Fox Flyer

Return to School Updates August 2020

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Quick Overview of Our Reality

Those who are seeking a return to normalcy with in-person learning may be surprised to find out the return to in-person learning will be far from normal. The following bullet points will outline many of the changes that can be expected as we return to in-person learning under the stringent guidelines set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education and the CDC. We look forward to putting our best foot forward in supporting our students through this difficult transition. Parents should not be under the illusion that this is business as usual from an in-person learning standpoint. Informing and preparing your child for this ahead of time, in a fun and positive way, will help ease their transition. One thing remains the same, whether you are remote or in-person, you belong, you matter, and you are worthy at Ridgeview. Regardless of the circumstances we are very excited to get back to teaching and learning with our students!

Welcome New Staff

I would like to welcome the following staff members to the Ridgeview Fox team:

  • Mrs. Rebecca Nau (kindergarten teacher)
  • Ms. Morgan Froelich (2nd grade teacher)
  • Mrs. Beth Barksdale (special education instructional teacher)
  • Mrs. Angela Mitchell (speech and language pathologist)
  • Mr. Taylor Scheuermann (4th grade teacher)
  • Mr. Kyle James (5th grade teacher)

RES Staff Assignments

Teachers designated as remote classroom teachers are as follows:


  • (K) - Kara Chambers
  • (1st) - Megan Johnson
  • (2nd) - Leanne Cusack
  • (3rd) - Sam Weiss
  • (4th) - Jane Collins
  • (5th) - Nicole Loser


Teachers designated as in-person teachers are as follows:


  • (K) - Amy Johnston and Rebecca Nau
  • (1st) - Dawn Cross and Katie Birkey
  • (2nd) - Kelly McCauley and Morgan Froelich
  • (3rd) - Michelle Barker and Jodie Serrahn
  • (4th) - Taylor Scheuermann and Andrea Whalen
  • (5th) - Becky Kuethe and Kyle James

Class List Information

It has been quite an undertaking to sort through the remote and in-person preferences of families and then identifying and matching remote learners with remote teachers. This has also necessitated multiple adjustments to schedules at all levels, in all buildings. Because of this work, our class list assignments are slightly delayed and will be available in Powerschool on at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12. Please know that reallocating students to remote learning has not necessarily created smaller in-person class sizes. When we assign a teacher to a remote teaching assignment, we take away an in-person instructor and have to redistribute in-person learners between available in-person staff. The one benefit that we will have at Ridgeview is that all of our remote learners will be able to be assigned to a Ridgeview remote teacher. That will not be the case in other buildings in all instances.

What Will an In-Person Classroom Look Like?

Teachers are working diligently on reconfiguring their classrooms to create as much distancing as possible within their classroom. Students will have assigned seats, will not be allowed to share supplies, and will be limited in their movement outside of the classroom. Students will travel out of the room for restroom breaks, lunch, PE, and regular outdoor breaks during the day. Students will not gather on carpet squares for whole group instruction and teachers will modify their instructional approach to meet the rigorous safety standards set forth. Classrooms will be disinfected during times when students are out of the room during the day and, of course, each evening. We have set up the cafeteria and stage as lunch seating with 6' distancing as a priority. Lunch menus have been simplified to facilitate smoother transitions and more independence in the eating process by children. We will have a full-time nurse on hand to assist with the management of the oversight and response to the health needs of our students and staff. Part of this process will be a temperature check each morning as students enter their classroom. Specials teachers (except PE) will travel to student classrooms to teach their subject rather than students traveling to another room.

Morning Arrival

The district encourages families to drop off and pick up their child from school to the extent possible to avoid larger volumes of students on bus routes. In anticipation of increased car traffic, buses are being rerouted to the rear of the building for morning drop off. Parents dropping off their child in the morning may either park in the front or side parking lots and walk their child to the front doors (closest to the gym as in previous years) or pull up to the curb in front of the school to drop off their child. This is the "kiss and drop" line with the expectation of a quick drop off. When you reach the canopy at the front of the building, this is the point where you may stop and let your child out of your vehicle. You will then proceed (slowly please) to the end of the drive. At that point, be mindful of buses that may be exiting from the rear of the building and then, when clear, proceed from the front drive. A diagram is included below.
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Afternoon Dismissal

The afternoon dismissal process is more complicated and we are still working on what that process will look like. This will be largely dependent on our bus transportation plans which should be ready for us by the end of next week. My hope is to follow a similar model as our morning drop off with buses picking up in back and car riders getting picked up in the front. More to come on this process as we inch closer to the start of school.

Transportation Services

TRANSPORTATION: All students are assigned a bus. It is policy that students are only allowed to ride the bus to which they have been assigned. Our default is to send students home on their bus each day. If your student will be doing something other than taking their bus home at the end of each day as part of their regular schedule, (car rider, day care – including Right at School, etc.) please complete a Transportation Change Form and turn it into the office. Parents may scan and email the completed form to mrohn@dunlapcusd.net. A new form will need to be completed each school year.


For Kindergarten Parents only – a parent must be at the stop before the driver will allow the Kindergarten student off of the bus. Kindergarten parents can complete a Kindergarten Parent Consent Form that will allow someone other than a parent to get their Kindergarten child from the bus. A copy of this form will be kept both in the office and on the child’s bus.

