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Back to School 2020-2021 Details

Update Important Student Information in Skyward

 Click HERE to see the plan in detail.


School District 189 Return to Learn Plan

Details for the School District 189 RETURN TO LEARN PLAN are provided here. Please take time to carefully review and familiarize yourself with the remote learning, hybrid and traditional models.


School Calendar

School begins for all students on August 17, 2020 with Remote Learning at least through October 16, 2020. Please review the 2020-2021 School District 189 Calendar for key information about when school is in session or on break. 


School Supplies

During Remote Learning, students should have paper or notebooks and pencils available to them at home. Students in grades 6-12 should also have a highlighter. If families need support with these resources, please contact your school office. Chromebooks will be provided to all students in grades K-12.

Please review flyers for information regarding the distribution of learning kits for your child's school

Initial School Kit Pick up                             Initial School Kit Pick Up Elementary


Frequently Asked Questions

Responses to FAQ will be updated here frequently: FAQ Updated 8.17.2020


Remote Learning Compact

Students, parents and teachers all have a key role in supporting successful remote learning. Please see the Remote Learner COMPACT here.


August 12, 2020

Dear School District 189 Families,

School will begin Monday, August 17, 2020, with REMOTE LEARNING for all students. Due to high numbers of COVID-19 positive cases within the community, Remote Learning will continue at least through Friday, October 16, 2020, (the first quarter) to support the health and safety of all.

It is important for our school district to have updated contact information for all families. Returning families can register for school and update contact information by logging into the parent Skyward account at https://bit.ly/2ZY4s8U or on our website, http://www.estl189.com/.  Our website also has a great tutorial to help you with the registration process: https://bit.ly/2XV6vc8. If you need further assistance, please call the Family and Community Engagement Center at 618-646-3130.

Information about NEW student enrollment as well as PRESCHOOL registration, can be found on our website.  Please also check the school district website for other Back to School details, including our Frequently Asked Questions, https://bit.ly/2F9OnET which are updated periodically.  To submit questions, please email questions@estl189.com  We remain committed to providing Grab and Go meals for enrolled students Monday-Friday. Please contact your school or refer to our website for details.

Schools have been directly reaching out to families about Back to School details, including first day activities and opportunities for Chromebook and other resource distribution.  During Remote Learning, students should have paper or notebooks and pencils available to them at home.  Students in grades 6-12 should also have a highlighter.  If families need support with these resources, please contact your school office.  Any student in need of a Chromebook or hotspot for internet connection should reach out to their school principal to make arrangements for pickup.  Students do not need to be in school uniform during remote learning, however, students are required to dress in appropriate attire that does not distract from the learning environment.

The Illinois State Board of Education requires school districts to follow more structured and stringent guidelines for remote learning this fall.  You can review details about our Return to Learn Plan, here: https://bit.ly/2PMIK1K  The end of the Return to Learn Plan includes the School/Family/Student Compact detailing remote learning roles and expectations.  Students are required to be in virtual attendance and engaged in learning activities daily with their teachers from 9:00am-2:30pm. The following describes the importance of attending online sessions everyday:

  • Grades will be taken in the standard format; all assignments will be counted. 
  • Attendance will be taken daily and does count towards student daily average attendance. 
  • Any absences must be accompanied by a parent letter/call or doctor’s statement. 
  • Chronic absenteeism is not allowed and will lead to a referral to the Regional Truancy Review Board. 

 

I can assure you that our staff is working hard to:

  1. Provide a safe and healthy teaching and learning environment for district leaders, teachers, staff, students, and families. 
  2. Ensure all students have daily opportunities to continue learning that focuses on critical Illinois Learning Standards. 
  3. Minimize instructional loss while maximizing resources available to students and teachers by aligning during and after-school activities to support specific strategies to address deficiencies in learning.
  4. Provide students and families with routines, structures and supports to meet academic and social-emotional needs. 

Please know, the heartfelt decision to begin the school year in remote learning was driven by the alarming, increasing COVID-19 cases in the zip codes we serve and careful consideration of the health and safety of our students, staff and community.  We are in frequent communication with the local health department to ensure we have the best health and safety guidance.  We hope each of you will take appropriate precautions to remain safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our region.  Remember to practice social distancing (stay 6 feet away from anyone you do not live with), wear a mask when outside your home and wash hands frequently.

Thank you for your flexibility, understanding and commitment as we begin the school year during these unprecedented times.  We look forward to connecting with our students and providing them with the high quality education they deserve.

Sincerely,

Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent

_______________ 

August 1, 2020

Dear School District 189 Families,
 
School will begin Monday, August 17, 2020 with REMOTE LEARNING for all students. Due to high numbers of COVID-19 positive cases within the community, Remote Learning will continue at least through Friday, October 16, 2020 (the first quarter) to support the safety of all.
 
In the upcoming weeks, more information will be provided to you about Back to School details. It is important for our school district to have updated contact information on all families. Returning families can register for school and update contact information by logging into the parent Skyward account at https://bit.ly/2ZY4s8U or on our website, www.estl189.com. 
 
Information about NEW student enrollment as well as PRESCHOOL registration, can be found on our website. Please also check the school district website for other Back to School details, including our Q&A, which will be updated frequently. To submit questions, please email questions@estl189.com.
 
