Geneva District 304 families can choose between online only, hybrid learning

  • Geneva Unit District 304 is giving families a choice between attending school in person on an alternating schedule or learning remotely, officials announced Friday.

    Geneva Unit District 304 is giving families a choice between attending school in person on an alternating schedule or learning remotely, officials announced Friday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/24/2020 6:39 AM

When classes resume next month, Geneva Unit District 304 students can either opt for an online-only learning model or return to school in person on an alternating schedule.

An overview of the district's "Back Together 304" plan was sent to families Friday, outlining the options available for all grade levels at the start of the 2020-21 school year. Information will be released next week on how to select an instructional format for the fall semester, according to communication from Superintendent Kent Mutchler.

 

"We truly believe that given the most up-to-date guidance, our plans for in-person learning represent the very best approach to supporting students while maintaining a safe, positive, adaptable and healthy learning environment," the letter says.

The remote format provides a more limited learning option "designed for families with significant reservations about their children returning to any in-person learning this fall."

The plans are subject to change as COVID-19 case numbers or public health guidance evolve, officials said.

The hybrid model will be offered to kindergartners through high school seniors, allowing up to half the students in a building at a time while the other half complete assignments and participate in independent learning experiences off campus, according to the plan.

Students will be divided into two groups based on last name, though families can request that all children in their household be placed in the same group if their last names are different.

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Those with last names starting with A-K will attend classes in person on Mondays and Wednesdays, while last names beginning with L-Z will be in school Tuesdays and Thursdays. The groups will alternate attending school on Fridays.

The district is implementing various safety precautions related to transportation, lunch periods and classroom settings, officials said. Masks will be required inside buildings, social distancing regulations will be enforced, and students and employees will need to self-certify that they are free of symptoms.

Students who choose the remote learning model will be required to participate in synchronous lessons and submit daily assignments from home, officials said, noting attendance and standard grading practices will apply.

Elementary students will be enrolled in virtual sections not necessarily associated with their neighborhood schools, with learning opportunities centered around language arts, math, science, social studies and physical education, the plan says. At the middle and high school levels, online experiences will be limited to core content areas and mandated subjects, as well as graduation requirements for high schoolers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Students will be allowed to participate in sports and extracurricular activities regardless of whether they choose in-person or remote learning, officials said, though transportation won't be provided for off-site students.

The district will be offering its early childhood program only in person, with instruction provided during small-group sessions five days a week.

Administrators are expected to present an overview of the two learning options during a school board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. Additional information about the plan, including a "frequently asked questions" feature, can be found on the district's website.

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