Updated Remote Learning FAQ

As a follow-up to our initial Remote Learning 2.0 FAQ, we have compiled information on several key topics that have emerged through email and Let's Talk messages. We will continue to provide regular updates through our school and district newsletters, as well as the district's social media pages.

How will the district collect parent feedback on remote learning?

The district will be working with principals to develop school-level remote learning surveys for families. We are encouraged by the positive messages we have received from many parents so far, but we believe it’s important to provide all families with the opportunity to share feedback. Information collected from these surveys will be analyzed to determine if any adjustments can be made to improve the remote learning experience for students, families and staff.

When will the district provide an update on plans for Trimester 2? What metrics will the district use to make a decision about a return to onsite learning?

Although we have not yet made any decisions about Trimester 2—which begins Nov. 30—District 97 staff have been working to develop and implement a phased attendance approach based on a guiding set of metrics. We are working to finalize this information, and anticipate sharing further details with the community by the end of next week.

In the meantime, please know that District 97 will continue to monitor COVID-19 data (nationally, statewide and locally), review the most up-to-date guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health, and work with officials from the Oak Park Department of Public Health in order to make decisions that prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. We have also consulted with administrators and staff from other school districts, as we are all learning from each other during this unprecedented time. Although each district is unique in its size, population, challenges, etc., we are learning from best practices and working to design a plan that will best meet the needs of District 97 and the Oak Park community.

Does the district plan to make any adjustments to the school schedule during remote learning?

The data gleaned from the school surveys will be analyzed at the district level to determine if any adjustments need to be made to the current synchronous/ asynchronous ratios (50/50 for K-2, 60/40 for Grades 3-5 and 70/30 for Grades 6-8). Given that the school day is currently largely dependent on shared specials teachers (Physical Education, Art, Music, Foreign Language, Library), as well as the state requirement around five hours of daily instruction, a substantive amendment to the master schedules would prove difficult. However, we will continue to collaborate with our teachers and families to ensure that we are being responsive to student needs.

Are there plans to address the amount of screen time students have during the school day?

In an effort to build community in a classroom of students previously unfamiliar with one another, teachers have leveraged synchronous time in the opening weeks of school to build connections among students and with teachers. This time was also used to build technology norms for students. Teachers will be gradually leaning into leveraging asynchronous instruction to reduce the amount of time students spend on screens.

Who should I contact regarding remote learning?

For questions or concerns that relate specifically to your child’s remote learning experience, we encourage you to reach out directly to school staff via email. For general inquiries about the district’s remote learning program, families can send a message through Let’s Talk.

Who should I contact for technology support?

Technical support will be available from school and district technology staff by accessing the Help Desk through email, [email protected]. When an email is submitted, a Help Desk ticket is created and assigned to technology staff, who will be working throughout the day to address technology concerns. Our technology team can support District 97 devices and student online programs.