Staff allowed back by March 25, students in late April; Student Support Wednesdays to stay
Information provided by Thornton Fractional High School District 215
LANSING, Ill. (March 10, 2021) – At its special meeting on March 10, the District 215 Board of Education voted on a plan for the fourth quarter of the 2020- 2021 school year at the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond.
District 215 staff will report to school buildings no later than March 25 but can voluntarily report to buildings beginning March 15. The plan grants teachers planning days for March 25 and 26, and students will not log on for virtual instruction those days. Beginning Monday, March 29, teachers will conduct remote learning from classrooms.
Student return and Support Wednesdays
District 215 has spring break scheduled for April 2-11, and administrators are working on a plan that will bring students to the buildings the week of April 12 for state-mandated testing. The week of April 19, students opting for in-person learning who are part of the district’s special education programs will return to buildings, along with freshmen and seniors who have opted for in-person learning. The week of April 26, sophomores and juniors who opt for in-person learning will return to buildings.
Student Support Wednesdays will continue remotely for staff and students to allow for deep cleaning of the buildings. No faculty or students will report to buildings on Wednesdays. Although the re-opening plan originally did not include this support day, dozens of student comments read at the Board meeting on March 10 in support of Wednesdays as support days seemed to sway the Board.
Less than 30% at a time
Students who opted in for in-person learning will receive specific details from their school. The current plan notes that students opting for in-person learning with last names A-L will attend in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and those opting for in-person learning with last names M-Z will attend in person on Thursdays and Fridays. If necessary, students will be divided into additional groupings so that no more than 30% of the total student enrollment for each campus will be in attendance on any day.
Simultaneous remote and in-person learning
Students who choose to remain in a fully remote learning environment will continue to attend classes virtually, joining their teachers and classmates who are present in the buildings via Zoom. Many classrooms have been updated with new cameras and technology to ensure that students learning in person and remotely will be able to receive instruction and participate in classes. Students attending in-person will bring charged devices and will receive further details from schools regarding devices.
Protocols and services
Staff and students returning to school buildings will be required to wear masks and maintain social distance. District 215 has a comprehensive re-opening plan that includes strategies for cleaning facilities, classroom ventilation, contact tracing, quarantine guidelines, safe bus transportation for students, entering and exiting buildings, and more.
The Center for Disease Control, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Cook County Department of Public Health guidelines are being utilized throughout the District 215 re-opening plan. Superintendent Dr. Jones-Redmond has assembled a re-opening task force that includes board members, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students. The group meets weekly via Zoom and is scheduled to continue meeting for the next several months. The task force provides insight to district leadership from many perspectives regarding the safe re-opening process. The following services will continue to be available to District 215 students in the fourth quarter:
- Schools will continue providing meals 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for students on all days when school is in session and can provide delivery if requested .
- Teachers will continue to hold 90 minutes of virtual office hours at the end of each school day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) to offer extra help to students.
More details to come
Parents and guardians who have opted for in-person learning for their student will receive email correspondence from their student’s school with additional details and directions that are specific to the school building such as transportation, entrance and exit doors, and building-specific protocols.
Thornton Fractional District 215 serves the communities of Burnham, Calumet City, Lansing, and Lynwood at Thornton Fractional North High School, Thornton Fractional South High School, Thornton Fractional Center for Academics and Technology, and Thornton Fractional Center for Alternative Learning. District offices are located at 18601 Torrence Avenue, Lansing, IL.
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