Press Release

LAKE FOREST – Tonight, the Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) will continue its call for an immediate switch to remote learning at the Lake Forest School District 115 Board of Education (BOE) meeting. The board is expected to vote tonight on whether, or not, to take what it is calling an “adaptive pause” to learning.

“The hypocrisy of this is really impossible to miss. On one hand, the board has been saying it’s safe for the building to remain open for in-person learning, but on the other, they will only hold virtual board meetings,” LFEA President Becca Schwartz said. “If the science matters enough to keep their board members safe, then it should matter enough to keep our students safe.”

On Thurs., Oct. 22, the BOE voted to keep the building open for in-person learning. On Tues., Oct. 20, the Lake County Health Department advised all schools in the county shift to virtual learning because of growing COVID-19 infection rates.

“For months, the board has said they will use COVID-19 metrics and data to guide their decision making. They’ve said they’ll follow the advice of the medical professionals in our community, but when it came down to it, the board president decided to do the exact opposite,” Schwartz said.

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.

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.

“It is not safe for a large number of students or staff to continue to come to the school. The board is literally risking lives,” Schwartz said. “We are not opposed to in-person learning, but we are absolutely against unsafe learning. We strongly believe we should be following the advice of the medical experts.”

Tonight’s special board meeting begins at 5 p.m. Several teachers and community members plan to virtually-pack the board meeting, make statements and push for a return to remote learning during the public comments. Here’s a link to join.

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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.