Board approves Hybrid Option and Full Remote

Board approves Hybrid Option and Full Remote

Dear District 58 Families,

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to thank you for all that you are doing at home to make full remote learning successful. I recognize how challenging this pandemic is for all of us and your partnership is greatly appreciated. I am pleased to report that at last evening’s meeting, the Board of Education approved moving to a Hybrid Model of instruction beginning on Oct. 20. This means that students will learn through a combination of onsite and remote learning. In addition, a Full Remote learning option will continue to be available and will be consistent (curriculum, schedule, etc.) with the Hybrid Model and taught by District 58 certified teachers. As part of this communication, there is a link to a commitment form that all families must complete by Monday, October 5. Please view the Board of Education meeting on this topic here and the administration’s presentation to the Board. The presentation contains a great deal of information that will likely answer several questions. The purpose of this email is to provide you with more information on the next steps for families as we prepare for the return of students.

In the administration’s work and the Board’s deliberations, we reviewed various health metrics, experience in managing positive cases, success of the Transition Days, staffing levels during those days and throughout remote learning, student absences, and how well we could implement the health guidance coming from the state and county. In fact, the DuPage County Health Department released a Return to Learn Framework that gives us clearer information about reopening depending on the level of COVID-19 transmission.

It is our responsibility to provide the best experience for our students, and we know that means a return to in-person instruction. At the same time, a hybrid approach with a smaller population in school at one time allows us to reduce the risk of COVID-19. In fact, the updated guidance does not permit a full on-site plan such as what was proposed in the summer nor what was experienced pre-COVID-19. 

The Hybrid Model consists of the following by grade level:

Grade Level Instructional Hours Key Details

Session 1: 8:15 - 9:45 a.m. 

Session 2: 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Session 3: 1:15 - 2:45 p.m. 

Students will be assigned to one session with some additional asynchronous instruction.

A full remote option that mirrors onsite will be available.


AM - 8:20 -10:50 a.m.

PM - 12:20 - 2:50 p.m. 

Transportation will be provided for all those who qualify. In addition, Lester students attending at Pierce Downer, Highland students attending at Belle Aire, will be provided bus transportation. 

Since kindergarten is a half day program, no asynchronous time will be formally delivered.

A full remote option that mirrors onsite will be available.

Grades 1-6

AM - 8:20 -10:50 a.m. 

PM - 12:20 - 2:50 p.m. 

Students will attend onsite during either the AM or PM time frame. AM/PM assignments will be sent out on Oct. 9. 

Students will attend remotely (offsite) opposite of their assigned times, with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.

A full remote option that mirrors onsite will be available.

Middle School 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Students will attend onsite on alternating days; 7th grade students will attend Monday, Wednesday and alternating Fridays; 8th grade students will attend onsite Tuesday, Thursday and alternating Fridays. Offsite instruction will occur on days opposite in-person attendance.

Click here to view the schedule. 

A full remote option that mirrors onsite will be available.

In the Hybrid Model in grades 1-6, the onsite and synchronous time will include mathematics, English/ language arts, and social emotional learning. The offsite portion of the day will include asynchronous learning in addition to specials (art, music, p.e., library skills) delivered synchronously. Science and social studies instruction will continue to be a part of our instructional day, and may be part of onsite or offsite instruction depending on the specific units of study. The asynchronous time will be structured differently than in our current remote plan as teachers will be working directly with students onsite throughout the day. This arrangement provides more synchronous instruction than our current remote learning plan; while some asynchronous activities may be independent, the ability for our teachers to provide onsite instruction and feedback on those independent activities will create a supportive, rich learning environment both onsite and off. 

At the middle school level, offsite instruction will follow the same 8-period schedule as the onsite day, with students having the same schedule and teachers each day whether onsite or offsite. For example, on a Monday, an 8th grade student will follow an 8-period schedule remotely (via zoom) while a 7th grader follows their schedule onsite.

