District 64 2020-21 Planning Update
Students in District 64's hybrid in-person learning program returned to classrooms on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in a mostly smooth transition.
Students are attending in Monday/Tuesday groups and Thursday/Friday groups, sharing alternating Wednesdays. These two groups will also attend on alternating Wednesdays. Students in 7th and 8th grade now attend all day, a change from the original hybrid schedule during the first trimester.
It is the beginning of what may be a gradual transition back to full-time school for nearly all District 64 students. The District's goal is to have all students return for in-person learning full-time as soon as it is safe to do so.
Regardless of how in-person time evolves this year, District 64 will still provide a full remote learning option for parents throughout the rest of the school year. No decisions have been made yet regarding whether the District would provide a full remote learning option for next school year.
Parents will be allowed to change from in-person to full remote learning by contacting their school principal. However, those who request a change from full remote learning to in-person must notify the principal before the first of the month when they want to make that change.
Please remember to check your child each morning for any COVID-19 symptoms using this assessment checklist. If your children are symptom-free, they should wear their lanyards to school to indicate this. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school office.
A shift in conversation
In a message to the District 64 community, Superintendent Eric Olson said his reasoning for re-opening the schools for some students in January was based on "our learning and experience this year."
The superintendent said districts are much more informed than last summer, and these experiences have shown that schools are some of the safest places for people to be during the pandemic.
"These successful experiences have shifted the conversation towards districts keeping schools open unless there is an outbreak at a particular school or a portion of staff are out due to illness or quarantining," Dr. Olson said.
District 64 will continue to pay attention to the positivity rate and the number of new cases per 100,000 in the local community as well as Cook County. But the greater focus will be on the situation in a particular school at the time. When 3 percent of staff in that school are out for illness or quarantine at one time, the conversation begins on whether that school may need to close.
But Dr. Olson stressed that the metrics only begins the conversation.
"There will be many factors that go into the decision-making at that time and we will continue to consult with the Cook County Dept. of Public Health (CCDPH) as individual cases are identified. We will also continue to follow our contact tracing procedures," he said.
The District will quarantine individual students or classrooms, or close schools when necessary. If a school is closed, it would be for an adaptive pause for everyone (students and staff) in that school to quarantine. The school could then re-open two weeks later barring any further circumstances that may cause the district to extend the pause.
"This is why as a district I believe we can stay in school for the rest of the year and only close when a situation that calls for closing happens at a particular school," Dr. Olson said.
Travel Restriction Recommendations:
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health recommends travel only if necessary, and those who travel outside of the state or the country (for any reason) should quarantine for 14 days upon their return. District 64 also recommends that staff and students quarantine for this time period. While some may need to travel for business or personal reasons, the District asks you to continue to work with your schools when making these arrangements.
Watching the numbers:
District officials continue to watch a couple sets of numbers in the COVID-19 metrics that could impact the schools. To view the data we’re watching, click on this user-friendly website. Note that the metrics alone will not necessitate closing the schools. When the numbers get close to those thresholds, District 64 contacts the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) for guidance. To better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our schools, please watch the portion of the District 64 website featuring a dashboard of COVID-19 metrics from our in-person students and staff. These numbers will be updated each Friday afternoon. The numbers are not expected to change much during the Remote Learning period since the data reports only on in-person students and staff.
Remote Learning Update
Watch video of School Board disussions on Remote Learning and Student Achievement: On Thursday, Dec. 10, the Board of Education heard two presentations from the District 64 administration. One was an update on the Remote Learning Plan; the second was the annual student achievement update. While a video of the entire Board meeting is viewable on the Board of Education meetings page, we have created excerpts of both the Remote Learning Update discussion and the Annual Student Achievement Update presentation.
Resources for families
We offer various ideas for helping parents and students deal with COVID-19 at home on our Parent Resource page. Find more free or temporarily free learning resources for teachers and parents to support student learning while Illinois’ schools are closed (from the Illinois State Board of Education). Information on finding low-cost internet connectivity for those who qualify is listed at the bottom of this page.
Keeping kids healthy when school is closed: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers tips on protecting children from getting sick.
COVID-19 GUIDELINES: We are also providing you with recommended guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
Communications: This web page, dedicated to the Coronavirus, is found via a banner towards the top of the D64 home page. We also plan to continue to communicate to you regularly as long as the spread of the virus continues. Two things you can do to help:
Please contact the school office if your contact information has changed recently so we know the best way to reach you.
Please inform us if a student or family member is known to have been exposed to someone who has a confirmed case.
In the meantime, we’re providing you with additional information about influenza, Coronavirus and how to prevent the spread of illness within the school setting on the Health and Safety Tips page of our website. Other important links are listed here:
Click here for the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) information
FAQ's regarding Children and Coronavirus (CDC)
Know the Facts about COVID-19 (CDC)
How to talk with your children about Coronavirus (National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses)
Park Ridge Library: Does someone in your family need a library card? You can get free access to ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines and newspapers from around the world, online databases on everything from cooking and crafting to live tutoring help with your card! Apply for a library card online. One of our team members will email you your library card number and pin so you can access online resources and your account right away. Remember to pickup your card and show proof of residency when the library reopens. For questions regarding your account including card expiration, resetting your pin on your account, renewals or overdue materials please email our Patron Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org
FAMILY RESOURCES: Listed below are some resources for families to assist with food, clothing and other emergency needs. If any student or family member requires emergency mental health support, please dial 911.
Mental / Emotional Health: The Call4Calm Emotional Support Line from the National Alliance on Mental Illness
Free Internet: Families who qualify for low cost internet may apply for Internet Essentials from Comcast or Access from AT&T. Comcast is now providing two months of free service to new qualifying customers, as well as opening up the Xfinity WiFi service to the public. To connect to Xfinity WiFi look for the “xfinitywifi” network name when searching for a WiFi network on your device. Open a browser to finish making the connection.