LAKE FOREST – Today, the Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) is calling for Lake Forest High School to switch its focus back to remote learning. This announcement comes after the Lake Forest School District 115 Board of Education (BOE) voted Thursday night to keep the building open for in-person learning. On Tuesday, the Lake County Health Department advised that all schools in the county shift to virtual learning because of growing COVID-19 infection rates.
“This is about the safety of our students, our staff and our community. The medical professionals are saying it’s not safe to stay open. We told the administrative team that the LFEA would expect the district to listen to the county recommendation,” LFEA President Becca Schwartz said. “The board chose to ignore our administration and the professionals. Instead, they held a last-minute meeting and without discussing the topic in an open forum, our board president decided to keep the building open.”
The LFEA represents 158 teachers, social workers, psychologists and counselors in District 115, providing an education to the more than 1600 students of Lake Forest High School.
“We are calling for transparency. Our students, parents and teachers deserve to know what metrics the district is using to determine if school buildings should be open or closed. We are now asking for the metrics in writing,” Schwartz said. “If they’re not going to follow the recommendation of medical professionals, then we’d like to know what exactly their protocol is. Studies and data show high schools can be super spreader locations when the positivity rate is high in the community. It’s science.”
Currently, freshmen and sophomores are attending in-person classes at Lake Forest High School. Juniors and Seniors were scheduled to start hybrid learning plans, but now will continue remote learning.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.