Oct. 9: Hybrid planning, school news

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Oct. 9: Hybrid planning, school news

October 9th, 2020

A Message from Your Superintendent

Before we head into the long weekend, I want to update you on the work we are doing to get many of our students back in the schools for hybrid learning. I also want to share some innovative and special things that are happening in and out of the classrooms. I’m pleased to see the ways that students are engaged and taking advantage of opportunities to grow and learn, even though they are not able to be together in person right now.

Elementary Planning: Parents/guardians filled out the enrollment survey to help us plan which students and staff will move to a half-day hybrid model and which will stay with remote learning starting in one month – 48.9 percent selected hybrid, 37.2 percent selected remote learning, and 13.9 percent selected follow their current teacher (whether hybrid or remote). The principals are now undertaking the complex task of sectioning students, doing their best to align sibling schedules and accommodate as many requests as possible. We will notify families of their placement the week of Oct. 26. On Nov. 2, we will determine if the metrics are where we need them to be for safety and sustainability, and we will confirm if we’re able to start the hybrid transition on Nov. 9.

Lincoln Planning: Lincoln parents, if you have not already filled out the non-binding survey about in-person hybrid preferences, please do so by midnight tonight. In addition, Dr. Mary Gorr, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, and Paul Suminski, Lincoln principal, held four parent forums this week. We are reviewing the feedback and determining what Lincoln can accommodate as we develop a recommendation that we’ll make at the School Board meeting next Thursday, Oct. 15.

Your Input: I want to stress that your input has been important to us – the surveys, emails and calls, Board meeting comments and Lincoln parent forums – as we make plans to bring students back. It’s difficult to meet everyone’s needs, but we are listening and doing our best to be responsive.

News from the Schools: As we move toward the next phase, it’s important to note that there are some wonderful remote learning success stories taking place in District 57 classrooms every day. For example: students checking out LRC books online and picking them up in bins outside the buildings; impressive projects coming out of all four art classes; students singing and dancing with their music teachers; Westbrook PE classes taking part in family blast virtual workouts; Fairview students receiving Character Cards for good behavior and winning the chance to have a virtual lunch with the principal; Lions Park fifth graders making cards for the elderly and brainstorming other ideas to help people in need during the pandemic; the Lincoln cross country team launching a shortened, socially distanced season (and winning its first meet against MacArthur!); and so much more. Check #D57teachersmakingitwork on Facebook and Twitter to see these and other stories highlighted in the coming weeks.

Remember, no school Monday. Enjoy the long weekend!
Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools
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