Wednesday, October 21, 2020

District 35 Plan for 2020-2021

NEW! Please visit our resource site for the 2020-2021 year.

We are pleased to welcome our staff and students to the new school year. While we approach our new year with many new protocols and safety measures, it is wonderful to see the way our students have embraced the routines on our opening day.

We thank you for ensuring your child is temperature and symptom checked each day before arriving at school. Across the community, we require support to model healthy behavior and slow the spread of COVID-19. We thank you for wearing a mask and supporting your child to wear a mask while in public spaces.

Should you have any specific questions about your child's daily routines or access to the online materials, please reach out to your child's teacher. We will be sure to include appropriate team members for additional support.

Dear District 35 Families,

The 2020-2021 Planning Committee has continued to work through the difficult challenge of reopening our schools for in-person learning that complies with the guidance we have received from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). In addition, our work has been grounded in the recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Our efforts have brought together diverse viewpoints as our planning team includes teachers, teacher associates, nurses, support staff, parents, additional community members, and our administration. Our focus has prioritized the health, safety, and wellness of our students, staff, and families.

At our August 6th Board of Education Meeting, the School Board approved moving forward with the Hybrid model for fall 2020. Please note that the implementation of our hybrid learning plan is contingent upon the Suburban Cook region's (region 10) health metrics maintaining a Phase 4 status and our local compliance with all protocols for safety. The data surrounding COVID-19 changes frequently and we will continue to monitor health guidelines to ensure a safe start to school. Our careful and measured approach to reopening will also allow the Board to thoughtfully support a path to more in-person learning should all factors support this safely.

Our video of the Board of Education meeting slides and audio may be accessed here. We will share details of the comprehensive plan, including a guide covering topics such as health and safety, logistical considerations, and an overview of building learning plans that will be released on August 14.

The Hybrid model allows for a combination of in-person and online learning to:
• educate every child, every day in a small cohort
• adhere to > 6' of social distancing by keeping smaller class sizes
• mitigate risk by removing lunch or snack mask-free times
• allow for a gradual start with time to learn safety expectations and practice new procedures
• provide remote learning to build capacity for future agility


While it is our intention to open in the hybrid model, our teams are continuing the work to fully develop each plan as we recognize a shift in the Restore Illinois phase may warrant movement between the scenarios based on decisions at the local or state level. We must remain agile and ready to shift between these scenarios and ensure high-quality instructional experiences remain intact. 

Families may request a REMOTE LEARNING option for their child(ren) if:

  • medical documentation is provided to define the student need for remote learning
  • a family opts out of IN-PERSON LEARNING voluntarily for the first and second quarters of the school year

If you do not intend to send your child(ren) for the HYBRID learning, any family requesting a REMOTE LEARNING option for their child(ren), must submit a request via our online form by August 10, 2020, at 5:00 pm. This will allow us to most effectively plan for staffing and resource allocation for the opening of our year.

The District 35 timeline moving forward remains as follows:

  • August 10th: Requests for Remote Learning Option DUE
  • August 18th: Families select an intake conference session via our Family Access portal
  • August 24th: All teachers and teacher associates return to work
  • August 27th and 28th: Individual intake conferences with homeroom teacher/advisor at all grades to ensure a welcoming and supportive re-entry
  • August 31st: First day of hybrid learning

While the pandemic has impacted daily life for us all, we remain steadfast in our commitment to educating your children and supporting their healthy development. I am most grateful to our Planning Committee for their dedication to create new possibilities for our educational experiences. Together, we can make the best of this unprecedented situation and prioritize our children and staff in the process.

In partnership,

Superintendent