A Message From Your Superintendent
At last night’s School Board meeting, Board members gave District administrators the okay to move forward with implementing hybrid learning on Jan. 19, for families who selected that model. The following factors have gone into the decision to have hybrid students return to the buildings as planned:
- District 57 has closely monitored area school districts that have had in-person learning, and, for the most part, they have successfully been able to keep students and staff in the buildings for several months, thanks to their mitigation efforts. This positive data from other communities is encouraging and gives us more confidence in our ability to safely manage even as COVID-19 rates are high.
- The District has engaged in extensive planning and has implemented procedures to keep students and staff as safe as possible.
- Families who selected the hybrid model have not requested a delay, and many have expressed support for moving forward with hybrid as planned.
- The COVID-19 incidence rates that are currently available to us, while still high, are trending downward for suburban Cook County and Mount Prospect. The District’s internal metrics continue to be very good. The metrics were updated yesterday and can be found at this link.
So we are now finalizing plans for the transition on Jan. 19. You have already heard from your principals this week, and you will receive more information from the schools and the District in the coming days. I thank you for your patience as administrators and staff undertake this monumental planning and scheduling challenge. I know this is also a challenging time for students and families, especially if you are adjusting to new teachers and/or schedules. The schools are available to provide support as needed.
At last night’s Board meeting we presented results of the survey we recently gave to Lincoln families who selected hybrid. We wanted to determine if they prefer to keep the current two-phase approach or if they would want students to remain in phase one (half days) until the end of third quarter on March 19. We stated that if parents did not respond, we would assume they were choosing to keep the two phases. Here are the results: 42 percent preferred the phased-in approach, 38 percent preferred keeping half days until March 19, and 19 percent did not reply. So we will move forward with the original Lincoln plan of half days for three weeks, followed by students attending two full days in person each week.
Some Board members have asked about the possibility of bringing more students into the buildings in the third trimester for the elementary schools and fourth quarter for the middle school, if families wish to move from remote learning to an in-person model. The Return-to-School Task Force that is made up of parents, staff and administrators will discuss this possibility and potential ideas when it meets next Tuesday.
I hope everyone had a good first week back at school. We look forward to seeing many of our students in person in the very near future!
Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools