CCSD21 Distance Learning Update - April 5, 2020

April 5, 2020

Topic: Updates

The following email was sent to CCSD21 parents on April 5, 2020. Please contact your school office if you are not receiving emails from School District 21.

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April 5, 2020

Dear CCSD21 families,

Thank you for another successful week of Distance Learning last week. Not only was it another engaging week of our new “normal” for our students, but our staff members had their first Distance Learning Planning Day this past Friday. While remote, we engaged in great conversations and collaboration to continue offering Distance Learning for the duration of the school closure.

April schedule
As I previously shared, the Illinois State Board of Education allows school districts to utilize up to five Distance Learning Planning Days. We have now used one. Our April schedule will continue as follows:

  • Monday, April 6 – Wednesday, April 8: Distance Learning
  • Thursday, April 9: Distance Learning Planning Day
  • Friday, April 10: Non-Attendance Day (previously scheduled)
  • Monday, April 13: Non-Attendance Day (previously scheduled)
  • Tuesday, April 14 – Thursday, April 16: Distance Learning
  • Friday, April 17: Distance Learning Planning Day
  • Monday, April 20 – Thursday, April 23: Distance Learning
  • Friday, April 24: Distance Learning Planning Day
  • Monday, April 27 – Thursday, April 30: Distance Learning

While our current plan is to resume school in person on Friday, May 1, 2020, guidance from federal, state, and local health officials may change and we will respond accordingly.

Please note that learning activities will still be distributed to students for Distance Learning Planning Days, but teachers will be actively engaged throughout the day in planning activities and other professional meetings and may not respond to students or parents immediately. There are no distance learning obligations for students or staff on the non-attendance days.

Food Service
Food service will continue every weekday during the school closure from 9:30 – 11:30 AM. This includes food service distribution on Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13, even though they are non-attendance days and there are no distance learning obligations. Free meals are available for every child age 18 and under. Meals will be distributed at these locations.

Distance Learning expectations
As we continue distance learning, we will focus more on those critical skills our students need to master for continued success in learning, particularly upon our return to our schools’ classrooms.

Language Arts, Math, and Social Emotional Learning are priority learning areas and the district has developed weekly learning targets for each grade level across all of our schools. Students will continue to receive activities for Physical Education. Science, Social Studies, and Specials/Exploratory areas to round out the students’ learning day.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your school principal if you have any questions or concerns.

We will continue to monitor student “attendance” and engagement in learning activities. While we’re not gathering in person, “attendance” will continue to be captured in a variety of ways:

  • Parent completion of online attendance form
  • Student response to a teacher’s roll call
  • Student participation in learning activities, as indicated by completion of work and/or seeking help with or asking questions to better understand learning activities
  • Parent communication with teacher(s) in support of helping their child to engage in learning activities or complete work
  • Parent request for a paper learning activity packet

While teachers are available to support students and families from 9 AM – 3:30 PM on school days, we recognize that families’ schedules and engagement in learning activities may vary throughout the days and weeks of school closure. Each of these efforts indicate a student’s engagement in learning. We appreciate families supporting learning at home in whatever way and at whatever time of the day or week works best for their family.

Teacher feedback on student work
Students will continue to receive feedback on their work. Feedback may include suggestions for improvement or indication of a student’s progress toward mastery of a skill or understanding of a concept. The focus is on learning and teachers are assessing work to see how students are doing, and where they may need support or additional challenge.

Stay home
As the weather gets better, we know it will be harder and harder to keep kids, particularly our older kids, from wanting to hang out with friends and be out and about in the neighborhood. All CCSD21 playgrounds and parks remain closed. The more we know about this disease, the more it is clear that social distancing is vital to flattening the curve of infection and that an individual could be infected but show no symptoms at all, thereby passing the infection on to many others.

We want all of our students and their families strong and healthy. Please stay home!

I can’t state this enough: Thank you again for your understanding and cooperation as we come together as a community to protect the health and safety of all.


Dr. Michael Connolly