Evanston Township High School will continue to keep six feet of social distancing “whenever possible,” when school reopens for a hybrid instructional model April 14.

The federal Centers for Disease Control recently said that student desk separation can be safely reduced from coronavirus-connected six feet down to three. And Evanston/Skokie District 65, the elementary and middle school feeder for ETHS, has said it will adopt the three-foot guideline after spring break.

However, in a statement released Thursday, ETHS says it has reviewed State of llinois guidelines, and “given the different sizes of classrooms and spaces,” ETHS will stay with the six foot spacing.

ETHS will join District 65 in setting up a medical advisory panel of local doctors who also have a personal connection to ETHS to assist with the transition from all remote to hybrid instruction. Representatives of the administration and of ETHS unions will also be in the group.

With the high school about to welcome back some students on April 14, a district release says the panel will help as the school “works to keep students, staff and families safe.”

ETHS has previously relied on state and local health officials, while District 65 set up a medical panel a few months ago.

The group “Reopen Evanston Schools” has continually requested such a panel. Group spokesperson Eric Herman said, “We’ve been calling for them to create a medical advisory board because it’s the best way to protect the health of students, faculty and staff when reopening. This is a very encouraging step.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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