News from CCSD15

July 15, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Our Return to Learn Reopening Plan was shared with families on Friday, July 10, after several months of research, planning and collaboration around how best to safely open the 2020-21 school year. Through the formation of six task force groups, numerous working curriculum committees and rich conversations, we worked to strike a balance between teaching and learning, safety and the overall wellness of 2,000 employees, 12,000 students and their families. Difficult decisions were made, but we made them with the goal of safely educating every student every day with a pandemic as a driver.

Over the last few weeks, District 15 has sought to actively engage stakeholders by adding a Committee of the Whole meeting of the Board of Education in July, hosting focus groups and conducting public engagement sessions for both parents and staff. More than 2,000 people tuned in to a parent webinar on Monday, July 13, to which parents submitted many questions prior to and during our webinar.

After carefully reviewing questions and listening to comments related to our Return to Learn document, we’ve made what we hope you will see as three important adjustments to our process.

Enrollment Decision Extended

We heard a number of parents/guardians share that while they know we are working hard to craft our Return to Learn plan and thoughtfully address its numerous moving parts, having a quick turn around to make such a decision is difficult.

Trying to balance the need to grant families more time to decide with the tasks that lie ahead for our principals and members of our Human Resources Department, we have extended the deadline from Friday, July 17, to Monday, July 20, 2020 at 12 p.m. While we know this isn’t a significant amount of additional time, we hope that having an extra weekend will allow for time outside of the demands of a work week to make such an important decision.

Enrollment Commitment Changed from Full Year to End of Grading Period

Although permitting all change requests will be a significant challenge for a District of our size, it is one we are willing to undertake to demonstrate responsiveness to the needs of our community. Revised commitment dates are as follows:

  • Grades 1-6: Commitment through first trimester
  • Early childhood, kindergarten and junior high: Commitment through first semester

In order to provide as much continuity of instruction for students as possible, the established dates for change request implementation have been made at the end of the first grading period, which differs by grade level.

Outside of these windows, requests to change enrollment placement will need to follow the established procedures of Intra-District Transfer. These requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If you have already submitted your child’s enrollment form and would like to change your request because of the adjustment we have made to the commitment duration, you may do so by completing this form. As previously stated, the enrollment submission window has been extended to Monday, July 20.

Enrollment Selection Form

Please complete this form by Monday, July 20, 2020. Use this form if you have not previously submitted your enrollment selection.

Enrollment Selection CHANGE Form

If you have already submitted your enrollment decision for your child(ren) and would like to change it, please complete this form.

Symptom and Temperature Self-Certification

While we still strongly believe a partnership between our families and D15 is going to be more essential than ever during this school year, some people have expressed concerns about the reliability of allowing households to self-certify that their children are symptom and fever-free each day. We still strongly believe that taking the daily temperature and asking screening questions to hundreds of students across multiple entrance points at each of our 20 schools will present logistical and staffing issues as well as the loss of some instructional time in doing so. However, we will continue to further investigate the District’s ability to screen students upon their arrival at school.

Although decisions have not yet been made regarding student self-certification or symptom checking upon arrival, we want you to be aware that your feedback has prompted us to continue reviewing the safest, most confidential and efficient way to screen students for COVID-19 symptoms.

FAQ Update (As of 7/15/20)

We are reviewing the questions posed on our question submission form and have posted more than 80 questions and answers in the FAQ section of our Return to Learn website.

We understand that how your children will access learning this year is a difficult decision that most families have never had to think about before. That is why we are doing our best to show responsiveness to your feedback. We encourage you to review all of the information made available to parents on our website prior to making a decision for your family. As a reminder, enrollment choices are now due by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, July 20, 2020.

If you have already submitted your enrollment selections but would like to make a revision, click here.

If you have not yet submitted your enrollment choices, c
lick here.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to reopen schools through the uncertainties of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Your partner in education,

Laurie Heinz

Superintendent of Schools