Lunches

After much consideration and collaboration with our Ridgeview leadership teams, we have determined it best to have students eat lunch in the cafeteria and stage rather than the classroom. We are not allowed to have more than 50 people assembled in a space and this includes the cafeteria. Since we will have 2 classes of in-person learning per grade level we plan to house 1.5 classes in the commons and the other half class on the stage for lunch. All students will have assigned seats and be separated by 6' of distance. This is necessary for both distancing compliance and safety as well as for potential contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.


Lunches will be delivered to students at their assigned seats to avoid lunch lines. Student lunches are scheduled by grade levels for 30 minutes and will not include a recess time as in past years. Recesses will be scheduled separately by individual classrooms throughout the day and supervised by classroom teachers. In order to ease our kindergarten students into new routines, our kindergartners will eat in the classroom the first week while they learn how to navigate the lunch room. The lunch schedules are included at the bottom of this Fox Flyer.

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Free/Reduced Lunch Program


LUNCH AND FOOD RELATED INFORMATION: Dunlap does not offer a breakfast program, so please make sure your child has breakfast each morning. Lunch menus can be found on the Ridgeview website under the Quicklinks heading at the top of the page. A list of ingredients can be found within the Food Service link on the District website. The August Lunch menu, a list of lunch procedures and a list of lunch prices can also be found within the Food Service Department tab at the top of the Dunlap District webpage. If you would like to apply for the free and reduced lunch program, and have not yet been approved, please utilize the online application feature found under the Food Service Department tab. Paper copies of the free and reduced lunch application are available in the Ridgeview lobby.

Recesses and Outdoor Breaks

As alluded to previously, recesses will be scheduled by individual classrooms throughout the day. Teachers will supervise their own classroom recess. Playground equipment is off limits for all students in all of our schools during this phase of reopening. Additionally, outdoor spaces have been identified by grade level to be used for outdoor learning and/or outdoor breaks for students. These will be encouraged frequently throughout the day. The 2 grade level teachers will coordinate the use of their identified spaces to allow for appropriate distancing to occur.

Masks

Regardless of your personal position on masks, they are required for students and staff as per CDC guidelines and our Return to School Plan. Students who cannot wear masks for any reason will need a medical excuse provided to the school. In those situations, an alternative educational plan will be worked out with families.

Visitors and Volunteers

In an effort to follow the guidelines set forth for our return to school, visitors will only be allowed in very unique and absolutely necessary circumstances. These visits would have to be pre-approved by building administration ahead of time. Lunch guests will not be allowed due to the factors indicated previously as well as capacity limitations. A drop table will be located in the foyer outside the main office for items that need to be dropped off or picked up. Please call to alert office staff (309-243-7717) ahead of time if you have an item to drop off and be sure to clearly label the item with your child's name and their teacher.

Open House and Back-to-School Nights

We will simply not be able to adhere to the guidelines set forth regarding large gatherings and still conduct large school events like Open House and Back-to-School Nights as we have in the past. We do, however, want to provide an opportunity for our kindergarten students and new families to visit the school and see where their classroom will be. We will communicate plans to those families early next week.

School Supplies

The start of school may be an anxious time for our in-person learners as they brace themselves for the new normal of wearing masks and distancing. With that, we would like to focus the first day of school (Monday, August 17) on students entering the school, finding their classroom, getting used to wearing a mask, and learning routines. Students should plan to bring their school supplies on the 2nd day of school (Tuesday, August 18). We are hopeful that this will alleviate some stress for students and families as they gear up for the first day of school. Those who purchased school supplies through the PTO will have their supplies waiting for them in their classroom on the 2nd day of school.

20-21 Residency, Immunization and Health Requirements

Please be reminded that all residency and health requirements must be met before the start of school regardless of whether your child will be learning remotely or in person. Health requirements can be found here. If you have any questions regarding health or residency requirements, please email Mrs. Rohn at mrohn@dunlapcusd.net.

Picture Day

We are pushing back picture day to November 16th and 17th this year to allow more time to acclimate to our new normal here at school. We will work to find a way to to include our remote learners in this process and will communicate plans for this as that time draws near.

Wetlands Revitalization Project

The Wetlands Revitalization Project is in full swing and the overgrowth of vegetation is being cleared. We have also had dirt delivered from the district office construction site to build a berm as a part of our outdoor classroom development within the Wetlands area. We are looking forward to monitoring the development of this space throughout the year. Thank you to Matt Jones, Abby Mahoney, Mrs. Eppel, and Mrs. Chambers to their work thus far on this committee.

Final Words

This is new for all of us and not a desirable way to begin a school year. A great deal of time and energy has been placed into the planning and implementation of the approved Return to School Plan. There will inevitably be changes and adjustments needed to our plans as we learn what does and does not work. Please keep the lines of communication open between you and your child's teacher to ensure we are working together in the best interests of our students, families, and staff. We look forward to meeting these challenges head on and, more importantly, seeing our students again!

Ridgeview Information

School Start Time: 7:39 a.m.

School Dismissal Time: 2:45 p.m. (2:15 every Wedensday)

K Lunch = 10:15-10:45

1st Lunch = 10:45-11:15

2nd Lunch = 11:15-11:45

3rd Lunch = 11:45-12:15

4th Lunch = 12:15-12:45

5th Lunch = 12:45-1:15