DISTRICT 64 FALL 2020 PLANNING UPDATE

Despite its best efforts to formulate a plan to bring students back into the classroom for the start of the 2020-21 school year, School District 64 must shift away from its original reopening plans, starting the year with full remote learning for all students. The decision was announced by Superintendent Eric Olson on Aug. 10 in a letter to staff, parents and the community.

District 64 will continue to work towards starting in-person instruction for those who are interested, beginning with an assessment throughout the month of September to determine if it can begin the in-person hybrid option in early October for the second half of the first trimester.

Since COVID-19 first appeared earlier this year, the District 64 team been discussing how it can educate our students in-person during the pandemic, knowing that children benefit from the connections with their teachers and other staff, as well as their peers. Unfortunately the pandemic continues to dictate the response. COVID-19 positivity rates have continued to rise in Illinois since flattening in June. The safety and health of students, staff, and their families has remained the number one priority throughout the planning process. 

The District continues to adhere to the guidelines given to us by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health. On July 27, the District team presented a plan to the community that included both a hybrid and a remote learning option for parents. In a subsequent survey to parents, 65% chose hybrid to start the year, 25% chose remote learning, and 10% did not make a choice. 

Superintendent Olson said the decision to begin with remote learning was made with some reluctance.

"However, I also had to acknowledge concerns expressed by both staff and parents about our ability to safely open schools and educate students with COVID-19 dictating so many changes to instructional practices and school routines," he wrote to parents.

This summer, the team has worked on enhancing our Remote Learning program so that if students had to or chose to learn remotely, they would have access to the same strong academic program and social-emotional support. To view the full remote learning plan to start the year, please click here.  You can also find more information regarding special education students by clicking here.

Please continue to watch this page and your email for updates throughout August and September and the school year. Be aware that the changes have also created some changes in the school calendar. Please see below for some important dates.

  • Thursday, August 20 Principals will notify parents of teacher assignments
  • Friday, August 21 Principals will arrange for device pickup for students in K-3 and Grade 6
  • Week of August 24 District 64 will host evening Parent Universities (virtual) to support parents with device orientation for remote learning (dates and times coming soon)
  • August 24 & 25 Teacher Institute Days (no student attendance)
  • Wednesday, August 26 Remote Learning Planning Day for staff (no student attendance)
  • Thursday, August 27 First Day of School for all students except Preschool and Kindergarten (there will be orientation sessions for kindergarten and preschool this day)
  • Friday, August 28 First Day of School for Preschool and Kindergarten students

Please remember this plan remains fluid and is subject to change as information on COVID-19 is continually updated. The District 64 team hopes to be able to transition to its in-person hybrid option sometime this fall. The plan can be viewed on the District 64 website by clicking here. It was discussed at the District 64 School Board  meeting on Tuesday, July 28 which can be viewed at this link. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

The planning efforts involved many individuals representing various perspectives. In addition to guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the District team solicits input from staff, parents, and administrators to formulate its plans.

Following are some support for families dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and their children at home this summer:

We offer various ideas for filling time during summer break on our Summer Activities Page and 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:

  1. Please contact the school office if your contact information has changed recently so we know the best way to reach you.
  2. Please inform us if a student or family member is known to have been exposed to someone who has a confirmed case.

Should the situation here change, we will work directly with Cook County Department of Public Health (CCPDH), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Diseases Prevention (CDC) to take necessary steps to safeguard our schools.

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:

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.