• Questions Received during the Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, November 12 

    The questions in bold and italics below are in the order they were received. The questions have not been edited, how they appear is how they were phrased when asked. Responses are in regular text below each question. 

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    Why is your survey question so leading? You refer to hybrid as disruptive, without referencing the drawbacks of remote. It is a TERRIBLY designed  survey!

    We don’t intend our survey to be leading or misleading. There are trade-offs for every option. We think it is important to describe accurately options that students have not experienced yet so selections are made knowing what to expect

    Might a parent's answer to the threshold question be dependent on what kind of hybrid system is being proposed?

    Perhaps. These responses are individual selections and are not binding. The Board will decide based on the recommendations of the educators in the district amid a host of competing tradeoffs.

    Please can you confirm what stay the course or change the course mean? Specifically, if in person, how many days a week?

    Stay the course means to continue instruction remote and in-person services as it is safe to do so. In-person instruction will likely be 2 half days per week, but specifics depend on the overall number of students opting for particular models.

    Note that the  language for each option has been updated with the hopes of making this clearer.

    If the schools move to intermediate hybrid, and families opt for this choice, why would the kids learning from home on off-days from school, need to be asynchronous?  Why can't they Zoom into the live classroom?  It seems that with the intermediate hybrid there is less time for live education due to this.

    Simultaneous teaching—leading a class of students physically in front while also with a portion online—is difficult. Teaching a classroom of students is hard enough in the best circumstances; simultaneously managing learning of students in different locations would require additional planning, less content coverage, and result in less effective instruction. Students learning simultaneously in the classroom and at home is the structure of the “shorehorn” hybrid.

    With the Intermediate Hybrid plan, what testing component is the district planning for? Is there a saliva or other testing to be added (as New Trier is doing now)?

    The Board is currently considering a variety of testing options, and has not yet made a decision if one is necessary for District 113. More information about testing was presented on 11/9 to the Board of Education. 

    But if numbers come down, there should be a plan anyway to get everyone back at school, right?

    Yes. There is. And asking parents their preference for second semester is part of that planning.

    What is Remote Plus mean?

    Generally, by “remote plus services,” we mean instruction is remote and synchronous, and additional services--athletics, activities, and the like--are offered as ways to bring students on campus together.

    What are the trade-offs?  The disruptions?

    This slide from the 11/9 Board of Education meeting discusses the tradeoffs inherent in this work.

    What are the trade-offs?

    This slide from the 11/9 Board of Education meeting discusses the tradeoffs inherent in this work.

    If we choose to stay remote will the kids keep their current teachers?

    Yes. If by “we” you mean the District, then yes. If the Board decides to move to an intermediate hybrid model, all schedules and teachers will likely change, regardless of families' choice to remain remote or participate in in-person instruction. 

    Does the remote with services option lack services as clubs and sports?

    No. As much as permissible by health and safety guidelines, we will offer clubs and sports as services while instruction is remote.

    What is your threshold to return to school in person?  How realistic is it that you will allow students to return or will it always be “too risky”?

    This presentation from the 11/9 Board meeting answers this question. There is no automatic threshold for changing our operational approach. We monitor the level of community spread and make recommendations to the Board.

    If we opt for hybrid, is the at-home portion 100% asynchronous? And how many days per week would potentially be in school v. at-home synchronous?

    Details are still to be worked out, as they depend on the number of students in each option. Generally, we are thinking that students are in school for two half-days each week. And there are trade-offs associated with that: in a “shoehorn hybrid” model, with simultaneous teaching, teachers in this model may be remote or in person delivering remote instruction and in-person instruction at the same time. In an intermediate hybrid option, students will receive in-person instruction and asynchronous instruction when they are at home. Because students working remotely are learning asynchronously, teachers can teach only the students in the physical classroom.

    Why can't the wording say "because disruptions, including changes to student schedules and teachers, caused by transitioning to hybrid during the school year ..."  What the disruptions are should be clearly defined in A. and B. as I think many parents don't realize that this is what the disruption is - that it literally means schedule and teacher changes for everyone. That needs to be crystal clear, not everyone reads the full email and the fine print.