A Full Remote option is offered at each grade level, with District 58 instructional content being delivered by District 58 certified teachers. The offsite portion of instruction will remain consistent whether a student elects Full Remote or the Hybrid Model. The onsite instructional time will be covered remotely for the students who elect the Full Remote option. As an example, a 3rd grade student who elects fully remote will be placed into a group of 3rd grade students who would attend synchronous remote lessons for 2.5 hours in the morning (covering the same content as students who would be onsite in the morning) and then receive 2.5 hours of offsite instruction in the afternoon (a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities) in the same fashion as the students who were onsite in the morning.  A middle school student would follow their 8-period day remotely five days per week.

In our planning, we continue to focus on providing an environment that is caring, supportive, and compassionate, with the understanding that the health and well-being of our students, staff, and community is our highest priority. We also pledge to provide proactive, concise communication to all families, staff and students.

The administration recognizes that shifting to any form of onsite instruction requires us to sacrifice some elements of educational best practice. Adherence to the guidance means we cannot accomplish the same structures we would in a typical year. These guidelines have been established to keep our students, staff, and families safe. It is our responsibility to implement them according to the experts as safety is our highest priority. We will work to make deliberate decisions knowing that no one decision will satisfy every stakeholder. Knowing that we cannot have it all, we will prioritize health, safety, social/emotional well-being, and quality instruction.

In order to adhere to social distancing requirements as well as provide a robust remote option that is consistent with the classroom experience, adjustments to the assignment of teachers may have to be made. We recognize that there is concern about the potential of students changing teachers once we move to this next phase. Please know that we are doing everything possible to minimize any disruptions while adhering to the guidelines. In the event an assignment does change, we know that our staff will build relationships within new classes and that these relationships will emerge as strong and supportive of all students. The District will make every effort to keep current assignments to the greatest extent possible. 

We are excited to welcome back our students and have been working hard every day for this opportunity. There are still many challenges we expect to encounter, but we believe that our experiences with remote learning and Transition Days have provided a strong foundation to move to the next phase.

More information will be coming to you from both your school principal and me in the coming weeks. This will include specific schedules, detailed in-person safety expectations, and what will occur if a student or staff member is exposed or tests positive for COVID-19. The following is a timeline of our communications:

Date  Key Information
September 29 Included in this letter, families will be asked to fill out a commitment form for instruction and bus transportation. Families can also submit questions to the administrative team. These questions will be used to create an FAQ. 
October 2 An FAQ document will be shared based upon questions that have been submitted.
October 5 A family commitment form for each student is due at 9 a.m. It is critical to our planning that each family complete this form; families who do not respond will receive a direct communication from the school office. If no response is ultimately received, students will be placed in the onsite hybrid option with no transportation. 
October 9 PreK-6th grade families will receive assignments (AM, Mid-Day or PM for Preschool; AM or PM for grades K-6)
October 16 Students in preschool-6th grade will receive teacher assignments; middle school students will receive teacher and schedule information.

In the meantime, please complete the PowerSchool Parent Portal commitment form for the Hybrid Model or Full Remote as well as a need for bus transportation. If you have questions regarding your decision, please reach out to your building principal. For students in K-8th grades, the commitment form will be submitted via the PowerSchool Parent Portal. You will find it in the “Forms” section of the Portal. Click here for detailed instructions on how to complete this process. If you need assistance creating a PowerSchool Account, or submitting the form, please contact your school office. For preschool students not currently participating in specialized programs, please complete this form to submit your commitment. 

Transportation will be provided for elementary and middle school students (if applicable). However, the District cannot double its transportation budget. Therefore, we will only be able to run our routes once during a school day so students who require transportation at the elementary school will be placed in the afternoon option. (The exception to this is kindergarten). Middle school routes will run in accordance with the daily schedule and elementary routes will run for the afternoon session only. 

The District has been working with its partners, Champions and the Downers Grove Park District, to ensure childcare opportunities will be available. Champions will offer before school care for students attending the morning session, and they will offer after school care for students attending the afternoon session in our elementary buildings. However, they will not have access to District 58 facilities during school hours and therefore, children will not be able to stay with Champions during their offsite session. The Park District has been running a full day program to accommodate families during remote learning and they will be making adjustments to accommodate our instructional program. They will communicate with their families and with the District once their plans are finalized.

Again, I would like to thank you for your involvement and flexibility while we work out details on returning to onsite instruction. 




Kevin B. Russell