On April 17, Governor Pritzker, joined by Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Carmen I. Ayala, announced that he is suspending in-person learning in all Illinois schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. District 303 school buildings continue to be closed. Per Illinois Executive Order 2020-10, all District playgrounds are closed to public use until further notice. Staff will be available to answer the phone remotely between the hours of 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM. Please call your child’s school if you have questions or concerns.
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In keeping with Governor Pritzker’s announcement earlier in the week that the statewide closure for all school districts has been extended through April 30, District 303 will resume remote learning for students on Monday, April 6. Please take a few moments to watch a video message from Superintendent Dr. Jason Pearson about the District 303 response to COVID-19 and our remote learning plan.
The Illinois State Board of Education has created recommendations for school districts about instruction, grading, content selection and delivery, and social-emotional needs. District 303 has incorporated recommendations from the state into our remote learning plan that is linked below. Additionally, the following items summarize the components of the plan as it relates to student learning.
● Student learning that aligns with District 303 curriculum will be delivered through a District supported Learning Management System (LMS) such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Seesaw, or email.
● In an effort to respond to students and their academic needs, staff members will be available between 8:00 am and 3:30 pm.
● Teachers will use a variety of methods to stay connected with students, including: Google Classroom, Schoology, videos, emails, and phone calls.
● Teachers will collaborate with their course and grade-level teams to develop activities and tasks that are aligned with the curriculum and instructional units throughout the duration of remote learning.
● Assessments will be based upon a student’s progression of skills and abilities.
● Students who have not yet demonstrated proficiency will be provided with opportunities to continue learning and receive additional feedback to support their learning.
● Remote learning activities can assist students with increasing their grade, but will not have an adverse effect on a student’s grade.
● Competency-based grading and reporting will continue for grade K-5 during remote learning.
● During remote learning days, District 303 will continue to use the letter grade structure for students in grades 6-12 throughout the remainder of the semester.
● Remote learning days count as student attendance days. On Monday mornings, students in grades 6-12 will receive a brief survey they are expected to complete by noon that records their intended participation in learning for that week and their attendance. Elementary teachers will record attendance based on student participation in the remote learning assignments and activities.
● Remote learning details are outlined in the remote learning plan. Specific information for your child's classes and courses will be shared by the school and teacher.
Students have a schedule every day at school which provides them with the tools they need to create a routine. When you set up your “home” school, first take the time to discuss a daily plan with your children that will help provide the structure they need during the Remote Learning days.
Consider using a color-coded system to plan the day with a different color being used for online classes, study time, reading, leisure time and even household chores.
Ask your child to help you create a reading nook in a comfortable area of your house where he or she can concentrate. Add a soft blanket and a pillow or two to make the space inviting. Pile inviting books next to the chair so an adventure is always nearby.
Technology is a big part of Remote Learning days but there are many ways to use technology to create, rather than to passively consume. Encourage creativity and problem solving, with a balanced mix of tech and non-tech activities. At school, students often make their own videos that illustrate their work whether it’s a math problem, a science experiment, or a piece of writing. Ask your children to make their own videos. Does your child love to cook? Have him make his own cooking show just like on TV. Does your child like to sing? Have her create a music video.
Make sure children are getting time to participate in “brain breaks” and activity. Ask them what they do at school to stretch or utilize exercise videos being sent home by the physical education teachers.
Finally, be flexible and make adjustments as you go. These next few weeks will be a marathon, not a sprint so break up the work, don’t feel that children have to finish everything in one sitting, and work in ways to be together as a family.