Surge in Covid-19 cases causes Adaptive Pause


Illustration by Sneha Augustine

Anna Marquardt and Caroline Ohlandt

District 225 announced an Adaptive Pause, the closing of school to teachers and students, that is issued through Jan. 18, with hybrid instruction resuming the following day. The pause was created in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Superintendent Dr. Charles Johns said. 

As Covid-19 cases continue to increase rapidly both locally and nationwide, Johns explained that the district felt the Adaptive Pause was imperative.

 “Covid-19 cases in our community [are] rising at an alarming rate,” Johns said. “[The cases] had remained at the ‘substantial’ or the highest level for two weeks in both the Glenbrook zip codes and the Cook County North Health District.”

Johns expressed that the decision to transition to an Adaptive Pause was made with a heavy heart. The district had to consider many factors, including the Illinois Department of Public Health’s guidelines when considering moving to all e-learning. 

“An Adaptive Pause is not what we had hoped for, nor what we wanted to do; but it was necessary, according to public health entities, so that transmissions don’t become more of a catastrophe and overwhelm our health care system,” Johns said. 

Although South has returned to a full e-learning for the time being, senior Katie Durow expressed that her experience attending in-person classes was positive. She said that South did a very good job maintaining a safe environment for students in the building.

“Everyone [was] wearing masks so I [felt] pretty safe at school,” Durow said. “I [felt] safer at school than I would hanging out with a group of friends.”

Similarly, sophomore Alyssa Yagelski attended in-person learning when it was available. She felt that the precautions taken inside the building kept students safe, but worries that some may be ignoring the threats that Covid-19 poses.

“Some students have taken the virus seriously while others have not,” Yagelski said. “Within the building all students have followed directions, but outside the building I do not know how  responsible the student body is.”

 Similarly, senior William Hurley felt safe going to school when in-person classes were offered; however, he was disappointed by the district’s decision to transition into an Adaptive Pause. While he said that teachers are doing their best to provide a meaningful e-learning experience, e-learning has still been detrimental to his education. 

“In terms of the safety for teachers, so far high school teacher deaths are only in the double digits nationally and there is no evidence to suggest that most contracted Covid-19 at schools,” Hurley said. “GBS has the capacity to follow CDC guidelines and state guidelines when allowing all students back in person all day, and therefore should open immediately.”

Yagelski appreciates that the administration is taking Covid-19 very seriously, and trusts that the district will continue the Adaptive Pause for as long as necessary.  

“I feel that South has a good understanding of what is happening in the community and state, and I know they wouldn’t put students in danger,” Yagelski said. 

Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel acknowledged that student safety is of the greatest importance. She hopes that a vaccine will safely reunite the student body.

“If there’s any way that the availability of a vaccine means that we can safely hold large gatherings, I will be the first to say that we’ll find a way to do it,” Fagel said.