District 87 Superintendent focusing on building relationships with students online

District 87 Superintendent Dr. Barry Reilly spoke with WJBC’s Scott Miller about e-learning. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Blake Haas

BLOOMINGTON – Although students are not in classrooms due to COVID-19, one local superintendent said his goal is to continue to build relationships with students virtually.

“What I can tell you is that when this hit and we went off of school, we really tried to focus on a couple of things, one was to continue developing relationships with kids and keep that intact,” District 87 Superintendent Dr. Barry Reilly told WJBC’s Scott Miller. “We wanted teachers to connect whether that was through emails through zoom meetings, packets that were sent home, we just wanted those relationships to continue.”

Superintendent Reilly said he’s thankful for teachers around the district who made a smooth transition to online learning.

“Our teachers scrambled to make that happen. Because e-learning as we know it was never meant to be for an extended period of time. Remember it was really for five emergency days that we usually had due to whether. Now we are looking at a much longer period of time. We want to keep the relationships and continuity going.”

On March 13, Gov. Pritzker announced all schools in Illinois would be closed until April 7.

“I’m not optimistic that we will return on April 8, I fully expect that this is get extended longer,” Reilly added. “I think as we begin to let that sink in, we will prepare for a longer period of time. The state right now is working on providing us with guidance.”

Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.


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