FAQs for Reopening Schools 2020/21

A new information resource now available

Dear District 41 Community, (espanol aqui)

As questions about the school year come in from parents, we want to make sure that the broad questions asked by many are answered and communicated to all. We have created a

Reopening Plan 2020 Frequently Asked Questions webpage. You can also view the current FAQs below. These FAQs will be updated on a regular basis on our Reopening Plan 2020 FAQs webpage.
To ask a question, please email Questions2020@d41.org.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(as of 7/10/20)
What will school look like next year?

A blended AM/PM model is being recommended for the start of the 2020/21 school year. Click here for details about the plan. Half of our students will attend school in the morning and the other half will attend school in the afternoon. The Board of Education will hold a special meeting on July 20 to further review, discuss and approve a plan.


The first day of student attendance is changed to August 21. The date is changed due to time needed for teachers/staff to prepare to welcome back students.


What was the process to decide on the blended model for District 41?

The district began planning for how to bring students back to school safely over the past few months since schools closed. The administrative team first identified three possible options 1) Full in-person 2) Some in-person, some remote 3) Full remote learning. A team of staff worked through the specifics and pros/cons of each plan. Classrooms were set up as a test to analyze the distance between classroom seats with the goal of 6 feet social distancing. A facilities analysis was also conducted by Green Architects. When the return to school guidance document was shared by the Illinois State Board of Education, District 41 was able to then follow the guidelines and propose a plan. District 41 is proposing a blended model for the start of the 2020/21 school year.


The superintendent sent out communications to the community on May 22, June 11, June 24 and July 6 directly related to the plans for reopening of schools. A live stream information session to share the proposed blended plan was also presented to the community on July 8, that video can be viewed above. A questionnaire was sent to all parents in order for the district to learn more about how parents feel about sending their children back to school. This questionnaire confirmed that the blended model was the plan the district would present to the Board of Education for approval. A special Board of Education meeting to approve plans for the fall is scheduled for July 20.


An email address was set up for parents and staff to ask questions regarding the proposed plan. To submit a question, please email Questions2020@d41.org


A new Superintendent facebook page was also created to further engage the community and parents related to returning to school. Informal polls have been administered and the superintendent has provided almost daily updates since the page was launched.


Will parents have a choice between am/pm sessions? Will all my children be on the same schedule even if they are at different schools?

Although it is not a guarantee that all siblings will be able to attend school in-person at the same time of day, a questionnaire will be sent out starting with Hadley to determine which families may need to have siblings clustered at the same session. The schools will do their best to work this backwards from Hadley down to their siblings in elementary schools. A separate questionnaire will go out to families who have siblings only in one of the elementary schools. The schools will do their best to work this out for families.


Will District 41 provide childcare resources for families?

We are currently working with our community organizations to create a new option to support families with our A/B model. The Park District and YMCA have been amazingly receptive to working together to try and create something that would provide a safe space along with adult supervision (think along the lines of a supervised study hall) to support students during their remote learning portion of the day. A questionnaire will be coming out in the very near future to determine whether there might be sufficient interest in order for them to move forward with trying to find space and staff. They are incredible partners and will utilize a fee structure that will make this a cost-neutral venture for their organizations. If they are able to do this, they are willing to extend the time beyond the school hours for parents who need it. Please watch for the questionnaire. Thank you to our amazing Glen Ellyn Park District and B.R. Ryall YMCA for their willingness to try and make something work.


What happens if there is a positive COVID case in the school?

District 41 is working with the health department on the process for when a confirmed case of COVID presents itself in one of our schools. Since all students and staff will be wearing masks and distanced 6 feet apart in classrooms, we have been told that we would not need to quarantine the entire class. A special room designated for quarantine will be established in every school as required.


Are masks required at all times during the in-person school hours? What happens when students do not comply? Yes, masks are required for all people who are in our buildings. If a student has a medical exemption and/or a personal objection to wearing a mask, they will be provided with remote instruction. For cases involving a student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan, those decisions will be made at the team level with the support of the Director of Student Services. It may be necessary for students to receive individualized instruction in some cases. In the event that a student refuses to wear a mask at school and follow the school expectations, the building principal will contact the family and discuss the need for remote learning and adjust the student’s learning program.


What changes will be made to the facilities to support health and safety?

Ample and specialized PPE supplies have been obtained for staff and students use throughout the school year. Protective plexiglass screens have been installed in offices in other areas of the buildings to limit exposures to one another.


Numerous non-touch thermometers will be available at each building location, drinking fountain bubblers will be “locked- out,” only jug fillers will be available to use. Sanitation guidelines have been developed for custodial staff to follow on a daily basis.


Sanitation sprayers will be used in larger spaces and restrooms at each building location. As required, restrooms will be cleaned every 30 minutes. We are increasing our day custodians to address this need.


District-wide all student seating will be socially distanced at 6 feet, stickers will be placed on the floors to help delineate where the students will be sitting. Other safety signage will be placed throughout all building locations reminding staff and students of hand sanitation, and social distancing. Students will have individual school supply storage as well as individual manipulative kits to prevent the sharing of these materials.


HVAC systems will be adjusted to let more outside air into the building spaces, equipment filters will be upgraded from 8 Merv to 13 Merv, and changed more frequently throughout the school year. The HVAC systems will run longer daily to keep the air moving and filtered.


All classrooms have been deep cleaned and sanitized over the summer. The classroom desk/tables/chairs/restrooms will be cleaned during the break in the school day, and again at night after students and staff leave for the evening.


All carpeting has been removed for each classroom, along with bean bag chairs. Soft seating will be removed where possible to eliminate the need for daily sanitation. Currently, we’re in the process of installing “touchless” faucets where we can; however, there are some availability issues with supplies.