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Updated CCSD93 In-Person Learning Plan for Kindergarten-5th Grade

September 10, 2020

Dear CCSD93 Community,

I am pleased to share our updated plan for providing kindergarten through 5th grade students with in-person learning opportunities moving forward. Please review the following in its entirety.

Critical Factors Influencing the Plan

The health and safety of our students, staff members and community at large have been the driving factors in our decisions from the onset of the pandemic. Health experts continue to learn about the virus, and our public health organizations consistently provide updated guidance to school districts, including CCSD93, for the health and safety of all. 

While we anticipate continued updates, August 28 guidance from the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) provided clear recommendations for instruction based on county-wide levels of Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) COVID-19 risk metrics. The guidance establishes three color-coded Community Transmission Risk Levels based on a variety of factors including weekly cases, positivity rates and rate of community spread. The levels identified are: Minimal (yellow), Moderate (orange) and Substantial (red). You can find out more about this guidance from our message sent on September 2, linked at www.ccsd93.com/9-2-20. In short, by strictly following safety protocols, we can feel confident in safely bringing students into our classrooms for in-person learning as long as we remain in the Minimal or Moderate Community Transmission Risk Levels. DuPage County currently has been in the Moderate level for two consecutive weeks. 

Additionally, the health and safety guidance we have received has continued to prioritize limiting interactions of students outside of small “cohorts”, reducing the opportunities our students have to remove their facemasks, maintaining social distance, and frequent handwashing.

Our Community Transmission Risk Level, along with all other health guidance, comprises what we call Health Data. In addition, considerations related to Staffing, Quarantine Restrictions, and Safety Protocol & Equipment influence our ability to hold in-person learning. Please review the graphic below for more information on these four In-Person Learning Factors.

CCSD93 Returning to In-Person Learning.png

Potential Setbacks

Before reviewing the plan below, please be aware that should any of the four In-Person Learning Factors in the graphic above reach levels that are not acceptable, some or all students may need to return to fully remote learning. As recommended by the IDPH, this would be considered an “adaptive pause” to prevent disease transmission. The single greatest concern is the Community Transmission Risk Level transitioning from Moderate to Substantial. In this case, CCSD93 would almost certainly transition to fully Remote Learning and would inform parents of the transition to fully Remote Learning on a Monday afternoon when the updated Community Transmission Risk Levels are announced. Please be sure to review the DCHD Return to School Framework linked here to have a full understanding of the county-wide health metrics that influence the Community Transmission Risk Level. 

Updated In-Person Hybrid Learning Plan for Grades Kindergarten-5

You can find the full updated in-person Hybrid Learning plan linked at www.ccsd93.com/reopening. If you had the opportunity to review CCSD93’s original Reopening Plan, the update shares many similarities and a few key differences. The following are important highlights.

Key Differences From Original Hybrid Learning Plan:

  • Students will be separated into A and B attendance groups, however they will each attend in-person school each school day, Monday through Friday, with Group A attending in the morning and Group B attending in the afternoon. Students will be assigned to groups, and their previously assigned grouping from August may not be their grouping for this updated plan. CCSD93 will work to keep siblings assigned to the same grouping.
    • Hybrid Learning Group A will attend school offsite (remotely) during Hybrid Learning Group B’s in-person learning times, while Group B will attend school offsite (remotely) during Group A’s in-person learning times.
    • Hybrid Learning Group A will attend school in person (while Hybrid Learning Group B learns offsite):
      • Monday: 8:45-10:45 a.m.
      • Tuesday-Friday: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
    • Hybrid Learning Group B will attend school in person (while Hybrid Learning Group A learns offsite):
      • Monday: 12:15-2:15 p.m.
      • Tuesday-Friday: 1:00-3:45 p.m.
    • When a student grade level returns to in-person learning, the previously allocated 2:15-3:45 p.m. Student Support Time will no longer be in place as we seek to maximize in-person learning opportunities. 
  • While Hybrid Learning groupings are in person, they will receive live synchronous instruction focused on core content areas.
  • While Hybrid Learning groupings are offsite (remote), they will receive asynchronous lessons and activities based on core content as well as CATS lessons. 
  • We encourage students to attend in person if possible, however, families who wish to remain fully within Remote Learning may do so and will be assigned to Group A or Group B. They will learn synchronously with their Hybrid Learning peer group and asynchronously while the group is asynchronous.
    • This will look significantly different from the current Remote Learning experience.
    • Students participating in Remote Learning will do so by joining the in-person students via live stream for the synchronous portion of their instructional day. 
  • Grade levels will be brought back gradually in tiers. Find more details in the “Timing” section below.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected between the morning and afternoon.
  • Hybrid Learning students in either grouping will be able to pick up a cold lunch to take home with them after their in-person session, while fully Remote Learning students can continue to stop by the school for lunch pickup.

