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100 students return to Mercer County schools for in-school learning
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100 students return to Mercer County schools for in-school learning

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ALEDO — The Mercer County Board of Education met Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the Intermediate School for its regular meeting and received an update on the Return to Learn processes for schools. The district started its regular school year Aug. 17, with second semester beginning Monday, Oct. 19.

Scott Petrie, superintendent, told the board that around 100 students had returned to schools Monday, bringing the total to around 1,000 in-school students and 300 fully remote learners.

Returning students have given the schools some challenges, especially at the high school in regards to the 6-foot distancing protocol. The district has responded by hiring extra bus monitors, custodians and school nurses to help deal with any problems. Mercer County schools may have to institute an every-other-day schedule in the future.

The district has had six students and/or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Currently we average about two staff and 70 students per day that are in quarantine due to symptoms,” Petrie said. Students are put on quarantine based on symptoms such as headache or upset stomach. Students who become quarantined are causing any of their siblings to be quarantined, Petrie said.

Additional safety procedures such as more hand washing is being encouraged. The board voted to hire three more long-term substitute teachers: Cassandra Bieri, Angie Zeitler and Mary Pat Rush. The board also approved the retirement of Madge Britton, bus dispatcher

The board also approved board president Julie Wagner as the district’s delegate for the upcoming annual Illinois Association of School Board conference, which will be held virtually on Nov. 20.

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