Grades K-8 Fall Planning Survey: CLICK HERE

Preschool Fall Planning Survey: CLICK HERE

What's Next for Fall 2020? Status Update 6-10-2020

As we look ahead to August, the pandemic that turned our education system upside down continues to evolve at a rapid pace, creating a great deal of uncertainty about the conditions we will be facing when we look to open schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

As we await further direction from the state, we have already started planning for a number of scenarios that prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, families, and community. We have not yet made any decisions regarding next school year. We are committed to doing everything we can to safely return to on-site learning to the extent that is possible. But our ability to reopen will be dependent on the most up-to-date guidance from the governor (Restore Illinois), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Cook County Department of Public Health.

We have assembled a 32-member staff task force, including representation from Palos Heights Parks & Recreations, to develop plans for a safe and equitable return to school in fall 2020. The group has representatives to examine implications related to instruction, operations, employees and finance.

Our goal is to have a solid draft plan to share with the Board of Education and community in early to mid-July. Guidance continues to evolve and we do not want prematurely release a plan that may not be able to be executed based on ongoing changes from the various organizations involved. The committee is drafting plans to address the following three scenarios:

  1. In-person only: Returning to on-site learning without any social distancing or IDPH guiding implications would require our region being in Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan. This is not likely by August. Therefore, we are examining a return to in-person learning with social distancing as required by the health and safety guidance to be developed by the state. It is unclear yet in what capacity we can plan for in-person instruction, as it is dependent on the designated phase outlined in Governor Pritzker's Restore IL Plan linked here.
  2. Hybrid in-person/remote learning: This scenario would require our region to be in at least Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan and will include protocols to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of illness. There are many factors to consider in a hybrid model including staffing, scheduling and continuity of instruction, in addition to the considerations related to operations and finance.
  3. Remote learning only. We are planning to use what we have learned this spring to improve our instruction. We know that remote learning has to be revamped to incorporate new learning, more teacher contact and accountability. Our goal is to provide a positive, consistent, and equitable experience for all of our students. 

Stay tuned, as we will be updating families as the summer unfolds!