    Yes, based on feedback, we’re improving the language with this in mind.

    I am confused. If I choose remote learning plus but the majority want hybrid, will my children have their schedules changed anyway?

    We will offer a remote-only option for the duration of the year. If the Board decides on an “intermediate hybrid” option, then all schedules will likely change. We are asking parents their preference for second semester for planning purposes. It’s not a vote.

    Could you please spell out in the question what these trade-offs include, so people that are not aware of the schedule/teacher changes realize what they are selecting?

    This presentation from 11/9 attempts to answer that question.

    What percentage of families need to choose hybrid for the change to be implemented?

    It’s not a vote. We are asking parents their preference for planning purposes.

    Given that Dr. Law has pointed out during meetings that he meets weekly with the leadership of other schools in our zone, please address how Stevenson HS, with double the population of D113, has a completely outlined return to school plan? How does the Intermediate Hybrid plan differ from their strategies?

    The only difference between what Stevenson has outlined and our shoehorn hybrid is that they have set January 19 as the date for the transition. We are not setting a date in the future not knowing what the public health conditions will be. The difference between what we are called intermediate and Stevenson’s hybrid is the difference between shoehorn hybrid and intermediate hybrid. Their teachers will be teaching remotely from the classroom simultaneously to students in the physical classroom and students working remotely. The same model is at New Trier and District 225. 

    What would would lunch, gym, and classes that are only offered once look like during intermediate hybrid?

    We don’t know. In all likelihood, we will not permit students to eat on campus, as that increases the health and safety risks. All mitigation requirements will be strictly followed, which have a significant impact on students’ experience of school in-person.

    Why are parents not being given the choice for “shoe horn hybrid”? So many other schools are doing it effectively. It would keep schedules the same and achieve in person learning.

    We listened to our parents and added it. We haven’t seen places where it is effective, particularly if effectiveness means quality instruction and learning.

    With cases rising and lockdowns being imposed, is there actually any possibility of a hybrid system happening? Is debating the metrics of such a system even worth it when it most likely won’t happen?

    We don’t know, but are planning for several options just in case.

    “Shoehorn hybrid” is the best option to avoid the most disruption to everyone. Teachers and schedules should not be changed.

    In a “shoehorn hybrid” option, schedules would remain the same but the quality of instruction would be diminished.

    For what it’s worth, we’re now calling this “simultaneous hybrid” so the language is more precise.

    Or stay the course.

    This model probably will result in the best academic outcomes for most students.

    How can our student make this kind of decision when “trade offs” are so vague? Can they see how drastically their schedules will change before making that decision? Can they reverse their decision? This is a huge decision to make with not knowing the actual ‘trade offs’.

    There is plenty of uncertainty this year. At this point, responses are not binding, but will help inform the Board’s decisions. In an intermediate hybrid, the only way to know by how much students’ schedules and teachers will change is once we know who will be in that model. Students’ schedule and teachers would not change in remote learning plus services or shoehorn hybrid. 

    The main trade-off in remote learning plus services is that instruction is provided virtually. The trade-offs in a shoehorn hybrid are many and have been discussed with the Board October 13 and November 9. 

    How does this impact AP classes or other classes that are only taught by 1 teacher? Would the kids have to choose the model that the AP teacher selects?

    As we’ve mentioned several times to the Board, we’re worried about AP scores this year. Given the challenges of the pandemic, we expect the average District AP scores to be lower this year than in the past. Unlike last year, thus far the College Board has not reduced the content covered on upcoming AP tests. 

    In a remote plus services model, instruction would continue as it is occurring today.

    In a “simultaneous hybrid” model, an AP teacher would be simultaneously teaching students in the building and online. This will result in lower quality instruction, but more in-person class time.

    In an “intermediate hybrid” model, more students would be able to come into the building more often, but schedules would most likely need to be rearranged.

