District 64 2020-21 Planning Update

District 64 students returned to in-person learning beginning Monday, March 29, the first school day following Spring Break. Parents also have the option to choose a full-remote learning option for their children. This means District 64 will no longer offer a hybrid option for the 2020-21 school year.

The District's goal has been to have all students return for in-person learning full-time as soon as it is safe to do so. Superintendent Eric Olson said the metrics in both the community and in schools are the best they've been all year and that now is a good time to make this transition.

Safety protocols will remain even as the metrics continue to improve. To make room for more students in classrooms, District 64 schools reduced the distance between student desks from at least 6 feet to at least 3 feet apart. The distance was determined based on the number of families who chose this option for each class. Everything else, from guidelines to protocols to philosophy, remains the same in terms of how the District operated this year.

The Cook County Dept. of Health has confirmed the district has everything in place that’s needed to reduce this distance from 6 feet to 3 feet in the classrooms.

The district also announced it will offer a full in-person learning option and a full remote learning option for families for the 2021-22 school year. Starting next school year, those families who elect full remote learning will have dedicated remote learning-only teachers for their students. Teachers who are instructing in-person will not be instructing online students simultaneously.

Travel Restriction Recommendations:

District 64 did not take an adaptive pause following spring break as it did in the fall. What was different following the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks was 1) the metrics were dangerously high (the highest they had been all year), and 2) there was a belief that enough people were going to travel no matter what to see family and celebrate traditions. Spring break doesn’t hold that same significance, even if some will travel for family reasons.

The Cook County Dept. of Public Health recently put out new guidelines  in regard to travel. As we have had before, District 64 recommends the same guidance when it comes to travel.  I encourage you to click on this document so you can review all the guidelines, yet there are significant changes, such as traveling to certain states no longer requires quarantine upon return, as well as not needing to quarantine at all when traveling in the US if the vaccine has already been taken.

Lanyard Reminder

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.

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. 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. 

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.

Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski wrote this letter for our District 64 families in hopes that it will reduce some of the concerns the police are receiving about young people’s behavior in public. While some District 64 families live outside of Park Ridge, the message is good for everyone in our community. Please discuss this with your children and help remind them to be kind and respectful of others.

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

Coronavirus FAQ's

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 patronservices@prpl.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.

Illinois FAQs 

Maine Township Food Pantry

Maine Stay Youth and Family Services

North/Northwest Suburbs Resource Directory

Entry Point

Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund

CEDA

Illinois Housing Authority

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.