Dear District 30 Family,
I sincerely hope that you and your family had a terrific Father’s Day weekend and are continuing to enjoy the summer. You are all missed!
Our collaborative administrative and staff committees continue to work on reopening options for the fall. We have also assembled a D30 Phased Operations Task Force that will convene on June 25, to review options we have generated for Educational Programming and Operations for Phase 4 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan. Please keep an eye out for a survey that we are tentatively planning for the week of June 29 that will further inform our efforts.
The overarching goal of our efforts is to return to in-person learning to the degree possible, practical, and permissible when the schools reopen in the 2020-21 school year (per health guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and other authorities). We aim to share draft plans with our stakeholders around July 17.
Our Northeast Region can reach Phase 4 this Friday, which is the most likely phase for this fall. On Tuesday afternoon, we received the Starting the 2020-21 School Year guidance provided by the ISBE and IDPH.
Illinois State Board of Education/Illinois Department of Public Health Guidance Includes:
- Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
- Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
- Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;
- Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and
- Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.
Our reopening plans for the fall will align with provided guidance and incorporate many avenues of input from our stakeholders.
Surveys Inform Our Committees
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our most recent parent and staff surveys regarding our Phased Operations in the fall. Highlights included:
- The primary factor that would make parents and staff comfortable returning in the fall is having District procedures that follow IDPH guidelines.
- Other significant factors that would make parents/staff comfortable returning in the fall included
*Cleaning/sanitizing supplies, including hand sanitizers, readily available to all employees (84%/83%
*Workspaces cleaned and sanitized frequently throughout the day (79%/75%)
*Workplace health screening (symptom checks) required for staff before entering buildings (67%/51%)
*Mandatory symptom checks required for every student before entering school (60%/57%)
- Regarding full in-person instruction:
*67% of responding parents indicated that they would send their child(ren) if the option exists for in-person learning for the vast majority of students to return daily. 8% of responding parents indicated that they were certain that they would not feel comfortable sending their child(ren).
- Regarding eLearning:
*The survey’s comments reinforced the expectation for a robust schedule, including more synchronous (real-time) instruction, and the desire for more assessment and feedback on student work. All of this feedback aligns with our staff’s reflections, and District 30 is updating our Remote Learning Guidelines and resources accordingly.
- Regarding Hybrid instructional options:
*There is a strong desire to return to in-person learning while accounting for those who can’t
*Responding parents indicated that an Alternating Day schedule would be more manageable than alternating weeks, and the half-day model was identified as the most challenging
*A strong theme in the comments was that an alternating day hybrid model would require siblings to attend on the same day
Our area continues to see a drop in cases and hospitalizations. However, we all continue to coexist with the novel virus COVID-19 without an antidote. We all remain in this together. Our continued caution and responsibility will significantly impact our success and available options in the fall. Please continue to follow health guidance for Phase 4:
- 5 Rules to Live By During a Pandemic - New York Times
- A Letter About Social Distancing from Our Pediatricians - NorthShore University HealthSystem
We will continue to discuss and problem-solve all aspects of the fall. We will plan on communicating tentative plans for the fall around July 17, understanding that we all should remain agile as the backdrop of our work is a shifting health landscape. Thank you for your continued partnership and care for each other as we move forward together! Please keep a lookout for a joint email from me and Talia later today that will offer a platform for questions.
Dr. Brian K. Wegley
Superintendent of Schools