Key Health & Safety Requirements

As previously shared, those returning to in-person learning will be required to adhere strictly to the following safety protocols without exception: 

  • Students are required to wear a mask for the entire duration of in-person learning and on school buses.
  • Students are required to maintain social distancing of six (6) feet at all times. This means that student socialization while in school will be vastly different than years past.
  • Families are required to submit a daily COVID-19 Self-Screener for each child before leaving for school, and if the student has experienced any of the listed symptoms or potential exposure, they must stay home.

In addition, each CCSD93 school will have the following safety protocols in place:

  • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected between the morning and afternoon sessions.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected in the evening.
  • Should a COVID-19 case become present:
    • CCSD93 will strictly follow cleaning and sanitizing protocols.
    • CCSD93 will work with the DCHD to strictly follow contact tracing and quarantine procedures, which include fully quarantining all members of a cohort in the event that two of its members become COVID-19 positive.

Why Morning & Afternoon Groupings?

  • This eliminates lunch time, which public health guidance has continued to caution as a significant risk for transmission because students cannot wear masks while they eat and droplets known to carry COVID-19 have a much greater chance of spreading. 
  • This reduces the total amount of time students will wear a mask in a given day as they can remove the mask when they arrive home.
  • This enables teachers and students to connect in-person more frequently.

Why No In-Person Option for Middle School Students?

  • Public health guidance continues to emphasize the necessity of keeping the number of peers each classmate has personal contact with (known as their cohort) as low as possible. In elementary school, student cohorts can be kept to just those in their main classroom and those with whom they share a bus route (if applicable). However, due to the volume and variety of classes in the middle school level, each student’s cohort expands exponentially with each class they attend.
  • CCSD93 will continue to evaluate and try to find ways to safely bring middle school students back for in-person learning opportunities.

Timing - Tiered Dates for Return

The updated plan will bring students back in tiers, prioritizing the return of our "least independent learners" to in-person learning first. This means that individual students who have been contacted directly by the district to receive special education in-person itinerant service will be back first, followed by our preschool students, then kindergarten and then subsequent grade levels. Our least independent learners have the greatest need for in-person instructional opportunities.

By bringing students back in tiers, CCSD93’s schools are able to more effectively implement, establish procedures for, and make appropriate adjustments to schoolwide practices to faithfully follow District protocols for the health and safety of all students and staff members.

Review the following chart to understand our tentative timeline for bringing students back.

Students Receiving InPerson Learning.png

 

As a reminder, if at any point any of the factors described in the “Potential Setbacks” section above reach unacceptable levels, CCSD93 may transition fully to remote learning. In this case, families will be sent updated timelines for returning to school as soon as those timelines become available. If this were to occur, CCSD93 would seek to bring back all grade levels that have already been brought back first, and then continue bringing back additional grade levels following a similar tiered timeline as listed above. 


Next Steps for Preschool-5th Grade Families

  • Families should complete this form
    • The following are the deadlines by which we ask families to complete it: 
      • Preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade should complete it by Sunday, September 13.
      • Students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade should complete it by Sunday, September 20.
    • In the form, families will indicate:
      • Whether their child will participate in Hybrid Learning or fully Remote Learning moving forward. We are re-surveying families on this because the in-person component of the plan has changed enough that we cannot assume the decision families made in July and August will remain the same.  
        • Those who choose Remote Learning are committing to do so through at least winter break.
        • Those who choose Hybrid Learning will be able to transition to fully Remote at any time.
      • Whether your child will take district provided busing to and from school (if they qualify). If you are able to provide your own transportation, we ask that you consider doing so to reduce potential exposure.
      • Whether you would like your child sent home with a cold lunch each day. Meals will be sealed and may not be consumed until the student arrives home.
  • Check your email from September 3 for login credentials for PowerSchool, and be sure to establish your account so that you are most prepared to take CCSD93’s Self-Screener when it becomes available. You will be sent more information on taking practice versions of the Self-Screener prior to your child returning to in-person learning.
  • Keep an eye out for updated timing in case any of the In-Person Learning Factors become unacceptable and students must transition back to fully remote. 
  • At least a week prior to students returning to in-person learning, families will receive a message indicating their grouping.

Thank you for taking the time to review this message in its entirety. Please reach out to your child’s principal with questions.

Sincerely,

David H. Hill, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
CCSD93