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Orion schools mull return to remote learning model
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Orion schools mull return to remote learning model

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Orion High School

Orion High School, Orion, Illinois

WHAT WE KNOW: The Orion school district is on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday in-person attendance schedule.

WHAT'S NEW: The board on Wednesday discussed a possible return to remote learning.

One person is out at both Orion Middle and Orion High schools for COVID-19; 38 are out at C.R. Hanna grade school, isolating due to possible exposure; 14 at Orion Middle School; and 24 at Orion High School. 

The board concluded Superintendent Joe Blessman had the authority to decide. Most of the discussion involved the wisdom of canceling school the Monday after Thanksgiving because of the two-to five-day incubation period of COVID-19. Board member Brandon Cooper said he was in a unique position because he has family members who are educators. "I feel like we need to consider going 100% remote to be a part of the bigger fix of fixing the problem in this area," he said. "My concern is I feel like we're almost treating our teachers and our staff as sacrificial lambs."

WHAT'S NEXT: The board approved the 2020 property tax levy of $6,775,100, a 4.7% increase over last year. Total equalized assessed valuation is $160,085,000, which is up 3.8% over last year's $154,250,000. Blessman said the tax rate will remain the same, and the additional revenue could be from higher assessments or new construction.

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