Downers Grove Superintendent asks for parent division to stop as district figures out virus plan


DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – There has been so much division in Downers Grove about how to open schools this fall that the superintendent had to publicly ask for it to stop.

Monday night, parents from District 99 showed their support for the school board’s current plan of hybrid learning, which is still being figured out.

Amy Romano is one of the parents who wants her senior daughter to get back to school.

“With remote learning, the teacher doesn’t know if my student hasn’t grasped the concept. Can’t read the facial cues, don’t see the interaction,” Romano said.

Figuring out how to go back to school safely has been on everyone’s mind since the pandemic began.

The Downers Grove Teachers Union President said whatever the board decides, they will do the best for their students.

“Unfortunately, none of us has a crystal ball here to help guide the way,” DGEA President Valerie Hardy said. “This situation is extremely stressful for all our stakeholders.”

The stress and anxiety has also caused some community members to lash out, threatening the board and teachers.

The superintendent implored them to stop.

“In the last few weeks, board members have been threatened, told if we die of COVID and our own children catch this horrible disease and die first. I asked it all to stop tonight,” Superintendent Henry Thiele said.

While the district plans to stick with hybrid learning, specific details of the plan have not been made available yet.


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