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LT to reopen with remote learning model (8-5-2020)
After much deliberation, thought and planning, Lyons Township High School will open the 2020-2021 school year with a Remote Learning Model. The model prioritizes our high expectations for teaching and learning and takes into consideration the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases, both locally and nationally, combined with serious concerns from families and staff about returning to in-person learning, create a significant and prolonged risk of disrupted in-person learning. A remote learning model is the most viable, flexible and equitable plan at this time.
Despite our best possible health screening and mitigation efforts, the likelihood of transmission, infection and quarantine would cause constant interruption and disruption to the learning process with potentially hundreds of students, faculty and staff members being quarantined at various points. The most current guidance (July 2020) from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) states that: Anyone (regardless of whether they are infected) who was within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 cumulative minutes (over a 14-day period) will need to be quarantined and cannot return to campus for 14 days. This requirement would have a serious and negative impact on our ability to provide students with a consistent high-quality learning experience.
The most compelling rationale for having some form of in-person learning is the need for students to regain a sense of normalcy and have positive social experiences during this uncertain time. Our goal will be to return to in-person learning as soon as possible. However, given the significant health and safety guidelines we must follow, there would be nothing normal about the daily in-person experience for students. In fact, if we provided in-person learning under the current guidelines, we would be required to do everything we could to limit students’ interactions with each other and their teachers. Given the rules that we must currently operate under, a hybrid opening would create numerous staffing and other logistical concerns that would negatively impact student learning.
New and Improved Remote Learning
Under current conditions and for the reasons stated above, we have concluded that a Remote Learning Model is the safest and most effective plan with which to begin the 2020-2021 school year. Fortunately, summer workshops, technology training opportunities and Teacher Work Days prior to the start of school will allow teachers to continue to design and collaborate on lesson plans, learning and assignment expectations and assessments.
Unlike the spring shutdown, when state mandates limited our ability to deliver high-quality remote instruction, the 2020-2021 Remote Learning Model will include a return to required attendance, grading of student work, clear expectations based on defined course objectives and four days of synchronous learning per week.
Significant adjustments have been made to our remote learning plan based upon feedback from the spring. The 2020-2021 Remote Learning Model will include:
- Students will follow a structured schedule with required synchronous learning experiences four days per week as new content is introduced by teachers.
- Assessments will be delivered, grades will count, and attendance will be taken.
- Students will be expected to participate in each synchronous remote learning session.
Remote Learning Model Highlights
- All students will start the school year on a A/B remote learning schedule, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m., with a half-hour between each class.
- Classes for all students will begin on Thursday, August 20, allowing for teacher and staff training, lesson planning and professional development prior to the start of school.
- The Remote Learning Model will apply for the first quarter.
- However, if health and safety conditions allow us to gradually bring students, faculty and staff back to campus in a Hybrid Learning Model, we do so, and do so quickly.
- Online synchronous learning with their teachers will occur for each scheduled class period.
- Class sessions are not required to last an entire hour although teachers may choose to.
- Given that each class session is limited to one hour, students may be expected to complete additional work.
- Wednesdays are non-instructional days with a morning of teacher collaboration and an afternoon of virtual office hours.
- The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) removed restrictions on assessments and grades for students for the 2020-2021 school year. We will return to our standard assessment and grading practices.
- All students will complete a daily attendance document.
- We will provide grab-n-go meal service for Free and Reduced Lunch status.
- We will provide virtual student services and supports for students.
Click for the First Quarter Remote Learning Model calendar.
For additional details about the daily schedule, student expectations, grading, and more, click 2020-2021 RETURN TO LEARN GUIDANCE AND PROCEDURES
Please keep in mind that this situation is fluid and recommendations and amendments could be made during the school year. In addition to the Remote Learning Model, we are also refining our Hybrid Model to utilize and transition to when conditions allow, ensuring a flexible environment in which student learning can be maintained virtually or in person.
- Step 1 Remote Learning Model: August 20-All instruction and resources are remote.
- Step 2 Hybrid Learning Model: Students attend classes for a portion of the day, determined by an alphabetic group assignment.
- Step 3 In-Person: All students attend in-person class every day.
Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, it is expected we may move back and forth between Steps 1-2 throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The District will communicate with parents, staff and students about any transitions between steps.
Thank you for your patience this summer and for your understanding as we roll out a very different start to the school year. We have spent thousands of hours over the past three months trying to find a way to provide some form of in-person learning experience for our students. Our staff is committed to delivering the best possible education for students, whether that be remotely or in person. While this fall will look different, please know that some things will remain the same: notably, our commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities and resources for the students of LTHS.
Additional communication and details will be shared as the start of school approaches.