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Update for Extended Learning for Summer 2021

Dear School District 189 Families, Students, and Staff,

We are thrilled that in-person instruction has resumed for many students in preschool through grade 12.  The next phase of learning recovery is pivotal for our students and their futures.

Extended School Year

As was previously communicated, I strongly believe that learning instruction needs to be extended this year to ensure students are on pace to advance to the next grade level.  The local teachers’ union has overwhelmingly agreed to extend the current school year for student attendance through June 29, 2021.  I will make the formal recommendation for the continuation of the school year with our Board of Education members later this month.  

Recommended details for the extension of the school year include: 

  • Student attendance for School Year 2020-2021 will continue Monday through Friday through June 29, 2021.

  • May 17, 2021 and May 31, 2021 will remain as holidays and no school will be held.

  • The Teacher Institute day would move from May 27, 2021 to June 30, 2021 and would be a required day of teacher attendance.  May 27, 2021 would be a student attendance day.

  • School days will continue with the current daily schedule (see your school for details).

  • Instruction will continue with some students receiving in-school instruction and some students participating through remote learning.

  • The extended school year will be a continuation of the current curriculum and will provide opportunities for students to receive instruction that will help them master skills needed for the next school year. Students will be given opportunities to complete missing assignments and receive enrichment or intervention supports.

  • The extended school year is required for all students in preschool through grade 11.

  • The extended school year is required for seniors (grade 12) who have not met graduation requirements by May 19, 2021. School principals and counselors will provide communication to students regarding their completion of graduation requirements.

  • The extended school year is optional for seniors (grade 12) who are currently on pace to meet all graduation requirements. School principals and counselors will provide communication to students regarding their status toward completion of graduation requirements.

  • High school graduation will be July 1, 2021 for all eligible seniors.

I recognize this calendar change may be a challenge for many families.  However, I firmly believe it is in the best interest for all our students for the school year to be extended.  We have many students who are in jeopardy of not graduating or advancing to the next grade level without extended academic support.  We want to provide equitable educational opportunities for our students to advance to the next grade level, graduate on time, recover loss of learning, and continue personal academic growth.  The extended time will allow younger students to extend learning and fill learning gaps that resulted from this year’s shorter school days. 

We are aware that many high school students work jobs to support themselves and their families.  Students will not be available to work during typical school hours as this calendar extension requires them to attend school through June 29, 2021. 

In-School Instruction 

Due to COVID-19 precautions, we are limiting the number of students at each campus.  As we continue student attendance through June 29, 2021, we will prioritize in-school instruction for students who have incomplete classes, failing grades, or students who have not met Illinois Learning Standards for their grade level or course.  All students must be in full medical compliance before being authorized to return to school in-person.  Other students will remain in full remote learning.

Our school district will continue to be in communication with you once the Board of Education makes a final decision regarding the potential extension of student attendance through June 29, 2021.  Our youth deserve opportunities for learning recovery to ensure they are set up for future academic success.  Thank you for your continued flexibility and support as we work together for our youth.  

Sincerely,

Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent