of COVID-19 on the rise and fears of another state lockdown growing, it’s more important than ever for parents to come together and show we are confident in our administration’s ability to reopen and keep students, teachers and parents safe. That’s especially true now that the administration has invested in a new saliva-screening test that will better protect the NTHS community. Daily in-class learning can be made safe for all, but it must not interfere with the online-only option for the parents and students that need it. It’s critical to protect that option, too.

Join us next Saturday as we let our voices be heard in a safe, civil and responsible way.

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