Superintendent's Message, 10.17.20

District 96 Families,
Lake County is experiencing a rise in the cases of COVID-19. As you will see on the Lake County School Decision Dashboard, this information is being tracked daily. We have been put on notice regarding a potential transition from a recommended hybrid model to a virtual model in the near future. You will notice that the incidence rate of COVID-19 has reached a level where transmission is deemed to be substantial. 


If this trend continues for 7 consecutive days, mitigation strategies to curb the spread may be forthcoming both from Lake County and from the state for Region 9 (Lake and McHenry County combined). At that point the recommended model on the county website will transition to virtual learning.
Please follow THIS LINK to the recent statement by the Lake County Health Department.
Given that we are committed to responding to the metrics as they occur in real time, we will be welcoming 1st and 2nd graders back on Monday as scheduled, but PLEASE KNOW that, should the spread of COVID-19 in Lake County continue to rise, we may be forced to either pause our next phase of in-person learning scheduled to take place on October 29th for 3rd - 8th graders OR revert to full remote learning for all of our schools for a period of time until the spread is contained and the metrics come down. Which path we take will be determined by the trajectory of the incidence rate. If the incidence rate climbs daily (steep upward climb) then the direction will be to revert to full remote for all students for at least a 10–14 day time period.
It is important for families to be aware that this announcement will likely occur by the end of the next week.  
It is very important, as well, for all of us to maintain vigilance during this time and follow the 3Ws: Wear a mask, Watch your distance, Wash your hands. It is essential for everyone to follow strict guidelines to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
We will keep you informed of the necessity to either pause and not move forward with our October 29 grades 3 - 8 phase for a period of time OR revert to full remote learning for all District 96 students.
Thank you,
--Julie Schmidt, District 96 Superintendent of Schools