Crystal Lake High School District 155 plans to go hybrid Oct. 13
Students at Crystal Lake High School District 155 are set to go to a hybrid learning schedule Oct. 13, pending school board approval with the eventual goal to have all students back on campus full-time for the second semester, the district announced Thursday.
The reopening plans, posted on District 155's website, notes schools must also be prepared to go fully remote in case of a district or state shutdown.
A special school board meeting is set for Tuesday, Sept. 29, so the board can vote on the plan.
Under the proposed plan, students will be organized into two groups, with each having two to three days a week of in-person learning and two to three days of remote, according to the plan.
Teachers will be at school with students every day, the district said in the plan. Students will be expected to follow their current schedule and be engaged when they are at home.
Students in the red group will be in-person every Tuesday and Thursday, while the blue group will be in-person on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to the plan. The two groups will trade off who goes in on Mondays.
Families can still choose a fully remote option. The deadline to make this selection is 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, and if families do not select a choice, their student will be placed in the hybrid option.
According to the district's website, it will be following guidance from the McHenry County Department of Health, which released countywide metrics Wednesday to serve as a framework for schools looking at whether to stay fully remote or move on to some form of in-person learning.
Four specific metrics are being used to help guide schools on whether to go to a new learning model. They are: the COVID-19 incidence rate; the county's test positivity rate; whether hospital admissions tied to COVID-19 are increasing; and whether the number of new cases are increasing.
The McHenry County Health Department recommends schools remain in a learning model for at least 14 days with all thresholds met before transitioning to the next learning model.
Schools are advised to continue remote instruction if the incidence rate exceeds 14 per 100,000 per day, test positivity exceeds 8%, hospitalizations are increasing and the number of new cases is increasing, according to the county's framework released Wednesday.
Switching to hybrid is recommended when the incidence and positive rates fall below those rates and hospitalizations and the number of cases are decreasing, according to the framework. Fully in-person instruction can be considered when the incidence rate falls below 7 per 100,000, test positivity drops below 5%, hospitalizations are decreasing and the number of new cases also is decreasing.
At District 155, while students are at school, face masks will need to be worn at all times in school buildings, except while eating and during band.
As another precaution, students and staff will be required to self-screen for symptoms before getting on the school bus and entering the school building, according to the district's plan. Hand-sanitizing dispensers will be in each classroom, along with a sanitizing kit.
Plexiglass barriers have been installed at "point of service" locations between students and staff or visitors, including at main offices, administrative offices, student services, media centers, cafeterias, technology support centers and security touchpoints, according to the plan.
The school day run 7:25 a.m. to 2:05 p.m., with teacher office hours from 2:10 to 2:55 p.m.
For lunch, meals will be distributed in a grab-and-go style, according to the plan. Lunches will be bagged and students will line up six feet apart to get their meals.
Meals will also be available to pick up daily for students during remote learning days or for students who have selected full-time remote learning at the main office of their school building, according to the plan. For those in 10th through 12th grade, students will have open campus lunch hours.