District 203 Announces “Return to Learn” Plan for Upcoming School Year

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District Announces Return to Learn Plan

The Naperville School District 203 Board of Education announced their “return to learn” plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year at the July 13 meeting.

Hybrid Learning and Online Academy

The district decided to offer two options – either hybrid learning or the newly created online academy at the beginning of the school year. Based on mandates from the Illinois State Board of Education, at least five hours of daily instruction is required for both of these options.

Hybrid Learning

  • Combines in-person instruction and eLearning
  • Allows for half of the student population to attend school daily
  • A/B models
  • Leverages Synchronous (learning together as group) and Asynchronous (learning as individuals, not as group) structures
    • Synchronous: Learning is happening with the teacher for all students at the same time. Learning takes place in real time, requires simultaneous participation, pace is determined by teacher, and is usually happening in virtual environment.
    • Asynchronous: Learning is happening at individual student pace and time. Students will not be online with teachers and class at the same time, but will work independently. Learning takes place in virtual environment and does not require simultaneous participation. Checkpoints are helpful to keep students progressing.

K-12 Hybrid Model:

  • D203 will begin the school year in a Hybrid Model
  • In-person instruction will begin for ‘A’ students on August 20 and for ‘B’ students on August 21
  • August 19 will be a remote learning planning day for staff
  • Students will be split into an A/B group by last names
  • D203 will ensure that every student in the same household will follow the same A/B schedule

Hybrid Schedules

On days when students are not attending in-person school, those will be asynchronous learning days where independent work can be done.

Online Academy

  • Parents/guardians can opt students into a full Online Academy
  • Fully online school and learning structure
  • Follows the structure of D203 eLearning model
  • Taught by district staff versus home school staff
  • Limited course offerings
  • Online Academy will offer grade level options and align to state graduation requirements
  • A semester or trimester commitment is required when registering for the Online Academy
  • Registration for the Online Academy must be complete by July 22

Online Academy Schedule

Special Considerations

The plan is for students at Ann Reid Early Childhood, full day preschool at Maplebrook & Scott, all specialized classrooms, and the Connections Program to attend in-person school five days a week.

Early childhood students will be limited in classes, especially full-day classrooms, and the plan is to make adjustments to the overall structure of the Connections Program.

Health & Safety

  • Face coverings need to be worn in school at all times, including buses and hallways. A free mask will be provided to every school student.
  • Visible reminders for social distancing, including one-way directions for hallways and stairs.
  • Up to 50 people can be in a space, including the cafeteria and buses. They are still working out how lunch will look like, no final decision has been made yet. Some considerations include spacing out tables in the cafeteria and having some students eat in classrooms.
  • Buses will be disinfected between each route.
  • District 203 will require all staff and students self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings. Anyone experiencing symptoms must stay home.

Here are the protocols if someone at school has tested positive or was in close contact with someone who tested/suspect they have COVID-19:

Other Key Points

  • The board said plans could change as guidance from national, state, and local agencies changes. This is the most up-to-date plan.
  • Because of continuous changes, it is possible that the state could go back to Phase 2 and 3. The board’s “return to learn” plan takes this into account and is prepared for that situation. They said they are also prepared if school can go back to full in-person learning.
  • They have spoken to YMCA and Champions for child care options for parents. Plans aren’t final yet but they hope to make this an option available for parents.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.