8-13-2020 Return to School Plan Update

2020-08-13-news-update-image

Dear D140 Families and Staff,

Over the past couple of weeks, Kirby School District 140’s Return to School task force has been working with all stakeholders to refine plans for the upcoming school year. I want to update you on our progress and notify you of a few changes. Please carefully review the information below.

Transitioning Back to School

Beginning August 25, all staff will be on-site to work collaboratively in preparation for the start of the school year. Details regarding our August 31 supply pick up and September 1 first day of school will be communicated to families by their school principal during the week of August 24.

  • August 25: Teacher Institute day/no student attendance
  • August 26: Teacher planning day/no student attendance
  • August 27: Teacher planning day/no student attendance
  • August 28: Teacher planning day/no student attendance
  • August 31: Meet your teacher/supply/log in pick up day
  • September 1: First official student attendance day

Classroom Assignments / Student Schedules / Transportation Information

As planned, both Hybrid and Remote Learning students will return to school for the first day of instruction on Tuesday, September 1. Specific classroom assignments, middle school schedules, and transportation information will be released to families via our new Infinite Campus Parent Portal as soon as it is available. Again, we are asking for your patience as significant detailed planning of student schedules and movement throughout our buildings is required to ensure a safe and efficient educational day for our students and staff. Taking into consideration the numerous factors affecting operations, functions, and routines of the school day, it is likely that student classroom assignments, schedules, and transportation information will not be released until sometime during the week of August 24. 

Changes to our Remote Learning Option

The most significant change in our plan will affect our Kindergarten through eighth-grade Remote Learning students. Based on community and staff input, we’ve adjusted the start and end time of our Remote Learning day to mirror our in-person Hybrid instructional times. Remote elementary students will attend school from 7:55 am - 2:25 pm, while middle school Remote students will attend from 8:45 am - 3:15 pm. This expanded learning day will allow remote learners more live access to their teachers, built-in breaks from screen-time, and increased opportunities for collaboration. As with our Hybrid learners, grading and attendance procedures will be in place for our students learning remotely.

Our curriculum, technology, and professional development teams have been working diligently to create a program that will deliver the best possible academic experience for our remote learners. We will remain flexible and continue to develop our plan in response to student, family, and staff feedback. 

Half-Days

Half-Days, originally scheduled into our school calendar to accommodate staff development opportunities, will be eliminated. Staff will meet in small blocks of time as needed on Wednesdays throughout the school year. A full day of student and staff attendance will be expected on all previously scheduled Half-Days. 

Snow Days

Traditional “snow days” will not be utilized during the 2020-21 school year. If we experience inclement weather during the school year and traveling to or from school for in-person Hybrid learning is deemed unsafe, all D140 students will learn remotely at home. Families will receive notification of the switch to remote-only learning via phone, email, and text messaging. Information will also be posted on our website and our social media platforms. 

School Supplies

We’ve received numerous questions from families about school supplies. School Supply lists have not changed. We are working to ensure that Hybrid and Remote students utilize the same supplies as much as possible.
Hybrid students will use the same supplies at home and at school. Teachers will work with students to identify which supplies may need to travel back and forth between home and school. These supplies should be kept in a large pencil case or Ziploc bag in your student’s backpack. 

Hybrid Students and Face Masks

Face masks are required of anyone in a D140 school or on a D140 bus/bus stop. We encourage you to begin having your child practice wearing a mask. Social stories about mask-wearing and social distancing are available on the District website. Print copies are available in the school offices. Face masks that tie behind the head or loop over the ears, are acceptable. Please make sure that mask designs are school-appropriate. Face shields are not allowed at this time.

Our Board of Education policies requiring face coverings on school premises can be found by clicking the links below:

SWIC Fall Sports and School-Sponsored Clubs & Activities

Based on several concerns related to safety, scheduling, and transportation, D140 and other area schools have decided to postpone the Fall 2020 SWIC season, namely Cross Country, Girls Softball, and Boys Softball, for the present time. The status of the Fall 2020 season will be reassessed in October, and the SWIC Winter and Spring athletic seasons and competitions will also be evaluated at this time.

The start of all fall school-sponsored clubs & activities has also been postponed and will be reassessed as the year progresses.

Band

Plans are still underway to keep our young musicians involved and engaged in D140’s Band program. Our goal is for before-school band practice to resume in-person on Monday, September 21 following guidelines established by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Remote Learning band students will participate via Zoom or Google Meet.

We are currently evaluating Hybrid and Remote Learning band student schedules to determine how to provide lessons during the school day effectively. At this time, Hybrid band students will be pulled out for in-person instruction during their school day following ISBE, IDPH, and CDC guidelines. Remote band student lessons will be scheduled via Zoom or Google Meet. We will be contacting our band students and their families as soon as we have more information to share. 

Teamwork and Communication

We understand that any and all changes to our school routines greatly affect our families and staff. Please know that our School Board, Administration, Teachers Association, and Paraeducators Association are committed to working together to provide the safest and best possible learning experience for all our students. We appreciate your continued patience and support. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Shawn M. Olson
Superintendent

 


 

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