Dear D76 Families and Staff,
On behalf of the Board of Education and District Leadership Team, we are committed to working together to support our students, families and staff for a safe and healthy return to school this fall. Therefore, after much deliberation, thoughtful discussions and careful review of staff and family survey results and available health department data, we are writing to update you about the revised information regarding the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
At the Tuesday, July 21 Board of Education Meeting the Roadmap: Return to School was presented. This was a tentative reopening plan consistent with known information and guidance at that date and time. However, leading up to and since that meeting, new information has become available, feedback has been shared and conversations have continued. These have all led to a change in the return to school plan.
The District Leadership Team will be presenting a new “Full (Remote) Distance Learning Plan” for all D76 students on Tuesday, August 4 at 7:00 pm. The Board of Education will review our recommendation and take action that evening. The new plan will be in place of the current Roadmap: Return to School Plan that was presented on July 21, which provided for both In-Person and Distance Learning options. The public is welcome to attend the meeting virtually through the Zoom Link available on our website.
The updated Roadmap: Return to School will plan for Distance Learning at home and Facilitated Distance Learning at a D76 school for the families who cannot facilitate distance learning at home and/or for students who require additional support/resources. This new plan will be in place for the entire 1st part of the school year, until December 18, 2020. More information will be provided at the August 4 Board of Education meeting. Once the Board takes action and approves the plan, detailed information will be sent to families and staff and will also be available on our website.
The revisions to our plans are based upon minimizing risk to students and staff, as we have watched COVID-19 numbers increase and programs close down due to positive cases. In addition, we are committed to providing cohesive instruction to students, limiting the interruptions that we expect to be likely onsite under the current guidance related to quarantining and contact tracing.
As you would hope and expect, we have spent thousands of hours over the past three months trying to find a way to provide some form of in-person learning experience for our students. Ultimately, we feel that our Distance Learning Plan will give us the best chance to create an instructional model that will provide students with rigorous, robust and high quality learning experiences and the best social/emotional connections under the circumstances, all while maintaining the physical and social-emotional health, safety and well being of our students, families and staff.
My heartfelt and sincere gratitude for your continued patience, flexibility, grace and confidence in us during these challenging and uncertain times. Thank you for your support and partnership.
Embrace Empower Excel...Each Child, Each Day
Bhavna Sharma-Lewis, Ph.D
Superintendent of Schools