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Evanston Skokie School District 65 is canceling classes this week due to insufficient staffing and support in the face of the COVID pandemic

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) – Evanston-Skokie School District 65 has canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday, so some parents are trying to arrange last-minute childcare.

The district sent a note to parents of pre-K through eighth grade students on Friday addressing inadequate staffing and support. Classes will resume on Monday, November 29th.

“I’m honest, my husband is a teacher and they disapprove of people having days off before and after the vacation or holiday,” said mother Sara Race. “And so I’m really surprised that it’s acceptable in District 65.”

“I think we could have known earlier if they had thought about it, yes,” said Larissa Tripp, who went to the Old Orchard Mall with her boys to spend a few hours. “But I sympathize with all the families who have younger children or have to work that are struggling these days.”

“I was really excited that we would have more days off, but I also feel sorry for the people who work,” said Matt Tripp, a sixth grader at Haven Middle School.

At the weekend, the district admitted that the short-term termination of the extended vacation would put the carers in a bind.

“This decision was made in the interests of both the safety and the mental health of our team,” said District Superintendent Devon Horton.

School district officials believed they would not have enough staff or replacements for the students. But all D65 students in Chute, Haven and Nichols will have several days of pickup meals available Monday from 8:30 am to 10:30 am, district officials said.

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As a result of the decision, the district has to extend its school year by two days. The last day of school for K-8 students is now Wednesday, June 8th, until no additional emergency days are used. The last day for JEH students is June 6th.

District officials urged community members to respect and understand the decision, saying, “Stress causes burnout and people are juggling personal and professional responsibilities and a variety of challenges catalyzed by the pandemic. As an organization, we need to acknowledge this and directly support them, responsible for learning and caring for our students, and giving them this time and opportunity. “

There are several reports that teachers may have responded to their union’s embassies, the District Educators Council of District 65, Monday and Tuesday because of the challenges of COVID-19 and the issues related to teaching other than Mental Health Days to release.

ABC7 emailed and called the union and even went to union offices for a response but received nothing.

“Of course everyone is tired. Everyone works a lot, but … what about the students, what are they going to do? How are they supposed to study?” said Monte Monaco, who wants the students back to schools. “It seems a bit of a strong arm, a Mafia boss in a way … you know, you tell your people, ‘Hey, if you showed up let everyone know and find out it seems kind of suspicious, Is not it?”

ABC7’s calls to Evanston and Skokie District 65 for further comments were also unanswered.

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