District 211 preparing to restore in-person learning Oct. 26
Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 families were advised Friday to begin preparing for a possible move to the hybrid model of student instruction during the week of Oct. 26 if public health data and protocols cooperate.
Meanwhile, the district's two elementary feeder districts are also taking steps toward the restoration of some in-person learning.
District 211 officials compared their coming planning process to the one originally used for the start of the school year. At that time, it was thought students would have a choice in August between exclusively remote learning and being part of a rotation in which half the student body would be able to be in their schools on given days.
But public health data and guidance then led the district to open school under exclusively remote learning.
In a letter to students and parents Friday, Superintendent Lisa Small asked them to begin considering which of the options they'd prefer for the period between Oct. 26 and the end of the semester if District 211 continues to be able to offer both scenarios.
The maximum number of in-person students per day needs to be known in order to properly prepare for the hybrid option, Small said.
"At the end of next week, parents/guardians will receive information about how to declare if their child will remain remotely connected to school through Dec. 18 (end of first semester) or if their child will physically attend in-person school on designated days under the hybrid scenario," Small wrote. "The parent's declaration will be a definitive selection that cannot be changed."
While all students will retain the ability to learn remotely every day, none will be allowed to attend class in person on days they haven't already been pre-approved for in order to maintain proper social distancing in the buildings.
In Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 -- one of District 211's two feeder districts -- in-person learning will be offered twice a week for some special education students and new English language learners beginning the week of Sept. 28.
District 54's Pandemic Advisory Committee, which next meets on Sept. 29, is continuing to discuss re-entry metrics and models for restoring some level of in-person learing. An update on the district's reopening plan is scheduled to be presented to the board of education on Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, Palatine Township Elementary District 15's plan for a rolling re-entry of its schools begins as early as Monday with kindergarten and some self-contained special education programs.
District 15 will then see the return of students choosing in-person learning in grades 1 and 2 on Sept. 28, early childhood on Sept. 29, grades 3 and 4 on Oct. 5, and grades 5 through 8 on Oct. 13.
In District 15, only junior high students will divide their time between remote and in-person learning in a hybrid model. Younger students will have their instruction all one way or the other depending on their choice.
District 15 officials are reminding their families of the protocols required for in-person learning, including face coverings and self-certification of one's health status. Administrators in districts 54 and 211 are citing the importance of considering public health data as they prepare to take their next steps.