Nov 23, 2020
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School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.
November 13, 2020
Over the past six weeks, we have been so thankful to have been able to see many of our students return to in-person instruction, while many others have continued engaging in school through our Distance Learning Academy.
Our Revised Return to In-Person Schooling Plan outlined the regional and local data and metrics we would monitor daily to determine how long we would safely be able to offer an in-person learning program. Over the past several weeks, community spread of COVID-19 has reached levels never before seen since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Wednesday, November 11th, the Northern Cook County Region reported a cases per 100,000 individuals rate of 444, with a testing positivity rate of 13.5%. While our districtwide internal metrics were holding steady and were satisfactory, they have started trending in a concerning direction, too. The metrics are simply at a level in which we cannot continue to offer in-person learning without compromising the health and safety of students and their families, and staff and their families.
Therefore, after careful and thorough review of data, as well as guidance from the Illinois and Cook County Departments of Public Health, all schools in CCSD21 will transition to an Adaptive Pause of in-person learning at the end of the school day on Friday, November 20th. This means students at all schools and in all programs will participate in full-time virtual learning on school days beginning Monday, November 30th, and for the duration of the Adaptive Pause through at least Monday, January 18, 2021.
While it is our hope that the spread of COVID-19 slows and our community metrics start trending in a better direction, the Adaptive Pause will be in effect through at least Monday, January 18, for a possible return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 19. We will continue to communicate updates throughout the Adaptive Pause.
In order to provide families with as much time as possible to make preparations for a return to full remote learning, in-person instruction will continue during the week of Monday, November 16, for in-person students at all schools except Holmes Middle School. Students in the Distance Learning Program will continue to engage in virtual learning with their classmates and teachers as usual. As a reminder, there is no school for any student during the week of November 23 due to parent-teacher conferences and the Thanksgiving holiday.
Due to lack of available staff, the district will not be able to offer a supervised learning program for students during the period of adaptive pause. Free daily breakfast and lunch will continue to be available on school days; more details about distribution will be shared soon.
We will continue to closely monitor school level data next week and may implement an immediate adaptive pause in any school where there may be a need to do so.
Mitigation efforts have been put in place throughout suburban Cook County to curb the rising cases of COVID-19. This Adaptive Pause will help us monitor and understand the impact of these efforts and determine when a return to in-person instruction will be possible. Everyone in our community has a part to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and reversing the trajectory of the current metrics. Contact tracing has identified community outbreaks stemming from social gatherings; please consider refraining from in-person activities with those outside of your household, even as holidays and celebrations approach. Upon our eventual return to in-person learning, a quarantine period will still be enforced for those who have recently traveled; please consider the quarantine period and its potential delay for your student’s return to in-person learning. As always, limit your family’s exposure to COVID-19 by:
This decision was a very difficult one to make. We understand the hardship this presents for families, however, we must put the health and safety of our students, staff, and their families first.
Thank you, as always, for your understanding and support.
Dr. Michael Connolly