News from CCSD15
October 22, 2020
ENROLLMENT CHANGE REQUESTS
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are so pleased to have completed the rolling reentry process of our Return to Learn Plan, with all students who initially selected in-person learning returning to the classroom. In total, we welcomed more than 7,000 students back to school. As I have said over the last few months, I sincerely thank you for your support as we have worked to operationalize what school in District 15 looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic, both in-person and virtually. Although it has been quite challenging, we are thankful and simply thrilled our schools are filled with students once again.
Now that we are fully open for in-person learning, our energies will refocus on how to safely remain open and also on what our enrollment change request process will look like.
I hope you recall that throughout COVID-19, we have been explicit in sharing that our plans are subject to change, based upon the fluidity of the pandemic and its impact on our schools and the broader community. Much has changed from when we asked parents to make enrollment decisions three months ago. We have adapted to changes and so have you.
That being said, there are adjustments we are making to not only our thinking, but on how we foresee being able to proceed to meet staffing requirements, provide maximum physical distancing within each classroom, and continue to exceed safety guidelines in order to safely remain open.
The information below outlines the steps you must take if you would like to request a switch to your child’s current enrollment selection. No action is needed if your child will stay in his or her current placement.
NEW TIMING OF CHANGES FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING: WINTER BREAK
ACCOMMODATING IN-PERSON CHANGES
Although it has been our intent to offer in-person classroom space to every student who wants to make a change from virtual learning classroom assignments to face-to-face instruction, that may not be possible in our current environment. Most of our in person classrooms are currently at capacity, given 6 feet of physical distancing is recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. As contacting tracing has become more targeted and more deeply understood by our nursing staff, we are not comfortable, nor are our teachers, with classrooms that do not offer that level of distancing throughout the day.
Therefore, to allow in-person changes, space must be available in any given classroom for additional students to safely attend. Keeping 6 feet of distance between students is a health and safety standard that we will not waiver from as we head into 2021.
Each in-person change request will be handled individually and approved only if space permits.
CHANGES TO VIRTUAL LEARNING
Due to the ISBE requirement allowing virtual learning requests at any time, many students have already requested and been moved into a virtual setting. We understand some families have been waiting until the mid-year mark to decide if going virtual is the right choice for them.
Students in grades PreK-4 requesting a change to virtual learning from October 30 forward will stay with their current classroom/schedule and take part in instruction concurrently with their teacher(s) and classmates. This means the student will livestream into the classroom and participate in school via Zoom/Google Meet. This is the same process currently in place in grades 5-8.
CHANGE REQUEST FORM
If you would like to request a change in enrollment, we ask that you complete this online form no later than Friday, October 30 at 11:59 p.m. Virtual placements will be made by November 4. In-person placements that we are able to accommodate will be implemented by January 5, with notification provided by Tuesday, December 15 .
Please know that completion of this survey is not a guarantee that in-person requests can be accommodated. However, all requests to change to virtual learning will be honored, as required by ISBE. Online form submissions will inform us of the amount of requests we have District-wide for an enrollment change so that we can decide what options we are able to provide.
THIS IS IMPORTANT, please complete the online form only if you would like to request a switch from your current enrollment selection. No action is needed if your child will stay in his or her current placement.
Although it is our plan to continue with in-person instruction, it is difficult to predict what the state of the pandemic will be in January when change requests go into effect. Earlier this week, Lake and DuPage County Health Departments issued recommendations for schools to return to fully remote learning, but ultimately left the decision to each school District. Although our Cook County Health Department has not issued that recommendation at this time, please be aware we may need to implement an Adaptive Pause at the classroom, building or District level at any time in response to COVID 19 situations that may arise.
Thank you for your understanding as we work through the next phase of this process. To stay informed about the state of COVID-19 in our schools, visit our public dashboard which is updated Monday through Friday when school is in session.
As promised, we will communicate with you again soon to inform you of the status of your change request.
Your partner in education,
Dr. Laurie Heinz
Superintendent of Schools
If you'd like to request a change to your child's current enrollment path, please complete this form by Friday, October 30 at 11:59 p.m.
IDPH CHANGES COVID TESTING PROTOCOLS
On October 13, the Illinois Department of Public Health changed what COVID diagnostic test results schools may accept when permitting a student or staff member to return after presenting with symptoms. The IDPH will only allow schools to accept PCR test results, which are typically the nasal swab tests that take several days to obtain a result. Rapid test results, also known as antigen (Ag) tests, can no longer be accepted by schools state-wide. A list of recommended testing locations is available online. This list is not exhaustive, and families may choose alternative locations that also provide the PCR test.
As a reminder, if any student or staff member has one or more COVID symptoms, the person may not return to school until one of three conditions is met:
Negative COVID test result (PCR only) is submitted, OR;
Alternative diagnosis by healthcare provider submitted OR;
10 days have passed since symptom onset AND person is fever and diarrhea free for 24 hours.
Additionally, please be aware that the IDPH requires that all household members (page 1, column D, row 5) be excluded from school if even one person is symptomatic. All household members must stay home until one of the three conditions above is satisfied.