Bull’s Board Corner: September 21

Sam Bull, Editor-in-Chief

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Hey, students! This is a series of news columns by me, Omega Editor-in-Chief and District 99 Board of Education Student Representative Sam Bull, that is designed to inform you, the DGN student body, of the most relevant changes, decisions, and updates from the most Board of Education meeting. In other words: this is exactly what you need to know from every Board meeting!

This week’s District 99 Board of Education meeting mainly featured updates on the modified hybrid schedule for the rest of the semester. The schedule coordinates with district safety guidance metrics, which are similar to those of the DuPage County Health Department. The goal is to return to hybrid learning with metrics at minimal or moderate transmission levels.

In a presentation to the Board, Superintendent Hank Thiele outlined the proposed planhere are several of its key features that you should know:

  • The plan would have the same schedule as remote learning, with students attending school in-person two days a week for half of the day. Remote and in-person learners would be in the same class at the same time working from different places. All students would have learning activities, which may include a mix of interactive and individual work
  • Top priorities of executing the plan: 
    • Following safety guidelines
    • Allowing every student the opportunity to regularly see every teacher
    • Simplifying the schedule to create a seamless transition between remote and in-person learning
  • Key concepts of the modified hybrid plan: 
    • Six feet distance with minimal interaction
    • All IDPH/ISBE health and safety precautions in place (including the universal wearing of masks)
    • Following the remote learning schedule (80 minute periods, four periods per day)
      • Five total cohorts in one week (transportation and four classes)
    • Staggering arrival and dismissal
    • Many precautions (passing periods: no congregation, no bathrooms, go straight to class, etc.)
    • Students come into school for in-person learning two days a week and meet in person in every class over a two week period
    • Specific programs and activities (athletics, clubs, etc.) continue
  • Goals of the in-person learning experience: 
    • Maximize in-person class time
    • Participate in activities that are impossible or challenging in a remote setting
    • Strengthening of teacher/student relationships
    • Collaboration with both in-person and remote learners (students must bring headphones/Chromebook to class)
    • Distribution and collection of materials
  • Pending planning and logistics: 
    • Number of students returning to in-person learning
    • The potential return of only freshman week of Oct. 5
    • Transportation
    • Professional development, planning/technology supports

Because the Board gave permission in August to return to school when it is safe to do so, this plan needs no vote. The tentative plan is to return to school the week of Oct. 19 using this hybrid schedule, which will feature two full weeks of modified remote, followed by a full week of remote learning. This pattern will continue until the end of the semester. 

To see last night’s full presentation, click here!