As the upcoming 2020-21 school year draws near, area elementary school districts have recently tentative reopening plans for the unprecedented fall semester.
Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89 administrators announced in a letter sent to families on July 16 that they plan to start the fall on a blended learning model while Bellwood District 88 and Lindop District 92 will both start the fall on a remote learning, or e-learning, model.
According to D89’s reopening plan, students “will have in-person instruction 2 days a week with remote instruction (eLearning) 3 days a week,” D89 Supt. David Negron announced in the letter. “Your school principal will communicate the days that your children will be attending in person by the end of the month.”
Negron explained that the district’s goal is to make sure that siblings attend school on the same days.
“We will be modifying the instructional day, so students in 6th – 8th will be dismissed at 1:45 and students in K – 5th will be dismissed at 2:30. There are no changes to the instructional day for preschool students.
“The modified schedule along with Wednesdays will allow for deep cleaning of our schools. More specific information regarding our hybrid approach will be shared in the coming weeks. We will also be developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that will likely address additional questions and concerns you may have.”
In a statement released last week, Bellwood District 88 Supt. Mark Holder announced that after considering multiple reopening plans, “including full in-person instruction, a hybrid model with two consecutive days of in-person instruction followed by three remote learning days, and full remote instruction,” the district ultimately implement a “phased approach.”
Holder’s team is calling that approach an “e-learning 2.0 plan,” which will be made available at the end of the month.
“Embedded in the plan, students will engage in teacher led instruction and remote learning activities,” he explained. “Standards, rigor, grading, and attendance are of the utmost importance and will also be included in the plan.”
Bellwood D88 students will begin the school year on Sept. 8 on a remote learning plan and at the end of the first quarter, administrators “will assess our current reality and decide how to proceed with either a hybrid model or continue with remote learning,” Holder said.
At a regular meeting on July 21, the D92 school board unanimously approved the district administration’s recommendation that the district start the 2020-21 school year remotely “with an assessment to re-enter school on campus as appropriate in January 2021.”
Administrators at all three districts said that their actions were based on guidances put forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and/or the Illinois State Board of Education.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker to order schools closed back in March, school districts across the state have depended on information from those entities to guide their actions.
Administrators at the three districts also said that their reopening plans are subject to change based on new developments related to the viral disease and how local, state and federal governments are respond to it.