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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 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Responses to FAQ will be updated here frequently: FAQ


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 HERE
  - COVID updates
  - Back to School Visual
  - Return to Learn Plan
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

_______________

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