Oct 21, 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.
Topic: Student Learning
Dear CCSD21 families,
As departments of public health, schools, and research institutions continue to learn about COVID-19 and its spread, School District 21 continues to plan for how and when students can safely return to our schools. CCSD21 has developed a DRAFT Revised Return to In-Person Schooling Plan which includes specific metrics that the district proposes to use to make decisions on how and when to return to in-person instruction. Regardless of any transitions between in-person and remote instruction, the full-time Distance Learning Academy option will continue to be available to all CCSD21 students for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. This proposed DRAFT plan will be presented to the Board of Education during its Regular Meeting on September 24, 2020. Again, this plan should be considered a DRAFT and not official until the Board of Education makes its decision on September 24.
The district is hopeful that it will be able to meet our original planned date of return to in-person learning of October 5, 2020. However, that date will not be confirmed until the Board of Education makes its decision and a review of metrics and data as they appear at that time is conducted.
As we have previously noted, our success as a school district will hinge on our ability and willingness to follow the science, be agile, flexible, and ready to deal with the unknown. This draft revised plan is presented with the best information and guidance known at this time. Adjustments may be made and communicated as guidance evolves from federal, state, and local health and education officials.
Hybrid return to in-person learning
Pending Board of Education approval of the plan at its September 24 meeting, the district will welcome students back to in-person learning using a Hybrid schedule and will do so when conditions allow and metrics are met and sustained.
Due to the need to maintain strict social distancing of six feet in all classrooms, the district will not be able to operate full day classes for students. Rather, students will be assigned to in-person learning teams. Students’ in-person learning team assignment will be communicated by the school. Mathematics, Language Arts, and a Homebase/SEL period will be conducted each day of in-person learning. Science, Social Studies, and all special/exploratory classes will continue to be offered remotely.
As the district returns to an in-person learning environment, grade levels will initially return on a rolling basis; not all grade levels will return at once on the same day. This rolling return will ensure that students, faculty and staff, and parents have adequate time to orient themselves to a new learning environment and to learn and practice critical new health and safety practices.
Data and metrics
In order to return to in-person learning in a hybrid capacity (CCSD21 Phase 3), the following metrics must be sustained:
Once determined, the district will work to implement this transition as rapidly as possible. A specific return to in-person timetable will be provided to parents with as much advance notice as possible.
Mitigation of spread
If any CCSD21 school experiences a positive COVID-19 infection rate for students and staff of 3% or higher during a rolling 14 day period, that school will immediately revert back to full-time distance learning for a period of at least 14 calendar days. Likewise, at the direction of the state and county health departments, groups of students, a classroom, or entire building may revert to a period of full-time distance learning in the event of a possible COVID-19 exposure or confirmed case.
Health and safety protocols
Families must submit a certification of health for every child every school day. An email reminder will be sent to the parent/guardian email address(es) on file every morning at 4:00 AM. Students showing any signs of illness may not attend school. Students will not be allowed to enter a CCSD21 building until the child’s health can be verified.
When on site and as an additional measure, students’ temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer. All students and staff members are required to wear a face covering and must practice strict 6-foot social distancing.
Supervised Learning Program
Due to the limited availability of staff and facility space once in-person learning resumes, CCSD21 will be unable to continue its on-site Supervised Learning Program. The district is in active communication with local park districts and will distribute information for alternate supervision options as soon as they are available.
We know this has been a very different and difficult start to the school year and we greatly appreciate the support, patience, and understanding that parents have shown as we work together to navigate a truly unprecedented time. We look forward to offering an in-person learning option as soon as we are able and thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Michael Connolly