During the Dec. 15 meeting of the District 97 Board of Education, the administrative team and I presented our recommendations for a revised hybrid learning plan for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Although we originally planned to share our draft plan in January, we heard from many stakeholders over the past two weeks who asked that we commit to a plan prior to winter break to provide families and staff more time to prepare.
With this in mind, our recommendations were shared with the board Tuesday night, and the administration was given the go-ahead to move forward with the schedules presented, with Feb. 1 as our target return date for students. Details of those plans are outlined here. The recording of the Dec. 15 board meeting can be found here (presentation starts at 1:35:00).
These schedules were developed based on stakeholder feedback, recommendations from the Superintendent Advisory Panel, consultation with several medical experts, and extensive research on schedules/best practices being utilized in other school districts, including recently-adopted hybrid plans for Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 and River Forest School District 90.
We know there will be many questions regarding the specifics of the daily schedule, specials, logistics, etc. Our goal was to provide you as much information as possible prior to break; we will be working to provide additional details in our FAQ and future updates
- By the end of the week, families will be sent a commitment form due no later than Wednesday, Jan. 6. We are asking families to commit to either hybrid learning or full-time remote learning for the duration of Trimester 2, which ends March 12. If we do not receive a student’s form, they will automatically be placed in full-time remote learning. The final schedules, which are dependent on hybrid enrollment, will be shared following the Jan. 12 board meeting.
- The district will share an FAQ regarding the hybrid plan. We are also working to update our Framework for Reopening Schools based on the new hybrid schedules.
- School safety teams are meeting to develop school-level plans to operationalize our safety protocols and procedures. More information will be shared with staff and families in January.
- We will continue to monitor COVID-19 metrics in our region and provide updates about our plans to return. We are currently planning a phased return, beginning with our special programs on Jan. 12 at the earliest. Our goal is to begin transitioning grade levels back on site over several days, beginning Feb. 1, if it is safe to do so.
We truly appreciate your patience, understanding and support as we worked to update our hybrid learning plan over the last two months. Please know we are here to support you and that we will continue to prioritize the safety of our students and staff as we work to operationalize these plans in the coming weeks.
Dr. Carol Kelley