News from CCSD15
December 18, 2020
A Message from Superintendent Heinz
Dear District 15 Parents/Guardians:
I hope this message finds you well and ready for the upcoming winter break. I am sure you share my sentiment that I cannot wait to put 2020 behind us and welcome 2021!
As we shared at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, December 9, we intend to return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 5. This change impacts only in-person students. Virtual students will remain virtual.
After much consideration, we are choosing not to extend our Adaptive Pause further into January because positive case report data and contact tracing information have reiterated that our schools are not a primary source of COVID-19 spread due to mitigation efforts such as masks, distancing, reduced class sizes, and hand washing. As our data shows, the vast majority of staff and students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are contracting the virus outside of our buildings. Due to previously mentioned mitigation efforts, the majority are not spreading it to others at school.
CONCURRENT LEARNING OPTION FOR IN-PERSON STUDENTS THROUGH JANUARY 15
If your winter break activity puts your child(ren) at an increased health risk (such as travel), we ask that you consider a quarantine period upon your return home out of courtesy for others in the school buildings. Concurrent learning for in-person students will be offered through Friday, January 15 for those choosing to stay home during this time. Should you elect to participate in concurrent learning January 5-15, please fill out this online form by Tuesday, December 29. Only students who are in-person learners need to complete this form. Virtual students who participate in school concurrently will still have access to this modality.
Beyond January 15, in-person learners will be allowed to concurrently learn by streaming into the classroom only if they need to quarantine for illness or exposure. When students flip flop between concurrent and in-person learning for reasons not related to COVID-19, it causes significant disruption within the classroom as well as the main office level where daily accountability for student attendance is a state requirement. For this reason, students who have requested in-person learning who choose to stay home for alternative reasons will not have access to concurrent instruction in 2021. Should your child be absent from in-person learning for a reason other than COVID-19 quarantine or exposure, as was the expectation prior to the pandemic, please contact your main office’s attendance line to report the absence.
Please note these restrictions for concurrent learning do not impact virtual learners or junior high students attending school from home on their off days from in-person learning.
MORE DETAIL ON RETURNING TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
There has also been some confusion as to who will return on Tuesday, January 5. Our in-person learning models have not changed from what we had in place from September through November, just prior to our adaptive pause implementation.
Elementary students who elected virtual learning will remain virtual;
Elementary students who elected in-person learning will attend school Monday - Friday for the full school day; and
At the junior high level, in-person learners will continue to attend in a hybrid model and follow their previously assigned A/B schedule.
As we begin winter break, I hope you find time to relax and enjoy the season with your family. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school, both in-person and virtually, on Tuesday, January 5.
I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and thank you for your ongoing support and partnership. In times like these -- it truly means the world.
Your partner in education,
In-person students should fill out this form to request concurrent (virtual) instruction from January 5-15.
ACCESS TESTING DELAYED
The Illinois State Board of Education announced that it has delayed the opening of the 2021 spring assessment window to at least March 15. The ACCESS 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS assessments will be delayed accordingly, and no testing for either virtual or in person students will take place during the months of January or February.
We will share more information about English proficiency testing closer to March as it becomes available. We thank you for your flexibility and patience as we continue to pivot and adjust our plans in response to ISBE’s guidance. Your partnership during these unprecedented times is very much appreciated.
WINTER BREAK MEAL DELIVERY
Meal distribution will only take place once over the winter break period - Tuesday, December 22. Families will have the opportunity to pick up a box of six breakfasts and lunches on this date. We ask that you please pre-register for a meal box so our team can prepare in advance. To view the menu, please visit our website (English/Spanish).
The USDA has extended the free meal provision for all students nationwide through the end of the 2020-21 school year (previous date was December 31). No students will be charged for meals during this time.
DIGITAL AND AUDIO BOOK APP FOR STUDENTS
More information is available on our website.