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Illinois official suggests school closures could extend through the end of the academic year, report says

Illinois Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz said an order shuttering school buildings across the state could be extended through the end of the school year.

Second grade students at Roswell B. Mason Elementary School on the South Side.
Second grade students at Roswell B. Mason Elementary School on the South Side.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

An Illinois official suggested Wednesday that schools could remain closed through the end of the school year, a decision that could leave 2.2 million students and their teachers continuing remote learning for the next month or two.

Illinois Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz said in a press call that the suspension of in-person instruction for all schools, which began March 17, could be extended through the end of the school year, the Daily Herald reported.

Ruiz, talking about the state’s applications for federal waivers from testing, said “it became clear that suspension of in-person instruction would extend beyond the initial two-week announcement and most likely again through the end of the school year.”

He said an announcement is expected by the end of the week, according to the Daily Herald.

Ruiz made his comments on the same call the College Board said it was canceling the SAT college entrance exam on June 6.

Illinois schools have been closed since March 17, with the initial two-week closure later extended to April 30. While the Chicago Public Schools academic year isn’t scheduled to end until June 18, many suburban districts finish classes weeks before that.

In Chicago, a remote learning plan went into effect Monday for all 355,000 students. The district is in the process of distributing 100,000 laptops and tablet computers to students.