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2020-21 Return to School Plan Update (July 20)

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CCSD59 Families,

Today, we are releasing our comprehensive Return to School Plan document that contains many details about our planning for the start of the 2020-21 school year for in-person instruction. It is important to note that this plan was created based on the Phase 4 guidance from the Restore Illinois Plan and the Starting the School Year Plan from the Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). We recognize this guidance and the evolving landscape of public health could lead us to change our approach or recommendation in the weeks ahead.

Please understand these guidelines will go into effect when CCSD59 returns to in-person instruction, and the timing of this return could be impacted by the health environment in our state and country.

You can view the Return to School plan by clicking here. Important highlights of our planning include:

  • Family choice for either in-person learning or fully remote learning through our Remote Learning Academy
  • Families that choose the Remote Learning Academy are asked to commit to remote learning until at least October 30, 2020
  • Staff and families will be asked to offer input on the option of utilizing a hybrid model for in-person learning where each student attends in-person instruction on some days and participates in remote learning activities from home on other days
  • The first day of student attendance for students in grades 1-8 has been shifted to Monday, August 17. The first day of student attendance for kindergarten students will now be Tuesday, August 18. The first day of student attendance for the Early Learning Center will now be Wednesday, August 19.

We will continue to update the plan in the coming weeks as we receive additional updates and any revised guidance from ISBE and IDPH. We will note in the table of contents of the document if any section of the plan is updated moving forward for quick reference.

We also shared last week that based on feedback and input from our board of education, staff, and families, we are currently further evaluating the possibility of providing a hybrid approach to our planning for in-person learning. A hybrid approach is when each student attends in-person instruction on some days and participates in remote learning activities from home on other days, thus reducing the percentage of students in the school on any given day.

Based on the updated information in the Return to School Plan, as well as the additional consideration for a possible hybrid approach to in-person learning, we would like to provide you with the opportunity to share your input regarding your family’s most current planning and considerations for the start of the upcoming school year. To share your input, please fill out our short family survey that is available here.

Next week, we will share the process for selecting whether your child will be starting the year with in-person learning, which will be either a hybrid model or full in-person learning depending on the health environment and resources, or full remote learning. This process is important for allowing us the time needed to finalize staffing assignments and class rosters.

I hope everyone has an excellent week, and thank you once again for taking the time to provide your input by completing our linked survey above.

Dr. Art Fessler
Superintendent of Schools, CCSD59

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