OPENING OF THE MEETING:
The Re-Entry Task Force virtual meeting was called to order at 5:01 pm on November 17, 2020 by Ryan Kuo.
Ryan Kuo (co-Chair), Jane Westerhold, Eileen Brett, Ellen Schultz, Ely Jacobsohn, Emily White VanGompel, Eric Steckling, John Filippi, Rebecca Rudd, Sara Boucek, Sari Montgomery, Brian Wolf, Melanie Caspi, Steve Serota, David Birnbaum, Joyce Rubenstein
Ryan Kuo provided the Task Force with a recap of the November 16, 2020 Board Meeting. Dr. Daniel Johnson from the University of Chicago attended the Board Meeting to discuss various testing options, different types of face coverings and their effectiveness, and the impact of mitigation protocols relative to in-person learning. The Task Force discussed the cost/benefit analysis of various types of COVID testing.
Based on the current rise in COVID-19 cases in our region and the potential risk of higher exposure during the holidays, the recommendation presented at the Board meeting is for students to continue with learning in a remote setting at this time. The district is aiming for a targeted start date for in-person hybrid learning on January 19, 2021. Until then, elementary schools will pivot to a modified 109 Online schedule beginning Monday, November 30th, which will provide students with additional instructional minutes that teachers can utilize for social emotional and more personalized learning opportunities. There will be no change to middle school schedules. A survey will be sent to families in December to indicate remote or in-person learning selection for the remainder of the school year.
Ryan shared that the importance of social-emotional learning across the district is recognized, and that the district has contracted with a professional in this field to support our teachers and parents in SEL efforts for students.
Ryan noted that MAP results were also discussed at the Board Meeting on November 16th. Although there did not appear to be any significant declines as a District overall, Dr. Schwartz will be providing more extensive data to the Board at their request to specifically look closely at the district's math trends.
John Filippi updated the Task Force on HVAC risk mitigation measures in district buildings and the progress of installation.
The Task Force members discussed district communications relative to COVID. The group agreed that the district is not a public health agency and therefore must continue to follow the guidance of the experts as it relates to when to notify the community (even when not in-person). The Task Force plans to brainstorm ideas for the next meeting including risk mitigation updates, assisting in planning for return to in-person learning, and reviewing thresholds and metrics.
Task Force meetings will take place on the Tuesdays following Regular Board meetings. With that expectation in mind, the proposed meeting schedule would be as follows should there be a need to continue meeting through the end of the school year:
- December 15, 2020
- January 12, 2021
- February 9, 2021
- March 30, 2021
- April 27, 2021
- May 25, 2021
- June 15, 2021
Ryan Kuo thanked everyone for their time contributions to the Task Force and adjourned the meeting at 6:10 pm.