2020-2021 School Year
November 20, 2020
Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,
Last night, a Special Board Meeting was held, focused on discussing the District’s Operational Status. It is important to note that on November 17, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois will move into Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation, effective today. Schools and child care facilities can continue to operate as long as they adhere to guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. With the current situation in Illinois in mind, the Board discussed the following:
No Proactive “Adaptive Pause” between Thanksgiving & Winter Break
The District will not be proactively pursuing an “adaptive pause” (temporary shift to remote learning) as our internal metrics continue to show no evidence of school transmission and operational challenges are being managed. In-person, hybrid learning will resume after Thanksgiving on November 30. At the same time, there is recognition we may experience increased operational challenges between Thanksgiving and Winter Break requiring more pods, cohorts, and/or schools to temporarily pivot to remote learning. Again, it was reiterated that an adaptive pause could be called if there were a Governor’s order, operational barriers (i.e. staffing shortages), and/or evidence of school transmission.
Evaluation of COVID-19 Testing for Students and Staff
The Board discussed the use of COVID-19 screening as one of many potential methods to maintain a safe environment for our school community. Testing could reduce quarantines and allow for more consistent, in-person instruction by identifying potential cases of COVID-19 in the school population early, reducing transmission. The District is surveying both parents and staff to assess interest and comfort to inform next steps. Parents can use this link to participate in the survey.
Finally, with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, sincere gratitude is due to many. As of today, over 1,500 students benefited from hybrid, in-person learning for the entire first trimester. Simultaneously, over 100 students engaged in our full remote programming. Our teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to adjust to this new teaching model and done it incredibly well. Equally important, our families have rearranged and contributed so much to make it all work. I admire our collective persistence, creativity, and resilience. May we all take a moment to reflect on this amazing feat as we celebrate the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday. Let’s keep it going...safely!
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Dr. Trisha Kocanda