December 18, 2020
Dear Families of District 2 and District 157,
I hope this communication finds you and your families well. I am writing today to share information regarding our plans for returning to school after winter break. I ask that you remember our plans must continue to comply with the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and guidelines that are set by the CDC.
During the second semester, we will be moving away from the dashboard we have been using to make decisions to a “Risk Stratified Model” recently released by the CDC. The new model will focus on five key mitigation efforts. Those mitigation efforts include the use of masks, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, and contact tracing to reduce risk. In addition, we will continue to consult with the officials at the McHenry County Department of Health on all health-related decisions regarding a return to school.
Starting January 4, we will remain in full remote learning through January 13. On January 14 and 15 there will be no school for students due to teacher institutes. Those two days of teacher institutes will allow our staff to receive professional development for the return to our new hybrid learning model.
Starting on January 19, we will return to our new in-person hybrid model with significant changes that we believe will benefit students and their families. Those changes will include an increase in the number of attendance days over a two week period of in-person hybrid learning and the return to a full day of school. Details on start and end times will be released by the building principals very soon.
We will continue to follow the same breakdown by last name to determine the day each student will attend school in person. Students with the last name beginning with A-L will attend school together and the next day students with last names beginning with M-Z will attend. Students within the same household with different last names will be able to attend together on the same day. Please contact your student’s principal if you need to discuss this issue further.
Our new in-person hybrid will allow students to attend a full day of school every other day. This will double the contact time teachers have with students at Richmond Grade School and Spring Grove Elementary School. In addition, it will increase the student-teacher contact time at both Nippersink Middle School and Richmond-Burton Community High School.
District 2 and District 157 will continue to support and allow parents to make the choice as to whether their student(s) will attend this new in-person hybrid or remain in full remote learning. More detailed information regarding our new hybrid learning model and our full remote learning option will be released by the building principals.
It remains the goal of both Districts’ Boards of Education and the administration to return to full in-person learning as soon as conditions and state/local policies support that type of learning model. Until then, we remain committed to giving families choices in how their students will be educated. We believe this latest change to our hybrid learning plan will support student learning and their social/emotional needs more than any plan we have had to date.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to 2021 and the hope it brings for an eventual full return to school. If you have any questions after receiving the follow up letter from your student’s principal, please contact them directly and they will be glad to answer any questions you have.
Dr. Tom Lind, Superintendent