DISTRICT 64 FALL 2020 PLANNING UPDATE

After many weeks of work, our District 64 team has developed a plan to return to school in August. The plan can be viewed on the District 64 website by clicking here. This plan will be discussed at the District 64 School Board  meeting on Tuesday, July 28. To join the virtual meeting, or participate with comments and/or questions, please visit the Board of Education page on the District 64 website.

We acknowledging that the 2020-2021 school year will look different than those in the past.The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has and will continue to have a profound impact on the educational setting in District 64 and across the country. Given these circumstances, we continue to work hard to be able to welcome back our students and staff in a safe and healthy manner.

This effort 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), feedback from staff, parents, and administrators contributed to the development of our 2020-21 plan. In a short survey that went out to all District 64 parents in early July we asked about remote learning, in-class learning, transportation and related issues. The results are listed here.

We understand that there are many different points of view in regard to the return to school, and not everyone is going to agree with the course we have laid out.  We must continue to work together as a district and as a community as new information continues to become available.

The plan includes both an In-Person option to parents for those who want their children to return to school, as well as a Remote Learning option for those parents who would like to keep their children at home. 

On Wednesday, July 29, our school principals will send out a form for parents to fill out electronically.  This form will allow parents to inform us of their intentions for this fall, now that they have heard the entire plan.  This form will be due by Wednesday, August 5.

Please understand the context for our planning remains fluid through the next month, as we must continue to accommodate updated guidance from state officials and respond to enrollment numbers from our community.

Here's what how some of our planning developed to date:

On June 23, the Illinois State Board of Education released guidelines for schools to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year. This 60-page document, called the Illinois State Board of Education Transition Document Phase 4, includes information for in-person learning, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures that will need to be put into place in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.

This document offers much information but also leaves many details unanswered. We kindly ask for your patience as our staff thoroughly reviews this detailed guidance and implements the suggestions into our district’s own transition plan. We understand the need for staff and parents to know what to expect next school year, so we anticipate releasing our own transition plan during the summer. Part of this process will involve an opportunity for parent input as we plan for in-person instruction, so please look for more information to come.

In response to the ISBE guidelines, District 64 Superintendent Eric Olson wrote a letter to the community. View the letter here.

In the latest update of the remote learning program, Lori Lopez, Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning, reported to the District 64 School Board the results of a recent parent survey, noting three staff committees have already started on possible improvements moving forward. Besides professional development offerings highlighting technology this summer, administrators and teachers will develop a plan for returning to school and/or remote learning in the 2020-21 school year with three goals in mind: an improved communication platform; more specific expectations; an organized pickup of school materials.

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.