Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 offers 3 learning options

Buffalo Grove-based Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102 has announced three possible "learning pathways" from which families can choose for the start of the new school year as COVID-19 continues to prohibit large gatherings.

"As much as we look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our students and staff back into our buildings, it is not possible to bring every student back all day every day and follow the current health and safety protocols," Superintendent Lori Wilcox said in her video introduction to the three pathways.

Pathway X is the in-school option, while Pathway Z is entirely remote learning.

Pathway Y, which will be available only to some grade levels in certain situations, includes an in-school component but for shorter periods of time than Pathway X, Wilcox explained.

Forms identifying which pathway each family chooses for its students are due back to the district by Tuesday, July 21.

"The choice you make is your choice for now," Wilcox said.

Though no duration has been set for these choices, it's something that will probably be discussed around the six-week mark of the school year, she said.

However, pathways X and Y would be eliminated if any significant increase in the rate of COVID-19 infections occurs in the region. Similarly, any student who contracts the infection, or meets certain criteria for close contact with someone who is infected, would be excluded from in-school learning for 14 days, Wilcox said.

Protocols for in-school learning will include small classes with limited transitions and strict seating charts. Students pursuing this option will be expected to wear masks, socially distance and not share.

Remote learning itself will be different from the approach quickly innovated for the final months of the last school year. It will include an effort for participating students to really get to know each other and their teachers while employing Google and Zoom on individually issued iPads, Wilcox said.

A parent survey in June identified recognition of potential health risks and adherence to safety protocols as their top priorities in a school reopening plan.

At that time, 51.5% of families expressed a preference for a fully remote learning program. But it won't be known how many students will participate in each of the identified pathways until after all of their families have responded to next week, Wilcox said.

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