A Message from your Superintendent
June 23rd, 2020
Dear District 57 Families and Staff:
I hope your summer is off to a good start and that your family is healthy and doing well. Today, the state released guidance regarding the 2020-21 school year. We have been anticipating this information and are eager to share how it relates to District 57 as we prepare to head back to school in August.
As we transition into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, the state is strongly encouraging schools to reopen for in-person instruction. The state stresses that this does not signify a return to pre-pandemic operations and that school districts should plan to institute many accommodations designed to ensure safety of students, staff and their families.
What does this mean for District 57? Students and staff will return full time to all four buildings when the new school year begins. There will be no remote learning unless there is a change to public health conditions (like a resurgence of the virus in the fall). If that happens, the state will notify us of new guidance. When we return to the buildings, we will follow all of the public health requirements outlined, including:
= Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings
= Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space
= Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible
= Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings
= Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection
The 60-page document released today, developed by the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health, answers many critical questions regarding what in-person learning will look like. We can’t yet outline our exact plans for District 57 schools, as the document was released to administrators at the same time as the public. It will take some time for us to review the detailed guidance and implement the suggestions into our own transition plan. In addition, we plan to send out a survey in the coming days to get your input about what the return to school could look like.
I am aware that families want information as soon as possible. I assure you that our Remote Learning Task Force, made up of 45 teachers and administrators, has already made a lot of progress in preparing for the school year. Today’s guidance will accelerate our planning, and we will be able to answer many of your questions very soon. I’m confident we will have a solid plan for re-engaging students in the learning process, while prioritizing everyone’s health and safety.
Thank you for your flexibility and patience.
Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools