Dear Glenbrook Community:
On Monday night, July 27, the administrative team will provide the Board of Education a proposed Learning and Operational Plan under which all District 225 students and staff will begin the 2020-2021 school year as scheduled on Wednesday, August 19, under an E-Learning format. During each of the plan’s four steps, District 225 is committed to providing live touchpoints every day for every student with every teacher in every class. We are working earnestly and deliberately to bring students and staff back to our schools in a safe and thoughtful manner.
ABOUT THE LEARNING AND OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR
The district’s Learning and Operational Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year was developed based on insights and feedback collected through surveys, focus groups and personal dialogue with a wide range of District stakeholders, including students, parents, educators and support personnel, as well as research on best practices and creative models implemented locally and nationally. We specifically focused on five guiding principles:
ABOUT STEP 1: E-LEARNING
- Maintain the health and safety of all students and staff;
- 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; and
- Provide continuous professional learning opportunities for staff that address learning needs unique to this time.
The teaching and learning experience during Step 1 will be significantly different from what took place in the spring, when state mandates limited our ability to deliver a high-quality e-learning experience. Under the 2020-2021 E-Learning model:
ABOUT STEPS 2-4 AND HOW TRANSITIONS WILL BE MADE
- Students will follow a structured schedule with required synchronous learning experiences as part of every class as new content is introduced by teachers. Additional tiers of academic services will be available as needed to support student success and well-being.
- Assessments will be delivered, due dates will be enforced, grades will count, and attendance will be taken.
- Students will be expected to activate their camera when participating in synchronous e-learning.
- Athletics, extracurricular and co-curricular activities will be available through a combination of on-campus and virtual participation opportunities based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and applicable Illinois High School Association (IHSA) requirements.
- We will implement a social-emotional learning curriculum, integrated into PE and Health courses, that will address essential topics, such as creating a collective community; building resilience; coping with anxiety, fears, and stress; and accessing resources and supports.
Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, an Advisory Committee of District and building administrators, teachers and support staff members, parents, Board members, and a medical professional will convene on a regular basis to evaluate a set of predetermined public health, operational, and pedagogical indicators and develop a recommendation as to whether the District will remain in, advance or step back from the current step. The remaining steps in the Plan are as follows:
- Step 2: E-Learning with Gradual Return to the Classroom
- Step 3: AM/PM Hybrid, during which students attend classes onsite 50 percent of the time and continue with E-learning 50 percent of the time. Students will attend in the morning or afternoon determined by an alphabetic group assignment.
- Step 4: All students attend in-person class every day
Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, it is expected we may move back and forth between Steps 1-4 throughout the 2020-21 school year. The District will communicate with parents, staff and students about any transitions between steps, which will go into effect one week after the announcement. As we begin to gradually return to campus during Steps 2-4, we will do so in a manner that aligns with ISBE and CCDPH requirements to ensure that students and staff remain safe and that our communities continue to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. These requirements include mandated face coverings, the implementation of social distancing, less than 50 individuals gathering in one place, and required symptom screenings and temperature checks. Students and families will have the option to continue e-learning during Steps 2-4.
The Board will vote on this recommended Learning and Operational Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year at its meeting on Monday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. Information about how to participate in this virtual meeting is available here. We are confident that the Board will make their best decision for our District. Like you, we are proud of our schools and of the well-rounded experience offered to each student. While it is going to look drastically different from what we all know, we are confident in our ability to start strong on August 19 and to deliver high-quality, meaningful and engaging academic and extracurricular experiences for all students throughout the 2020-2021 school year. We are committed to excellence in the 4 A’s: Academics, Athletics, Activities, and the Arts. On behalf of the entire team at Glenbrook High School District 225, as always, we thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to seeing our students this fall. We have created a short video to highlight key aspects of the plan. You can the link to this video here.