    [Simultaneous] hybrid seems like a good option in order to not significantly disrupt students schedules, level of comfort with their teachers and familiarity with their class cohorts.  The options detailed do not seem to account for these concerns—at a time where the kids are already in a tough spot.  Is it possible to reconsider the teachers simply teaching from school to a combo of kids in school and remote—same material, same class makeup, no issues for the kids that way.

    Yes. However, we think that would result in a lower quality instruction, as it complicates work considerably for teachers.

    And who would be teaching the remote students in the same classes/sections as the in-person students?

    In a “simultaneous hybrid” model, the same teacher would be teaching both groups of students at the same time.

    I still do not understand what is being considered or the dynamics—if remote, asynchronous or synchronous? If in person, how many days a week?

    Please review some of the presentations made to the Board of Education over the past few months--they explain these options with much more detail.

    Right now, we believe that hybrid options will involve on site learning of about 2 half-days per student per week.

    Can you please define what a "change in schedule" means?  Is that a change in a class (meaning a student was taking Honors Algebra but now has to switch to regular Algebra?  Or do you mean just the "time" will change (Algebra from period 1 to period 4)? Or something else?  Are you differentiating a change in schedule vs a change in teacher?

    In all likelihood, a schedule change means a change in schedule (from period 1 to period 4) and a possible change in teacher.

    Why are our decisions irrevocable? That seems unfair. if I choose hybrid but numbers get worse (in my opinion) but not bad enough to go to full remote.....very unfair, no?

    The whole pandemic is pretty unfair, and is certainly having a larger negative impact on some families more than others.

    We changed the questions to read as “non-binding.” The reason for originally indicating the decisions were binding was to know how to plan. Recall that students might have to transition to remote learning due to quarantining, isolating, positive case, etc.. 

    Why won’t [simultaneous] hybrid work? You did not explain. Other schools do this. You are treating remote and in person students completely unequally. Kids learning remotely will not have a teacher teaching them????

    Please see the Board presentations on 10/13 and 11/9 for a discussion about the tradeoffs associated with “simultaneous hybrid”. Generally, such a model increases the health and safety risks to students and staff while providing a model of instruction that will be worse than what is currently occurring during remote instruction.

    Yes, other districts are doing this. We have doubts about how successful they are being.

    There are a host of inequities associated with the pandemic; our goal is to provide the best possible education to the most students, with a focus on those who are the most vulnerable.

    What is the option if your priority is to keep the same teacher and the same schedule? I would love for my student to go back when it is safe, but I want to keep the same teachers with whom relationships are already being made. I don’t want to pick staying remote if there is a chance my student could go back with the same schedule.

    If you want to keep the same teacher and schedule, and want to preserve the educational gains for this year, remaining in a “remote plus services” model is the best option.

    Something with timing that Dr. Law did not address is that if we proceed, will schedule changes happen before or at the time of moving to intermediate hybrid?

    Schedule changes will occur at the time we move to an intermediate hybrid model. Please know that the current public health conditions do not permit us to determine a date when this could even happen.

    Why wouldn’t there be a plan in place before for when the numbers are down for 4 weeks?  Why wait until they are down to then discuss?!?

    The Board reviewed a plan in late July, and has discussed pandemic-related plans at every meeting since. Asking parents their preference for second semester is part of putting a plan in place so the time to transition will be less--assuming we make a transition to in-person learning.

    What anecdotal evidence have you used to determine that [simultaneous] hybrid would be ineffective? Other schools nearby are using this very successfully with parents, students and teachers very happy. Why are you not giving us the parents/students the opportunity to weigh in on this when it won’t require any change to schedules at all?

    In “simultaneous hybrid”, teachers would be delivering classes as they are during remote learning, with the following changes: (1) They would be in the building, following all health and safety provisions, including wearing a mask at all times. Those limitations make instruction more difficult. (2) They would simultaneously be teaching students in-person online, resulting in either the need to rethink lessons and class structure or a complicated juggling act to attend to student needs.

