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District reviewing state's guidance for fall learning

Note: This message was part of the newsletter sent to all CCSD 89 families on June 17, 2020. You can see the full newsletter here: https://conta.cc/3i4u6Qn

On Tuesday afternoon Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker released guidance for schools in the 2020-21 school year. 

Our planning for the next school year began before the 2019-20 school year ended, and the state’s 63-page guidance document will help us answer many of the questions you have asked about what school will look like in the fall. The document was released to school districts at the same time as the public, and we are reviewing it to determine the best way to implement the state’s recommendations.

At this time, no decisions have been made about what Community Consolidated School District 89 schooling will look like in the fall. Regardless of which decision is made, this fall will not look like any other that we have experienced.

The state has expressed a preference for in-person learning if it can be done safely. Of course, CCSD 89 would also like to have students together in class, if it can be done safely and meet state and local guidelines. We are evaluating the best ways to handle scheduling, learning, safety precautions, transportation, cleaning, and many other issues.

We know many families have questions. We all have an urgent need to know what to expect. We will communicate the district’s plans as soon as they are finalized, and you will know well in advance of the start of the school year.

In our planning, the CCSD 89 staff members have identified core principles to guide the work. They are:

  • Maintain the health and safety of all students.
  • Provide meaningful and engaging academic experiences for all students.
  • Address the social and emotional needs of all students.
  • Provide consistency and stability for all students and staff.
  • Provide continuous professional learning opportunities for staff that address learning needs unique to this time.

The district is planning for three possible learning environments in the fall:

  • In-person learning. This would mean all students returning to our school buildings with appropriate health and safety practices in place.
  • A hybrid or blended model of in-person and remote learning. This would mean students returning to school in a model that would have some in-person learning and some remote learning in order to meet the social distancing requirements needed to safely open schools. Appropriate health and safety practices would be in place in the schools.
  • Remote learning. This would mean all students would be engaged in meaningful schoolwork at their homes.

We appreciate the many families who have provided feedback through our fall planning survey. It helps us with planning. If you have not taken the survey, please see the email sent Monday, June 22. If you did not receive the email, please contact info@ccsd89.org.

All of these plans will be significantly impacted by whether the state is able to move into and remain in Phase 4 of the governor's Restore Illinois guidelines. Phase 4 would include social distancing, face masks for students and staff, and limited group sizes. As the governor mentioned on Tuesday afternoon, the district may have to move from one learning format to another if there is a COVID-19 resurgence after the school year starts.

You can read about the district's planning for fall in more detail here: https://bit.ly/37Bn1Sv

Your feedback on 2019-20 remote learning through the Thoughtexchange is driving the district's planning. You can see a summary of the feedback the district received here: https://bit.ly/30OAMLW

Posted: June 24, 2020