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COVID-19 Update: April 3

Reported by greg_gibson@ipsd.org on 4/3/20

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Dear District 204 Community,

We are about to embark on a new chapter with the state’s Remote Learning Days, which are in effect through April 30. We are fortunate that our district already had plans for e-learning days to be used in place of snow days. However, we never imagined the delivery of instruction would shift for this extended period of time.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provided guidance for what is expected as we move forward. I want to call your attention to the following changes as the state begins Remote Learning:

Starting on Tuesday, April 7, all grade levels (now including preschool and students with special needs) will participate in remote learning. Teachers will contact parents on Tuesday with information on what to expect and their availability to answer questions and support students.

During the recent Act of God Days, assignments were not graded and participation was not required. Moving forward, participation is expected and assignments will be graded for middle and high school students. Work will not be graded for elementary school students, but teachers will provide feedback to students. ISBE has asked districts to focus grading on the continuation of learning and prioritize the connectedness and care for students and staff. A focus on keeping children emotionally and physically safe, fed, and engaged in learning should be our first priority during this unprecedented time. ISBE’s recommendations on grading are based upon the principle of no educational harm to any child during this period. A student’s grade will not be negatively impacted during this time.

While formal attendance will not be taken, student participation and completion of assignments is expected. We ask that you communicate that expectation to your child. Your child’s teacher or a school administrator will reach out to see if support is needed if a student is not participating.

With students spending time using their Chromebooks through the end of April, I want to ask that you remind them to be good digital citizens. We have a resource for parents on this topic. Some teachers may use video conferencing with classes, so please also be reminded of student privacy during these sessions. Recordings or photographs of remote learning instruction should not occur without express permission from the staff member delivering the instruction or an administrator.

For our seniors, I know there is uncertainty over the milestone events for the Class of 2020. The decision to postpone or cancel these events and the impact it has on our students and families weighs heavily on all of us. Please know final decisions have not been made yet. Decisions will be based on how this crisis evolves in the coming weeks.

As our students resume e-learning on Tuesday, April 7, please know we are fortunate to have dedicated teachers working to provide the best educational opportunities possible under these unprecedented circumstances. I would encourage you to visit our website for more information, including an educational enrichment resources for families.

Thank you for your continued support.

Karen Sullivan
Superintendent

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