Latest COVID-19 Update From CCSD93
March 12, 2021
Dear CCSD93 Parents/Guardians,
This message is regarding updates to CCSD93 student schedules, which will begin after students return from spring break.
Most Essential Information
Due to improved health metrics, CCSD93 staff vaccinations, and revised guidance this week from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the following updates will be in place beginning the week of April 6 through the end of the 2020-21 school year:
- April 6 and April 7 will be converted to remote learning days for all students. They will work on asynchronous activities during these days as staff members undertake necessary preparations for increased in-person learning opportunities for students.
- Beginning April 8, the following updates will be made to the elementary school schedule:
- All current Hybrid Learning elementary students will attend school in person daily from 8:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will no longer be A or B groups.
- Current Remote Learning elementary students will learn synchronously during the same time frame. There will no longer be A or B groups.
- Tuesday through Friday, all elementary students will participate remotely in asynchronous work beginning at 2:00 p.m. until the end of the school day at 3:45 p.m. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. until the end of the school day at 3:45 p.m., some students will meet directly with teachers for Student Support Time.
- Beginning April 8, the following updates will be made to the middle school schedule:
- All current Hybrid Learning middle school students will attend school in person daily from 8:00 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, where they will receive instruction in core classes and participate in advisory.
- All current Remote Learning middle school students will learn synchronously daily from 8:00 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, when they will receive instruction in core classes and participate in advisory.
- Afternoon Tuesday through Friday offsite learning opportunities for all middle school students will consist of PE, related arts, foreign language, independent work time, and Student Support Time. These will be presented through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats. Specific timing and schedules will be sent to middle school families closer to April 8.
- The all day Monday offsite learning will remain the same as it has been.
- Beginning April 8, qualifying Early Childhood Center (ECC) students in the PFAE (extended day) program will receive increased learning opportunities. More information will be provided from the ECC to affected students. All other current ECC students will continue in their current schedules.
- While physical distancing within classrooms will be lessened to allow for these increased in-person learning opportunities, all other current health and safety measures will remain in place. CCSD93 will still work to maintain a distance of six feet throughout hallways and within its classrooms to the greatest extent possible.
- As a reminder, spring break will occur the week of March 29-April 2, with the following Monday, April 5 being a day off as well.
COVID-19 community transmission data metrics continue to decline locally and throughout DuPage County, and all CCSD93 staff members who wish to be vaccinated have had the opportunity to receive at least their first dose. The updated IDPH and ISBE guidance released on Tuesday, March 9 in no uncertain terms indicates that physical distancing of students as low as three to six feet is now permissible, aside from during any lunch meal service. The vast majority of parents and the majority of CCSD93 staff members who responded to our February survey support reducing the physical distance of students to four to six feet in order to accommodate increased in-person learning time throughout the school week.
For these reasons, CCSD93 is able to offer the adjusted schedules described above, which effectively provide double the amount of in-person learning opportunities than previously.
Mitigation Strategies Continue to be in Place
The updated guidance linked above still mandates that all schools must use the five essential mitigation strategies that are key to safely delivering in-person instruction and mitigating COVID-19 transmission. Those five essential mitigation strategies, which are already in use by CCSD93 at all of its schools, are:
- Require universal and correct use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks.
- Require social distancing be observed, to the greatest extent possible.
- Require contract tracing in combination with isolation of those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and quarantine of close contacts, in collaboration with the local health department.
- Increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection and maintenance of healthy environments.
- Promotion and adherence to handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
Food at School
Lunch will not be consumed. Updated guidance continues to make clear that lunch should not be served at a distance of less than six feet. It states, “Meal times represent one of the highest-risk settings within the school. Masks are removed and the act of eating and talking, usually with increased projection, can increase transmission risk. Schools must consider the number of students and adults in the classrooms or cafeteria during each breakfast and lunch period and ensure that all individuals maintain social distancing of at least six feet when masks are removed for eating, and six to no less than three feet when masks can be worn during the process of serving food, disposal, and leaving the cafeteria.” The volume of students attending in-person learning prohibits CCSD93 from being able to ensure six feet of social distance is maintained during lunch.
With elementary students attending school further into the afternoon, they will be provided with the opportunity to receive a small snack, at no cost to parents, consisting of self contained food items including but not limited to pre-sliced fruit and granola bars. These snacks will be designed to be able to be consumed in a manner that minimizes mess as well as time that students will have masks removed. They will be distributed in rotations in the classroom so that the students actively eating are always more than six feet apart from one another while all other students remain masked. Proper hand washing or sanitizing will be required before and after consumption. All allergy concerns will be accommodated, and students will not be permitted to bring their own snacks.
Greater Potential for Quarantine
While this plan provides greater opportunities for in-person learning, it also means a greater potential for students to be quarantined. If a COVID-19 case becomes present, CCSD93 will continue to adhere to the IDPH Decision Tree, which all schools are to follow. As prescribed by the Decision Tree, this means that an entire class at the elementary level and potentially as much as an entire grade level team at the middle school level would need to quarantine for seven to 14 days if a COVID-19 case were to become present. Siblings of those quarantined may also need to be quarantined.
More Information Forthcoming
In the coming weeks, families of all elementary and middle school students will receive further reminders and information about the updated schedule. Bussed students will receive updated bus information. Closer to spring break, the CCSD93 Reopening Plan will be updated with more specific information.
Change of Learning Options
While all families have made a commitment to Hybrid In-Person Learning or Remote Learning for 3rd trimester, we understand that this revised schedule may cause some families to reconsider their decision. As has been the case throughout this school year, Hybrid students can always transition to fully Remote Learning at any time. CCSD93’s schools will accommodate transitions from Remote Learning to Hybrid In-Person Learning as they are able. Please contact your child’s school office if you wish to transition between learning options beginning April 8.
Barring change to the lunch guidance from IDPH and ISBE, this will be the final change to our schedule for the 2020-21 school year. We are thrilled to be able to offer more in-person learning opportunities to students. As always, I appreciate your flexibility during this most difficult year as we seek to safely educate our students while following the guidance of our public health organizations.
David H. Hill, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools