Return to full in-person instruction on April 5

  • Effective Monday, April 5, and extending through the end of the 2020-21 academic year, High School District 214 welcomes all students back for in-person instruction.

    The April 5 return of all students is accompanied by the continued use of mitigation strategies to ensure a continued low rate of COVID-19 transmission within District schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  references the following five key mitigation strategies, shown to enhance safety and decrease risks, which District 214 has consistently implemented and will continue:

    • Consistent and correct use of masks
    • Social distancing to the largest extent possible
    • Hand hygiene
    • Cleaning and disinfection
    • Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department

    Upon entering the building, all students and staff are required to have their temperature taken and self-certify they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. Six feet of social distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Social distancing may be reduced to less than six feet due to classroom space limitations. Students and staff will be required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. No lockers will be used except for those students in athletics and band.  

    In-Person Exemption and Remote Instruction

    Students who need a medical or household exemption from in-person instruction may complete an exemption form that their parents received via email.  Students who need an exemption from in-person instruction will be supported academically based on individual circumstances. 

    Teachers have the autonomy to deliver their curriculum with the instructional methods they believe are most appropriate for their classes. Teachers are to provide synchronous learning opportunities during all class meeting dates for the purpose of attendance and instruction. Teachers will continue to have the flexibility to use a variety of technologies that allow for synchronous instruction.

    The In-Person Exemption Request Form must be completed by Monday, March 15 at 8:00 a.m.  Please reach out to your school’s Division Head for Student Success, Safety, and Wellness if you have any questions regarding the form. You can find their contact information here.

    Once you complete the in-person exemption form, you cannot return to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year. 

    Previously, District 214 entered a hybrid stage of learning on January 19, representing an end to the adaptive pause (a temporary return to remote learning for all students) that began November 30. The pause was prompted by public health metrics at the time indicating substantial community spread of COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker’s implementation of Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations for all of Illinois.

    The adaptive pause adopted November 30 represented a shift from Stage 3 of District 214’s Return to School plan, which had been in effect since October 15 and permitted students to attend class in person four out of every six instructional days and participate in remote learning when they were not in the buildings. Throughout Stage 3, students also had the option of learning remotely.

    Since the beginning of the academic year, students in select programs have been in our schools, and all students have had the opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities onsite, in line with public health guidelines. The District is providing its full range of social-emotional support for students, whether they are attending classes in person or remotely. The District’s first priority remains the health and safety of staff and students.