District 214 this fall will implement a block schedule and technology solutions that allow for flexibility and parental choice to have students attend classes in-person or remotely each day.
For the first semester of the school year, the District will move to a block schedule with students having eight classes in total, but only four extended classes each day. This will limit movement throughout the buildings and be an efficient and effective way to deliver instruction in the event the District is required to go to a fully remote environment at some point this fall.
Based on feedback from numerous stakeholders, the District prioritized the need to resume consistent in-person instruction while also ensuring student and staff safety and providing parental choice. The fall plan accomplishes that. At the District’s six comprehensive high schools, the traditional eight-period, 48-minute course schedule will move to an extended block schedule that alternates every two days, with the option to attend zero-hour classes beginning at 8:45 a.m. and the first all-student instructional period beginning at 10:00 a.m. The school day will end at 3:25 p.m. Buses will arrive at approximately 9:45 a.m., and after-school activity buses will run if co-curricular activities are allowed by the Illinois High School Association. All school buildings will open for students at 8:00 a.m.
In the event public health concerns require us to move to a hybrid model where a reduced number of students are able to attend in-person learning or a fully remote model at any point during the first semester, we will continue to maintain the exact same schedule ensuring a consistent schedule for the entire first semester.
The first two days of the school year, August 12 and August 13, will now be professional development days for teachers. To ensure freshmen receive a unique and relevant high school onboarding experience that was missed in the spring, each school is utilizing the first Friday of the year, Friday, August 14, for freshmen orientation.
Superintendent Dr. David Schuler said he believes the District has built a system that allows for the continued delivery of a relevant and innovative curriculum in a way that doesn’t negatively impact students learning remotely and also supports families’ needs for flexibility.
“Designing the school day and first semester this way allows for a rigorous and equitable academic experience whether the students are in the building or participating remotely,” Schuler said, noting the plan also provides for a seamless transition to full online learning should Illinois revert to a previous phase in the Restore Illinois Plan. “We look forward to seeing our students and staff back in the classroom in a safe way when we begin school again in the fall.”
Parents have the choice to have their student participate in-person or remotely each day. Teachers will have several options using synchronous technology for working with students who are learning remotely, and the specific delivery of instruction may look different based on the class a student is taking. Regardless, the same curriculum will be taught both in-person and remotely, and students will be held accountable for their learning in both settings.
District 214 will follow and adapt the health and safety guidance released by the Illinois State Board of Education on June 24, 2020, to meet the unique constraints of its facilities and needs of its students and staff, to comply with Public Act 101-0643 regarding the implementation of a “Remote and Blended Learning Day Plan.”