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Parent Survey on Reopening Schools in the Fall


Dear D68 Parents and Guardians,

I hope that July finds you and your families safe and well, and continuing to take appropriate safety precautions to keep them that way. On June 23, the Illinois State Board of Education released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year. Over the last week the D68 administrative team has been carefully reviewing the guidance, which describes what the 2020-21 school year may look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing, and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy.

In the coming weeks we will continue to review this detailed guidance and incorporate the recommendations into our District's re-entry plan. Given the fluidity of the situation, it is important that District 68 plan for a number of different scenarios, understanding that our goal is to provide the most consistent and stable learning environment for student success possible, while balancing the need to keep students and staff as safe as we can. 

The most likely scenarios for the fall are either:

  • that we will begin the school year continuing to use a Remote Learning model to start the year; or
  • that we begin the school year with a hybrid approach that combines part-time in-person learning, with social distancing and protective measures in place, and Remote Learning so as to effectively reduce class size and improve social distancing; or
  • that we start the year with all students physically in attendance everyday with social distancing and protective measures in place.

A full return to our "normal" school environment is not likely until Phase 5 of Restore Illinois when there is a vaccine, which is probably at least some months away. 

Your school board and I understand the many and different pressures we are all feeling when contemplating a return to school. Please know that we are taking many factors such as safety, the superior academic and social-emotional learning that take place with in-person instruction, family economics and childcare needs, as well as mental health repercussions, into consideration in our decision-making process. To that end we are surveying both staff and parents so that we can inform our thinking with the input of those that will be most affected by what we decide for the fall.

If you use a Google Chrome browser you can translate the survey to other languages once you open the survey. For directions, watch this short video:

Directions on how to translate a google form: HERE

Please complete and return THIS SURVEY by the end of the day on Friday, July 10. 

Throughout July we will be deliberating what school looks like in the fall as we continue to monitor the direction of the public health crisis. While I know that we would all appreciate the certainty of a decision now, the uncertainty of the course of COVID-19 makes that impractical at the moment. We will communicate our fall plans as soon as we are able to do so knowing that your plans will depend upon what we decide. Releasing a plan now would be premature and we would quite possibly have to change that plan before the end of summer.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as District 68 works to balance the many competing priorities that we are facing. I also want to thank you for working with us to come up with plans that best serve our students and staff while keeping them safe.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer with your family members and loved ones...and please continue to take appropriate safety precautions.

Sincerely,                    

James E. Garwood  
Superintendent of Schools