    A comment: We recognize the hardship for many families. Having said that, we have so appreciated your decision to have all students in the same situation, rather than a "2 school model". And, the public health risks with rising #s do not seem to imply any upcoming condition for in-person learning. Finally, the gentleman in the plaid shirt carrying on a side conversation is offensive.

    Thank you.

    I think you are referring to the translator. 

    How many days would a given student be on campus in the intermediate hybrid model?  Say over a 4 week period?

    Still to be determined, but as of right now think that each student would be in person for 2 half days each week.

    Would schedules and teachers then stay the same until the board approves a switch in models? if metrics are poor until February as example, would our kids be “staying the course” until then?

    Yes.

    MANY SCHOOLS ARE DOING IT.

    Yes. We also know that there are tradeoffs inherent in any opening model, and want to make sure the community knows and understands those tradeoffs. Our focus is to provide the most effective instruction we can in a pandemic that is only getting worse.

    How would hybrid schedule changes work for classes where there is only one teacher teaching one instance of that class?

    We still don’t know. Certainly, in any hybrid model, there still will be some teachers and classes and some families who are remote only.

    If what you are referring to as “shoehorn” hybrid [now “simultaneous hybrid”] is good enough for other schools and many colleges, why is it not good enough for Dist 113?

    We are not convinced that it’s very good for other schools. In our conversations with nearby districts, it is clear that educational effectiveness decreases and the proportion of students actively choosing this option is small despite large community interest initially.

    Colleges and universities are using a variety of different models. While there is something to be learned from those examples, the contexts are quite different.

    I’m confused… everyone keeps mentioning [simultaneous] hybrid. Is that going to be an option for in person vs switching all schedules and teachers?

    Yes.

    Could you please elaborate as to why you would need to change schedules/classes? There is a perception that other districts have successfully brought students back without having to do this?

    We cannot bring all students back at once due to classroom size and the social distancing health rules.

    Thus, our hybrid options essentially boil down to two: 

    We could keep schedules the same, rotate students in and out of the building, and ask teachers to teach all students simultaneously. This gets students in the building, but reduces instructional effectiveness dramatically.

    We could change schedules, and rotate students in and out of the building. This makes for better instruction, since teachers won’t literally be trying to be in multiple places at the same time, but is disruptive for the reasons you mention.

    What does "Remote plus Services" mean?

    It means to keep classroom instruction remote (synchronous, delivered via Zoom, Google Meets, and/or Schoology) and also provide activities, clubs, athletics, special events, and/or tutoring to students in-person on an as-needed and as-interest basis.

    If we go with some hybrid and some remote learners will the remote learners be asynchronous?

    In some cases, yes, but not exclusively. Only in intermediate hybrid will students working remotely learn asynchronously, like students do in college.

    What if we choose a hybrid learning and my child is in a class that has only 1 section/period offered at their HS? For example, my child is in 2 senior level advanced  classes that are only taught by 1 teacher, 1 period.

    We’re still figuring this out. It’s a challenge, and one of the reasons why schedule changing is so difficult.

    Do you need a certain number of students (a minimum) to have in person hybrid?

    Given the challenges associated with all models, we want to make sure our options provide the best support for as many students as possible. But there is no threshold limit to any option at this point.

    So, if any one goes to hybrid then all the schedules and teacher assignments are changed?  So, all students even those who choose remote are affected?

    In a hybrid model, one or more of the following will be true for all students: The quality of instruction will diminish or schedules will change.

    How will remote+ services be able to address the social and emotional isolation challenges that many parents and students are concerned about? (ie more social activities and group activities on-campus)

    It won’t be easy. As the health and safety metrics improve, we will offer more and more services designed to address these issues.

    So if enough people choose hybrid, EVERY student’s schedule may change, even if they select remote. Correct?

    Not quite. The decision is the Board’s, and the preferences parents are indicating in IC are not a vote.

