Dear D140 Families and Staff,
Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released updated guidance regarding the reopening of schools. The new safety measures outlined in this document included many requirements that would make our planned Hybrid Learning option unsustainable. In consultation with the Board of Education, we have determined that Kirby School District 140 students will begin the first quarter of the school year learning remotely. The first quarter ends October 30, 2020, at which point, we will reassess State guidance as it applies to in-person learning.
This was not an easy decision to make. To say that we are disappointed with this outcome is an understatement. Throughout this entire process, we have listened to our stakeholders and considered our families’ needs. We have spent countless hours crafting plans and schedules that would have allowed our families a choice of learning options for their student(s). These new guidelines make returning to school in-person, even on an abbreviated Hybrid schedule, untenable.
I’ve linked the IDPH’s guidance with the most challenging aspects highlighted in yellow. As you can see, in light of the State’s new requirements for quarantining, testing, and contact tracing, it would be nearly impossible for in-person students and staff to maintain consistent attendance rates. Families’ schedules would constantly be shifting in response to student and staff quarantine protocols.
I anticipate that many of you will have questions about returning to school remotely. We are asking for your patience yet again as we pivot in response to changing health and safety requirements from the State. Details regarding our Full Remote Plan will be communicated within the next couple of days.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We appreciate your support.
Dr. Shawn M. Olson