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Remote Learning Does Not Have To Mean "Removed"
Remote Learning Does Not Have To Mean "Removed"
Dr. James McKay
Sunday, August 23, 2020

A New School Year - A New Look and Feel

This unique school year is now underway with many newly established safety precautions and procedures, as described in my August 14 communication, to help create the best teaching and learning environment possible while smartly managing the spread of the COVID -19 virus. Community High School District 117 opened the school year by welcoming select students to in- person instruction while the majority of students are in a remote learning setting until after Labor Day.

Nearly 200 student athletes in 5 fall sports per school were also welcomed back for socially distanced physical conditioning and practices after school. Coaches have expanded the programs to include more students because they realize the importance of establishing healthy relationships, routines and a sense of “normalcy”.

We understand that besides a child’s home, no other setting has more impact on a child’s health and wellbeing than their school. Students have responded well to the beginning of the school year, the average student attendance over the course of the first week was above 93 percent. Working together as a team, we can sustain a strong attendance rate. Remote learning does not have to mean removed, the goal and hope is that the combination of specific in-person instruction, increased access to teachers, improved remote learning experiences and many extracurricular opportunities students do not feel isolated from their learning experience. If your student is looking for additional engaging experiences, please reach out to your counselor or to the building administration so that we can assist in finding the appropriate opportunity for your student.

Looking ahead, the District will determine whether to transition to Phase 2 of the return to learn plan the week of August 31.


The following are the evaluation criteria for determining the transition: 

o Public health information sites the District will use... 

  http://www.lakecountyil.gov/c1...

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/c... 

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/c...

o Lake County New cases per 100,000 people  - Target -50/100,000 people

o Test Positivity - Target - Less than 8 %

 o Ability to sustain continuity of instruction 

      Staff capacity 

      Substitute teacher availability 

      Logistical capacity

o Staff input 

 o Clarity and consistency from state agencies 

o Possible new, evolving indicators

      Success/challenges from other area schools

The District will continue to respond to the ever-changing State guidance and is working diligently to provide the very best school experience for your student/s while maintaining a safe work environment for our valuable staff.

The individual and collective behavior of our communities regarding complying with actions that mitigate the spread of this disease will only help us return more fully to school. Should you have any questions, please reach out to your building administration. We ask for your continued patience and flexibility as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jim McKay Superintendent