October 20th, 2020
A Message from Your Superintendent
The School Board met again last night to make a decision on the Lincoln hybrid learning plan that District administration presented last Thursday. Board members asked questions of administrators, heard community comments and had a lengthy discussion, before directing us to move forward with starting to get students back into the middle school.
We have incorporated a great deal of community and staff feedback into the plans we’ve developed, and I thank everyone who has been engaged in the process. We recognize that these plans are not ideal – we’d all MUCH rather be together in the buildings full time with no restrictions. But we are extremely pleased to be taking steps that enable many of our students and staff to return, as safely as possible. This has been our goal and has driven all of our planning up to this point.
Here’s a recap of decisions that were made last night and the next steps:
We will be sending out a survey asking Lincoln families to select to either continue with remote learning (with dedicated remote learning teachers for core classes) or take part in phased-in hybrid learning, starting Nov. 30. For those who select hybrid:
- Students will be divided into two groups, Cohort A and Cohort B, in order to achieve 6 feet of social distancing between students in classrooms.
- In phase one, students will have four half days of in-person learning per week, with Cohort A attending in the morning and Cohort B in the afternoon. Each cohort will participate in livestream learning during the half day it is not in person. All students will have a full remote learning day on Wednesdays.
- In phase two, which starts Jan. 4, students will have two full days of in-person learning and two days of livestream learning per week, with cohorts attending school on alternating days and all students having remote learning on Wednesdays. When students are attending in person, they will have a mask-free lunch period, unless parents choose to pick their children up for lunch.
The enrollment survey and an FAQ document will go out to Lincoln families this week and will clearly explain each of these options. You can also find more details, including what the schedules will look like and the recent survey results, in the plan that was presented to the Board last week, at this link
. We are asking families to make an enrollment commitment that will last until the end of third quarter (March 20).
Of course, to implement our elementary plan on Nov. 9 and the middle school plan on Nov. 30, the State of Illinois must continue to be in phase four of the Restore Illinois Plan. In addition, the COVID-19 metrics we are using must be within an acceptable range. You can learn more in the metrics presentation that we gave to the Board last week, at this link
Return-to-School Task Force
Board members also decided to form a task force to help plan what the return to school might look like in the future. The task force could include a District administrator, teacher, support staff member, school nurse and approximately six parents representing a variety of viewpoints. The PTOs and principals will be asked to identify parents to participate on the task force. This group will look at current plans, metrics, what other districts are doing, etc., and will seek input from various stakeholders, with the goal of making recommendations that the District and Board will consider in future planning. Additional information will be shared after the Nov. 5 School Board meeting.
Thank you, again, for your patience and support as we move toward getting students and staff back in the buildings.
Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools