Distance Learning Academy or Home School Enrollment

July 31, 2020

Topic: Student Learning

The below message was sent to CCSD21 families through ParentSquare, the district’s notification tool. Parents that did not receive this message should send an email to district[email protected] to ensure their contact information is up to date.

As the district will now begin the school year with distance learning for all students, there is confusion about the difference between our year-long Distance Learning Academy option and traditional home school enrollment.  

It is the hope and intention of the district to resume in person learning on October 5th or as soon as conditions allow.  We also know there will be families who will wish for their children to continue in distance learning and have opted to enroll in the Distance Learning Academy.

The district has received a number of questions and concerns related to assignment of teachers and ongoing connection of students to their home school teachers and home school peers.  We completely understand the concerns of parents in this regard.  

The Distance Learning Academy, as a district-wide program, will require faculty to be assigned from amongst the entire district. This includes both regular classroom and exploratory teachers, Bilingual/English Language Learning, and Student Support Service teachers. While the district will attempt to match children in the Distance Learning Academy with teachers from their home schools, that may not be possible in all cases.

We agree that it is important for children in the Distance Learning Academy to maintain a connection to their home schools.  Children will continue to be included in any home school activities and principals will be asked to develop specific and regular activities where children in the Distance Learning Academy may interact with grade level peers in their home schools to build community.  

The academic program of the Distance Learning Academy will follow the same curriculum and learning goals and targets as a child’s home school and students will be assessed in the same manner as their home school peers.  

It is not our intention to fully separate children enrolled in the Distance Learning Academy from their home schools but it is also important to provide educational consistency, particularly with teacher assignments.

The development of community is a key component of the school experience whether it be in person or distance.  Most children are particularly adept at integrating and thriving in multiple communities simultaneously whether they be classroom, neighborhood, teams, or activity based.  Our intention is to provide all children with the social emotional learning and opportunities to successfully be a positive part of multiple communities and social networks.     

We understand that parents are now faced with another decision;  opt in to the Distance Learning Academy or enroll in the homeschool.  If parents believe they will wish their child(ren) to continue in a distance learning format beyond October 5th or a resumption of in person learning, we ask that you enroll your child in the Distance Learning Academy by completing the Opt-in formby Sunday, August 2nd.  

Opt-in for existing Distance Learning Academy: English  |  Español  |  Polski  |  Русский

If parents are uncertain or do not wish to enroll their child(ren) in the Distance Learning Academy at this time, your child(ren) will be enrolled in their home school.  No further action is required.

If parents have enrolled their child(ren) in the Distance Learning Academy but would like to withdraw and have them enrolled in their home school, we ask that you notify the district of that decision by emailing [email protected] by 10:00 AM on Monday, August 3rd. 

When the district returns to in person instruction, should parents wish to have their child(ren) continue in a distance learning format, we will work with them to accommodate that request. However it may result in a change of teacher(s) as students transition to the Distance Learning Academy.

We understand the challenging nature of the decisions parents must make in this time of unprecedented uncertainty.  The district will strive to provide as many options as possible with our available resources and ability to do so.