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“Return to School” Planning for Fall 2020

“Return to School” Planning for Fall 2020

With Governor Pritzker’s recent announcement that the state is prepared to enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year. ISBE and IDPH have jointly developed requirements and recommendations for schools to follow that are designed to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families this fall. Please know that we are committed to doing everything we can to return to in-class instruction to the extent that is safe and feasible under the state’s health guidelines

This document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about how the upcoming school year will look in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process.

In anticipation of this document, District 90 has been developing a “Return to School” framework for fall. To guide this work, the District has convened a Remote Learning Action Team and a Safety and Operations Action Team to address different priorities for the start of the school year. These teams are comprised of a variety of stakeholders, including D90 administrators, faculty and staff members, parents, students, and River Forest Education Association leadership. At the same time, workgroups have formed to address social-emotional wellness and special education/related service needs. The feedback from the remote learning surveys administered previously to students, staff, and families is also informing the planning process. Please be assured that the final D90 “Return to School” plan will incorporate ISBE and IDPH’s guidance - as well as the safety of our students, staff, and families; social-emotional wellness within the school community; the District’s ongoing equity efforts; and the high-quality instruction that is the hallmark of our schools. The guidance released today will accelerate all of these critical planning conversations, and I am confident that D90 will put forth an effective plan that prioritizes safety while maintaining a student-centered and engaging learning environment.

District 90 administrators have been working collaboratively with counterparts at OPRF High School and Oak Park District 97 to consider plans that serve both the individual and collective needs of the three districts. While these plans will remain focused on the specific needs of each individual school district, the D90 plan must especially acknowledge our interconnectedness with OPRFHS.

We are very aware of the urgency to report to families and staff about what to expect for the upcoming school year. We appreciate your patience in allowing our action teams and workgroups to conclude their efforts so that their recommendations can direct the final details. We will share an update in the near future outlining the plan’s progress and providing an anticipated timeline for completion and release.

 

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