Superintendent's Message, 7.16.20

District 96 Community:

My message to you today has multiple purposes–each important for you to know.


The first purpose is to remind you to submit your Fall 2020 Opening Plan choice–full remote learning or in-person learning–for each of your District 96 students by 4 p.m. tomorrow, if you haven’t already done so. And If you decide to change the decision you submitted already, you would do so by scrolling down to the bottom of this Fall Learning Plan 2020–21 webpage and using the link there to request the change by 4 pm tomorrow.

A Word of Caution

The second purpose is to be very candid about the challenges we face in planning for uncertain and changing scenarios. As we continue to get updates regarding required protocols related to students or staff being symptomatic, diagnosed, or exposed, I feel compelled to advise that we anticipate in-person learning is likely to have multiple disruptions. 
The Lake County Health Department, in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health, is revising protocols for proactive self-isolation and required quarantine around all the above. Our in-person learning plan must reflect and follow these protocols. Our current plan is just that... our plan as of today, given what we know and understand.

Calendar Changes 2020-21

Finally, I want to advise you of some 2020-21 school year calendar changes approved by our Board of Education this week. These revisions are in response to a change in Illinois legislation that designates Election Days as holidays. (Previously we’d scheduled staff professional development on Election Days.) Also, we can better prepare our staff for unprecedented scenarios by using days in the week prior for planning and preparation before the school year begins. We will provide a Quicklist version of our calendar shortly.

Changes to the previously published Quicklist calendar include the following:
• First day of school for all students (Half Day): Mon., Aug. 24 (previously scheduled Aug. 19)
• Election Day (District closed): Tues., Nov. 3 (previously an Institute Day for staff)
• Half Day Student Attendance Day: Fri., Feb. 26 (previously scheduled Feb. 25)
• Last day of school (Half Day): Thurs., June 3 (previously scheduled June 2)

We appreciate your patience and support, as we understand that the uncertainty our families are facing makes decision making at this time particularly challenging.  

Best wishes,
--Julie Schmidt, District 96 Superintendent of Schools