Dear District 58 Families and Staff:
On behalf of all of us in District 58, I would like to personally thank you for your patience, flexibility, grace, and hard work preparing your child(ren) for the upcoming school year. Clearly, we are in unprecedented times and we appreciate everything you have done to make this school year successful. We cannot do this without you and truly appreciate all of the sacrifices each family has made.
After the transition days have concluded, we will be in a full remote learning environment for at least a portion of this school year. While we hope to return to on-site instruction as soon as possible, it is important to review the privacy expectations that all students and families are required to follow.
During remote learning, the focus is on ensuring student access to high-quality learning. However, given the nature of remote learning technology, it will be possible for parents (and possibly other household members) to see and hear District staff and other students during online classes. Although this access creates a unique opportunity for parents to check in on and support their children during the school day, we encourage you to treat this learning environment as much like a regular classroom as possible. Families and students are not to record, photograph, or take screenshots of online classrooms as this would be a violation of student privacy. Also, we ask that you respect the privacy of students and staff and recognize the unique circumstances in which they are working. To that end, it is the District’s expectation that parents will refrain from discussing classroom performance of other students and will speak directly to a teacher or principal about any concerns.
Although we fully expect that students and families will rise to the occasion as our entire District is doing, please know that the District takes student privacy very seriously, especially in this time of remote learning. If necessary, students who violate these expectations or the District’s Acceptable Use Policy may be subject to the District’s discipline policies, and appropriate legal action may be taken against parents/guardians who fail to respect the privacy rights of students and staff. If you have any questions about remote learning, especially regarding your child’s privacy or confidentiality rights, please contact me.
On Friday, the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) released supplementary guidance related to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) metrics. We will follow this guidance to determine what schedule we will follow this school year--and whether and when we can open our school buildings to students for in-person learning.
The new guidance establishes three levels of community transmission risk based on a variety of factors including weekly cases, positivity rates, and rate of community spread; the color-coded levels include Minimal (yellow), Moderate (orange) and Substantial (red). DuPage County is currently in the “Moderate/orange” level.
While we are in “Moderate/orange” level, the District is seeking much-needed clarity from the IDPH on exclusion guidance. As such, we are still following our Remote Learning Plan with limited on-site programs (i.e. student transition days). The supplementary guidance from the DCHD is one of many pieces that will be evaluated over the next several weeks and will assist the District in determining whether we are able to reopen. As previously stated, the Board is committed to reviewing the reopening of schools at the September 28 meeting to determine if we can move forward with onsite learning.
We are currently determining how we might adapt our Modified Onsite Plan to meet the new guidelines while we are in the “Moderate/orange” level. To accomplish this, we need to rethink our model in order to align with the new guidance. We will keep you updated in the coming weeks on our progress related to this work.
Moving between less and more restrictive levels, as determined by the DCHD, is based on complex guidelines. The DCHD will update the metrics every Friday (click here to see the current metrics).
Our goal continues to be to return students to our schools as much as possible for in-person learning (click here to access BoardDocs for our Board Presentation/Return to Learn Update on August 18 which details this goal). We are committed to keeping you updated on our discussions and plans.
In the meantime, we are focused on delivering the highest quality Remote Learning. Thank you for your partnership and patience as we work to provide students with continuous learning opportunities during these challenging times.
Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools