An Update from Superintendent Heid Regarding ISBE's "Starting the 2020-21 School Year" Guidance
Dear Parents or Guardians,
On Tuesday, June 24th, the Illinois State Board of Education released its “Starting the 2020-21 School Year,” guidance document. This document is intended to provide guidance to assist school districts with their planning for the upcoming fall.
I am pleased to share that our initial planning (Scenario 1) accounted for the majority of the recommendations outlined in the ISBE guidance document.
While "Starting the 2020-21 School Year" is a comprehensive document, there are several areas that require further clarification. For example, we are working to identify the possibility of being granted flexibility for additional protective measures beyond the use of “face coverings.” Currently, the requirement is that face coverings must be worn by all students and staff while in the building, when using district transportation, or when social distancing of six feet cannot be followed. Presently, the state defines “face coverings” as either a mask or face shield. However, we are asking the state for flexibility to allow for the use of individual desk dividers (e.g., three-sided cardboard or acrylic screens) by students for the time they remain at their desks.
Now that we have a final guidance document, we are working to update our scenario reopening plans. I will provide an update for staff, students, and families by Friday, July 17th. This update will outline our school reopening plans along with:
- Daily screening requirements
- Transportation policies
- Modifications to class/period bell times, changes to hallways transition
- Student locker usage (hallways and for physical education)
- Policies pertaining to masks/face coverings and exemption process
- Breakfast and lunch procedures
- Physical education
- Drivers education
- Performing arts (e.g., band, marching band, chorus, orchestra)
- Extracurricular activities
- Before and after school programs
- Back to school events/activities
- Visitor policies
- Cleaning procedures
- Hygiene policies
- Social-emotional supports
As always, I appreciate your patience as we work to finalize our plans.