THE LATEST (11/17)
DPS 109 elementary students will be in a remote learning setting until at least January 19, 2021. Below is more information that was provided to the community in an email update from the Co-Interim Superintendents:
ELEMENTARY SHIFTING TO 109 ONLINE UNTIL WINTER BREAK
Given the intent to remain in a full remote learning environment (as you’ll read about below), we are pivoting to a modified 109 Online schedule starting on Monday, November 30. The 109 Online learning model provides students with additional instructional minutes, which teachers can use to expand personalized academic and social-emotional learning opportunities. While your child’s 109 Online schedule may look similar to the beginning of the school year, families can anticipate more small group instruction to be embedded throughout the day. Students will not switch teachers or classes. Monday, November 23rd will now be marked as a planning day for K-5 teachers and staff to finalize details of this pivot. Elementary students will not be in attendance on that day. Elementary families can expect to receive more details on what their child’s modified schedule will look like via email on Tuesday, November 24th.
A TARGETED RETURN DATE FOR HYBRID
The Board of Education supported our recommendation that DPS109 students will remain in a remote learning setting over the upcoming weeks, with an earliest possible return date of Tuesday, January 19th for grades K-6 & Thursday, January 21 for grades 7 & 8. We selected those dates considering a few factors:
- There has been an overwhelming rise in COVID-19 cases and metrics across our region and state;
- The upcoming weeks contain the typical “interruptions” caused by Thanksgiving and winter break;
- Allowing students to remain remote for two weeks when classes resume on January 4th will account for any potential travel or increased risk of exposure during the holidays;
- 6th graders are entering a brand new school for the first time and will benefit from having two days to get settled ahead of their older classmates.
It is important to note that January 19th is a target that, like everything in this pandemic, can be shifted later depending on how things look in the days and weeks proceeding. We are planning as though students will be in school on January 19th, but it is not something that can be guaranteed.
When students return to the classroom for hybrid learning, K-6 would all be able to start on the same day, given the systems already in place. There would not be a staggered approach like there was at the beginning of the year.
WHAT DOES JANUARY 19th LOOK LIKE?
For elementary students, it would look a lot like the AM/PM hybrid schedule they have been following. Depending on how many families switch their instructional model, changes may be necessary (as you will read below). For middle school students, there would be a shift from the current virtual 109 Online schedule to an AM/PM hybrid schedule that will be unveiled as part of the upcoming survey (read below).
A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR CHOICE
A survey will be sent to all DPS109 families on December 2nd (due on December 9th) for you to indicate your remote or in-person learning preference for the second semester. Stay tuned for more information.
WHAT WOULD KEEP US FROM RETURNING ON JANUARY 19?
This is an excellent question. While we are hopeful to have K-6 with us on January 19th, we will continue to consult the metrics set forth by the Lake County Health Department, consult with the Re-Entry Task Force, consult with other area superintendents, and seek advice of medical experts and others to determine if re-launching the hybrid model on January 19th is appropriate. The Board of Education has two regular meetings prior to this date, on Monday, December 14th and on Monday, January 11th, where we can re-evaluate where things stand and if any alterations need to be made to this timeline. The Re-Entry Task Force will meet at minimum following the December and January board meetings, giving that group several opportunities to provide input prior to January 19th.