The likelihood of Neuqua going back online in second semester


Adam Hristov

A local sign shows a message to require people to wear face masks in the building.

As students rush back into the hallways of thirty-one schools throughout Indian Prairie School District 204 (IPSD 204), Semester 2 is not the only thing lurking around the corner. So is Omicron.

Although the beginning of Dec. 1, 2021 had a seven-day COVID infection count of 273 people within Will County, that number seems to have dilated resulting in this week’s average of 1,779 people infected. Taking these daunting numbers into account, Superintendent Talley sent an email on Wednesday Jan. 5, 2022, addressing parents’ and students’ concerns of IPSD 204 going back to remote learning. 

The message addresses  three main concerns for both families and the district: is remote an available option, transportation staffing issues through COVID and the containment of COVID.

Is Remote Learning an Available Option?

Superintendent Talley and district administrators have decided to continue with in-person learning for at least the week of January 10, yet it is not clear how long this decision will stay in effect; however, students and parents can expect for the verdict to last for a while as the district is legally constrained by the state education administration.

“As a school system in Illinois, we are not allowed to move to remote learning across the whole district. We are only allowed to provide remote learning at a specific school or at specific schools due to the number of positive cases of COVID-19 within a school or across some school,” states Talley.

So the answer is no: remote learning is currently not an available option for either the teachers to implement or the students to choose.

Transportation Issues

For the whole of this school year, there have constantly been transportation issues due to the lack of bus drivers throughout the district. On top of low bus employment (due to COVID), constant strikes and resignations have left many students without transportation to school on many days, generating frustration for parents, teachers and students alike. Without a remote as an option and lack of transportation, students’ education is suffering.

“We are closely monitoring any staffing issues in our school or transportation providers… If there are any issues impacting our schools or our buses, we will inform you of the impact,” promises Talley.

COVID Containment

Due to required in-person learning, a jump in COVID infection rates and students coming back from winter break, it is imperative that students and parents take precautions to prevent the spread of viral infection and maintain faculty and student safety. 

“We are asking all people to monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and either not go to school or not send your children to school if you are aware of any symptoms,” says Talley.

Furthermore, the school is not required to make students take COVID tests before returning to school so self-awareness of infection should be highlighted.

As COVID cases continue to fluctuate, the District Board promises to take specific actions parallel to the severity of fluctuation. Every two weeks, the Board states that they will change mitigation and prevention strategies in line with COVID undulations. For more information on the amount of COVID infection cases in the District and any major updates, please visit