Frequently Asked Questions

How does the District justify adding a few minutes per class period at the high school level, given the increased risk of infection by having students unmasked at lunch?

We are following the recommended safety guidelines for school lunch, which include allowing students to unmask while they eat as long as they are stationary and seated 6 feet apart.

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How does the District rationalize the relatively low risk of spreading COVID with an increased rate of academic, behavioral, and mental problems among students?

The CDC has consistently indicated that the low risk of COVID transmission in schools is a result of proper safety procedures including face covering, 6 feet of social distancing, and regularly washing and sanitizing hands. We recognize the social and emotional needs of our students and we continue to support them through our teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, social workers, and other staff.

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How has the District worked to prevent the spread of COVID in terms of HVAC filters, special virus-killing lighting, and limits on the number of students per classroom?

We have followed the safety guidelines issued by the CDC, IDPH, and DCHD for facemasking, 6 feet of social distancing, regular handwashing/sanitizing, proper ventilation, and regular cleaning and disinfecting our buildings. More details regarding ventilation are forthcoming. We have not used virus-killing lighting because we have been able to properly follow all of the other guidelines.

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How will students be assessed for level of preparedness for the next grade knowing that they lost so much over the last year? How will they get caught back up to national standards?

Preliminary research indicates that overall, the learning loss hasn't been as great as expected. However, that will vary from student to student, and we know it is greater in Math than Reading. We are using district assessments to gauge this, including classroom observations and data.

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If Spartan Stretch is added back into the schedule, are both in-person and remote learners able to get help from any teacher during that time? What will students be able to do during Spartan Stretch?

The High School staff is finalizing plans for Spartan Stretch during a full day. We will communicate those plans as soon as possible.

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If there is a remote option when school returns in-person full time, won't that take attention away from the students who are at school?

We are considering alternatives for remote learners in the future, such as a "remote academy" where staff would be assigned either to in-person or remote learners.

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Middle and high school students are currently required to carry their belongings with them all day, which is difficult for them — will changes be made to allow students access to their lockers?

We will allow this as soon as it is safe to do so. Use of lockers for instructional materials and personal belongings provides another potential source of COVID transmission.

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My student consistently finishes their required asynchronous work early. Can teachers assign additional (optional) work for students on Fridays for extra credit or skill strengthening?

One of the challenges of the pandemic and our current hybrid model is designing learning activities for all students knowing that each student is different and learns at different rates. Please contact your child's teacher for additional activities or suggestions for resources that you can use as a parent.

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There has been discussion of social distancing requirements — what are they? And is the District considering changing them?

The social distancing guidance calls for 6 feet of social distancing. These guidelines come from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and are supported by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Dekalb County Health Department (DCHD).

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What is the benefit to extending the school day under the current model of learning when it only adds a few minutes per class and includes lunch time where spread of COVID may be more prevelant?

We are able to add lunch by following the recommended safety guidelines for eating in schools, which are seating 6 feet apart, and ensuring that students remain seated/stationary while they eat. The additional time is beneficial for additional instructional time, contact with other students and staff, and the "normalcy" of a full day.

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What is the protocol for social distancing and face covering during lunch under the extended school day?

We will be regularly updating this plan to provide as much detail as possible. Supervisors will be on hand during lunch to monitor social distancing, proper facemask usage, and other protocols. The IDPH and DCHD support students removing masks to eat as long as they are 6 feet apart and are seated/stationary.

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Why can't Hybrid A and B groups be combined to attend together Monday through Thursday? Can Fridays be added into the in-person learning schedule?

Physical space is not available for both Hybrid A and B students to attend in-person on the same day. Fridays are not being added now to allow staff the time they need for planning, preparing, supply pick-up's, supporting remote learners, staff meetings, and other necesary work that occurs on Fridays.

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Will students be supervised during lunch periods to enforce any social distancing and face covering precautions?

We will be regularly updating this plan to provide as much detail as possible. Supervisors will be on hand during lunch to monitor social distancing, proper facemask usage, and other protocols. The IDPH and DCHD support students removing masks to eat as long as they are 6 feet apart and are seated/stationary.

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