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District 208 COVID-19 Transition Committee Stakeholder Update - July 24

RB Students and Families,

The District 208 COVID-19 Transition Committee, consisting of parents, students, faculty, and administration met on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

Below are a few key takeaways from the committee’s sixth meeting to keep stakeholders up to date and to answer questions the committee has received since the last update:

Please note that on Thursday the State Board of Education sent school districts additional guidelines. The committee will need some time to review these guidelines. We are still optimistic that we can reach our target date of August 3, to release our final plan to parents and students.
  • FINALIZED PLAN (HYBRID MODEL): The COVID-19 Transition Committee has finalized a hybrid model that will be used for reopening school in the fall. The model will include both in-person classroom instruction and virtual classroom instruction. The hybrid model will help maintain appropriate social distancing by limiting the number of students in the building every day. The student body will be split into two groups based on the first letter of their last name (A-L / M-Z). Students not scheduled to be in attendance on a particular day will receive virtual interactive classroom instruction for a portion of their schedule. The finalized model is being reviewed by the staff and administration. The committee is also developing an FAQ document for when the model is officially released on August 3. A general COVID-19 email link will also be established so stakeholders can submit additional questions not covered in the FAQ to one central location for timely feedback. The final survey results are attached to this communication.
  • PHASE 4: At the time of this correspondence, the State of Illinois is still operating in Phase 4 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan. In Phase 4, schools can reopen for in-person instruction under specific guidelines and recommendations (ex: face coverings and social distancing). Phase 4 of the Governor’s plan does not require a vaccine for the return of in-person instruction.
    The committee is watching the daily reports on Illinois Covid-19 cases. All stakeholders should be aware that the District could go to a fully-remote learning plan at any time during the upcoming school year. The committee feels strongly that the school year should open with an in-person model so students can meet their teachers and establish some relationships and routines. If there is a need to transition to a fully-remote learning model, the transition will go much more smoothly if students have had some in-person instruction time with their teachers first
  • REMOTE LEARNING: The District will only go to a fully-remote learning model if the school needs to suspend in-person learning or the State/IDPH requires schools to go back to Phase 3. The hybrid model does provide some opportunities for interactive virtual instruction for students who cannot attend school in person due to a documented medical condition. More information will be included in the FAQ.
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION: The Interim Director of Special Education is a part of the committee, and special education services are being considered within the hybrid model. More information will be forthcoming when the model is officially released.
  • SAFETY: The Safety Subcommittee is still finalizing its plans, but the following will serve as our baseline for any “in-person” model:
    • Masks will be required for everyone inside the building.
    • Temperature checks at arrival for all employees and students.
    • Water fountains will be shut off - water bottle fill stations will only be available.
    • Hand sanitizer will be available in each classroom.
    • Increased cleaning and sanitizing by custodial staff.
    • Teachers will re-organize classroom layouts.
    • Students will not have access to their lockers during the hybrid model except in an emergency.
    • Building HVAC - The schedule of the occupied mode will be extended to allow for additional air changes (outside air) prior to student/staff arrival. Additionally, the negative static pressure in the building will be increased by utilizing the exhaust fan system to draw in additional outside air.
  • KEY EVENTS: The Residency Portal is open for parents and guardians to submit their documents. The deadline to submit forms is July 24. Parents and guardians will receive a verification email and link to sign up for the in-person appointment once their documents have been approved. Families that have not received an approval email will need to contact Colette Buscemi buscemic@rbhs208.net for more information. Freshman Orientation will be held in person on August 12. Please refer to the following letter for more information.
  • ACTIVITIES (Band/Choral): Mrs. Prince is waiting for official guidance from the IDPH/ISBE on how to safely conduct choral and band ensembles this school year. The Administration, Board of Education, and Teacher Association are working through plans for some clubs/activities to run this school year. More information will be forthcoming.
  • ATHLETICS: The IHSA will take part in discussions with leaders from the IDPH and ISBE on Friday, July 24. The IHSA expects this meeting will provide guidance for the upcoming fall athletic season. The IHSA Board of Directors meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 29 (this meeting was originally scheduled for July 22). More information will be shared once guidance is received from IHSA or IDPH.
View the PDF version below.