When will we know for certain what the plan is for the fall?
At its July 28th meeting, the Board of Education approved the recommendation of the planning task forces. Parents will be able to choose between a 100% remote learning program or a hybrid learning program for their child(ren).
If I decide to do remote learning to start the year, can I change my mind and have my child attend school in-person?
Yes, but only at the start of a new trimester. Our class sections and staffing are being created based on the number of families who request remote instruction. In order to provide consistency in our scheduling, changes to in-person learning will be allowed at the end of the trimester (Nov 6).
Doesn’t it make more sense to have Group A attend on Monday & Tuesday, Group B attend on Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being the alternating day?
This was certainly considered as the Hybrid Model was researched. Educationally, we feel the highest benefit comes when a student sees their teacher on one day, has time to process the in-person instruction and complete work the next day, and then sees their teacher again the following day. If students had back-to-back in-person days then they would not have the off-day to process, and they would then go five days without seeing a teacher at all.
My child has a medical condition that makes them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Will they be allowed to complete school in a 100% remote format?
Yes. At this point, a remote option is available for all families who choose it. A medical justification is not required to participate in the remote learning option.
I am not comfortable with my child returning to school at all. Will the district provide them with a 100% remote learning experience?
Yes. Please see the question and answer directly above.
Can I choose the Hybrid learning program for one child and the remote program for another?
About Health & Safety
What would happen if a student or staff member travels to another state with high rates of COVID-19? Will they be allowed back in school or will they have to quarantine?
At this time, a 14-day quarantine is recommended for person entering suburban Cook County from states with high rates of COVID-19 infections. The Cook County Department of Public Health updates the list of states on this list each Tuesday. The current list can be found by clicking here.
Are all individuals in a school building required to maintain social distancing (remain 6 feet apart) at all times?
ISBE directs schools to provide 6-foot distancing “as much as possible.” Desks will be spaced as far apart as possible based on how many students are in each room.
Will social distancing be practiced on school busses?
As much as possible. No more than 50 individuals may be on a bus at one time. All individuals on a bus must wear a face covering, and we will allow as much space as possible between each student. Students from the same households may be required to sit together.
Are all individuals in a school building required to wear a face covering at all times?
Yes. As required by IDPH, except while eating and during band, face coverings must be worn at all times in our schools, even when social distancing is maintained. This rule applies to ALL adults and students. Please also know that we will do our best to find time to get our students outside, where masks can be removed so long as a 6-foot distance is maintained. For the safety of everyone, this rule will be strictly enforced.
Will the school supply students with masks?
Each student will be provided with two cloth masks at the beginning of the school year.
Will students and staff be screened for symptoms each day?
ISBE requires that schools screen for temperatures or have families “self-certify” that their students are temperature-free each day. Families will be asked to “self-certify” and send the form in every day. Students will also have their temperature taken before entering the school building.
What will happen if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
Based on ISBE guidance, anyone with “close contact” to the individual should isolate at home and monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of last contact with the individual. “Close contact” means being within 6 feet of an individual for more than 15 minutes who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19.
Is a school required to transition to remote instruction if an individual who was in the building tests positive for COVID-19?
No. Only those individuals with close contact with someone who tested positive or who is suspected of having COVID-19 are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The school will provide remote instruction to students who are self-quarantining, if they are well enough to engage in learning. Teachers and staff who are self-quarantining may continue to work remotely if they are well enough to do so.
However, we do anticipate that there will be local, regional or statewide outbreaks prompting public health officials to order school closures. We should all be prepared to cycle between a Hybrid education model and remote learning for some time.
Will water fountains be used/made available to students and staff?
Water fountains will be turned off/not available but we will have bottle fillers in each building. We encourage students and staff to bring their own bottle to hydrate each day.
I have concerns about the air quality in the building while the coronavirus is still present. What is being done to address this issue?
We are doing several things to ensure the highest quality air in our buildings. First, we are changing all of our air filters and our HVAC units will be checked on a weekly basis throughout the year. Second, we will introduce fresh air from the outside by opening classroom windows and by opening our rooftop air dampers to the extent recommended by our mechanical systems engineers. Third, the district has purchased atomizers that will be used to disinfect classrooms and washrooms each night.
Can parents still volunteer in schools?
Given the need for safety, we are limiting guests into our building to those who have the need for essential, face-to-face meetings. Thus, we will not have volunteers in-person until further notice. Classrooms may be looking for virtual ways to include volunteers, such as being a guest reader.
How does Hybrid and remote learning different regarding academics? (updated July 27)
The biggest difference between the two is the opportunity to meet face-to-face with teachers under the Hybrid model. The remote experience is 100% through the computer.
How will the remote learning days be different—hopefully, better—than they were in the spring?
Based on parent feedback on our May survey, we knew we needed more time for students to connect with classmates, more direct instruction by teachers, and consistent schedules and platforms. Our remote learning plan sets forth daily/weekly schedules that includes times for direct instruction, online small group work with a teacher or an assistant and independent work time. The schedules focus on core content by grade level.
Will the District 127.5 Remote Learning Academy be synchronous or asynchronous?
We are currently working on daily schedules for students to be able to have synchronous direct instruction with their remote learning teachers and to collaborate with other students.
Will students be graded this year?
ISBE’s original recommendations for remote learning in March of 2020, included a “do no harm” grading policy that is longer in place. Therefore, we will be returning to traditional grading policies and make modifications as necessary.
How and what resources will be available for students with IEPs?
We are committed to providing the accommodations to which students are entitled, although it might be through remote platforms from time-to-time. Our Student Support Services Department will be sending out more detailed information that speaks to this specific topic in the next few days/weeks.
Will students attending in-person instruction rotate classes?
We will be limiting the movement of students between classrooms as much as possible in order to increase social distancing in the hallways. This will mean that outside of PE, specials will occur in the students classroom. When it is necessary for students to go to different locations for learning activities, student passing times will be staggered.
How many hours of screen time is expected in the remote learning program?
We are required to have 5 hours of instruction a day. Granted, not all of that will be live screen time. While the details are not finalized, it is safe to say it will be a combination of live meetings and asynchronous recordings.
About Specials, Extracurriculars, Clubs
Will the Hybrid Learning program include “specials” like music, art, physical education?
Yes, there will be specials during the in-class days and on the at-home days.The schedule will be created based on safety, staffing and educational priorities. We will be working on finalizing schedules for each grade level in the next few weeks.
Will there be sports and other extracurricular offerings this fall?
The SSJHSC has postponed all sports through January. Other, non-athletic extracurriculars will be held either in-person if it is safe to do so or virtually.
How will gym class be implemented, specifically locker room use?
Physical education will be incorporated into our learning programs. In the hybrid model, students will be outside when possible. Locker rooms will not be used.
Will the list for school supplies be changing based on the new programming?
At this point we will not be changing the supplies list, although we recognize that disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are still scarce. Although we appreciate any additional supplies from our families, our district vendors have been able to keep us supplied with cleaning items. Parents should just do what they can.