During Remote Learning, students should have paper or notebooks and pencils available to them at home. Students in grades 6-12 should also have a highlighter. If families need support with these resources, please contact your school office. Chromebooks will be provided to all students in grades K-12 who did not receive one in the spring. 
 
Please know, the heartfelt decision to begin the school year in remote learning was driven by the alarming, increasing COVID-19 cases in the zip codes we serve and careful consideration of the health and safety of our students, staff and community. We hope each of you will take appropriate precautions to remain safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Remember to practice social distancing, wear a mask when outside your home and wash hands frequently.
 
Thank you for your flexibility, understanding and commitment as we begin the school year during these unprecedented times.  We look forward to connecting with our students and providing them with the high quality education they deserve.
__________________________

 July 24, 2020

The Board of Education met today and unanimously approved the Back to School Plan
 
The Back to School Plan notes that school will begin for students on Monday, August 17, 2020, with REMOTE LEARNING at least through Friday, October 16, 2020 (the first quarter.) Staff are to report in-person during the first quarter and to practice appropriate social distancing and safety protocols. The Cabinet will work with Local 1220 and Local 382 to develop daily schedules that will ensure social distancing and other safety practices. It is important to have staff onsite to facilitate the opportunity for teachers, administrators and support staff to collaborate with one another. This will also ensure that teachers have more access to instructional materials as well as better curriculum and technology resources and supports. Additionally, student login issues can be resolved in a more timely manner. These measures will enhance student achievement and minimize student learning loss during the remote learning period.
 
The Back to School Plan also includes details about the HYBRID model that we plan to transition to when it is safe to do so. We look forward to resuming the TRADITIONAL school model with full in-school learning as soon as safely possible. Please know that the school district may need to transition between these 3 learning models depending on changing conditions. School district administration will continue to monitor community and staff COVID-19 cases at least on a weekly basis. This data will be used to make decisions about how to proceed beyond October 16, 2020.

Attached are 5 documents regarding Back to School information, including
  - Back to School Plan
  - Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Updated 8.17.2020
  - COVID updates
  - Back to School Visual
If you have questions, comments or concerns, please submit them to questions@estl189.com.
 
Please know, the heartfelt decision to begin the school year in remote learning was driven by the alarming, increasing COVID-19 cases in the zip codes we serve and careful consideration of the health and safety of our students, staff and community. We hope each of you will take appropriate precautions to remain safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Thank you for your flexibility, understanding and commitment as we begin the school year during these unprecedented times.  As we continue to focus on empowering excellence, we will provide our students with the high quality education they deserve.
 
Expect excellence,
Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent

_______________

July 7, 2020

Dear School District 189 Families and Staff, 

We understand there is curiosity about our transition plans for returning to school.  The decisions around school re-entry are being carefully planned, as the education of our students and safety of all stakeholders are the top priorities for our district. 

I have been working with district Cabinet members and school administration for the last several weeks to ensure we create a safe Comprehensive Return-to-School Plan that meets the diverse needs of our students and staff.  Our district was among the first in the region to begin intensive back-to-school plans that included involvement from multiple stakeholder groups.  A back-to-school task force, comprised of more than 50 teachers, principals, district administrators, school support staff, parents, partner agencies, and other key stakeholders, has met frequently to discuss and develop detailed procedures. There have been many discussions regarding academic scheduling, breakfast/lunch, health and safety, staffing, transportation, and school visitation while keeping in mind the safety of students, staff and families. The following options are being considered:

  1. Full in-school instruction for all
  2. Remote learning for all
  3. Hybrid model that includes a combination of in-school and remote learning

Please know any option selected in our Comprehensive Return-to-School Plan will be in accordance with guidelines released from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Illinois State Board of Education.  In addition to this guidance, the task force will continue to consider insights and feedback from a variety of sources, including: 

  • District 189 Board of Education
  • District 189 June parent survey (15% of families responded)
  • District 189 student remote learning participation data from spring and summer 2020 
  • Documented plans and considerations from other countries, states and school districts
  • Legal Counsel
  • Locals 1220 & 382

As we continue to closely monitor information related to coronavirus transmission trends, we recognize that our planning needs to be fluid due to the uncertainties associated with COVID-19.  With this in mind, we are cautious to avoid overpromising or overcommitting during this pandemic. 

District administration is frequently reviewing data about the transmission of COVID-19 in the zip codes we serve.  According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there have been 807 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of July 2, 2020 within the zip codes of our school district serving area.  This represents just under a 5% infection rate for our total population.  In the month of June, the cases doubled from 400 to 807.  I urge you to do your part to decrease the spread of COVID-19 by washing hands frequently, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and adhering to CDC guidance.  If you follow required social distancing guidelines and hygiene practices, then your risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.

By July 31, 2020, we will share our Comprehensive Return-to-School plan(s) to help families and staff prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.  In the upcoming weeks, you will receive updates from our district and schools.  It is imperative that we have current phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses for all our families.  This can be completed through an online school registration for returning students.  Please visit this website to update contact information. https://skyweb.estl189.com/scripts/wsisa.dll/WService=wsEAplus/seplog01.w  If you need assistance, call our Family and Community Engagement Center at 618-646-3130 or visit our website at www.estl189.com.

If you have not completed the survey, please share your thoughts about reopening schools at  https://forms.gle/hbhDZ8YjfFC9igjA9.  Our goal is to hear from all families.

Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure the best plans are being made for our students, staff, and community.

Sincerely,

Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent