The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has released additional guidance to school districts in regard to the start of the 2020-21 school year. This 60-page document, along with the FAQ, is currently being closely reviewed by our leadership team for the purpose of identifying areas of impact on our district.
A general review of the guidance emphasizes in-person learning for all students to the greatest extent possible, while realizing that may not be feasible in all situations. Although the guidance has overarching ideas for schools across the state, each school's ability to respond will vary based on size, location, and the local conditions related to COVID-19. In addition, school districts will be required to adhere to the Restore Illinois, Phase Four parameters, as outlined by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
The district initiated a conversation on June 8 with our Board of Education, to begin the planning process for learning for the start of the school year. We continued that conversation at a Board meeting on June 22, where our administrative team outlined operational considerations that continue to be worked through in conjunction with this new guidance.
We are working to carefully balance the need for our families and staff to know what the fall will look like with the priority of helping to ensure their safety, health, and well-being. We will continue to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and will keep our families and staff informed via email throughout the summer as new information emerges.
We anticipate bringing the district’s final fall learning plan to the Board for approval on July 27 and will communicate with families once it is finalized. The fall learning plan will be contingent on any orders from Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education.
The district will be facilitating focus groups between July 13 and July 22. Parent and student input is valued, appreciated, and imperative to our goal of creating the safest and most effective plan for the beginning of the school year.