    Every student’s schedule would change if we transition to an intermediate hybrid. No student’s schedule would change if we stay in remote learning plus or services or transition to a shoehorn hybrid.

    What happens if we go to in-person and a teacher has to quarantine? Will a substitute be brought in for two weeks?

    If the teacher can teach, that teacher will teach remotely. If the teacher is unable to teach, the class will shift to asynchronous online and be coordinated by the department chairperson unless a substitute is required.

    If you can’t get the kids back in the buildings before end of March early April do you think all the upheaval is a better option?

    No.

    With all due respect, please don't give the impression to the community that kids from all school districts in the country are suffering the same deficiencies you note in remote learning.  There are many states and school districts that have in person school and those kids will have an advantage over our kids in things like AP and college entrance testing.

    We haven’t seen any data to indicate this is the case. 

    That said, there are data that show the pandemic is widing opportunity gaps between students and communities, and it does not impact every family the same. While some students are doing fine with remote learning, others are really struggling.

    You are worried about AP Test scores but kids who stay remote for whatever purpose are completely disadvantaged because they will not have synchronous learning.  Please explain how this is fair. You are not treating kids equally and forcing kids to risk being at school in order to have an education.

    If we stay in remote learning plus services, all students will have synchronous instruction. Only if we transition to intermediate hybrid will students only in that model have asynchronous learning when they are not in the classroom. We believe that remaining in a remote plus services model is the approach that will maximize AP scores. That said, we anticipate lower scores across the board.

    If some students pick in person, are the students at home getting courses changed too or are you saying the students at home get to keep their schedule and teachers?

    If schedules are changed, they will change for all students. Please know that indicating a preference does not mean that that is what that student is getting. We are collecting parents’ selections for planning purposes.

    So, based on the 4 week ‘good metrics’ trend requirement, are we talking about potentially making these changes in Feb/Mar for the remaining 2-3 months of the school year?  That type of disruption for that time period doesn’t seem to be worth it.  Am I missing something?

    Yes. You’re not missing anything. And as we have seen in neighboring high school districts, transitioning to in-person learning is followed by a transition right back out to remote learning. Our plan is to avoid that transition in and out because we think that is disruptive to the learning process.

    Is there a threshold percent of people that have to choose in-person for the district to move forward with a change?

    No. At this point, we’re collecting data from the community. The decision will be made by the Board of Education. This is not a vote. 

    In other words, if you stay the course ALL students will keep their teachers/schedules. However, if the community chooses to change things up and move to a more hybrid model ALL students will have their schedules/teachers change? Or the ones who choose to continue remote only will continue with their current schedules/teachers?

    If we stay the course with remote plus services, schedules will remain as they are for now.

    If we move to a hybrid model, either the quality of instruction will decrease (shoehorn) or school schedules will change for all students, regardless of whether their family chose to remain remote or be hybrid (intermediate).

    I think you need to define what you mean by "stay the course"-do you mean continue with the choice you have already made from the Fall? Its unclear. Maybe it is clearer in written form?

    Yes. Feedback from parents indicated we need to keep clarifying language. Staying the course means staying in remote learning plus services. The presentations from the 11/9 Board meeting might help.

    What about Governor Pritzker’s newest announcement that we are at risk of a lockdown?

    It’s an indication that the pandemic is getting worse. It may appear strange to be asking parents if they want their students to be in-person second semester given the community spread of the virus, but we need it for planning purposes, assuming the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning. 

    So if the first survey answer is majority wants hybrid rather than stay the course then everyone’s schedules will change? Even if people stay remote?

    The decision will be made by the Board, and what parents are doing in IC is not aby vote. If the decision is made to move to a hybrid option, then either the quality of instruction will decrease or school schedules will change for all students, regardless of whether their family chose to remain remote or be hybrid.

    The way in which the threshold questions are phrased are too vague. If someone has not watched this presentation or read any of the emails, it is not clear what “disruptions” you’re referring to. The questions should make clear that disruptions = change of schedule and teachers for all students, not just something like transportation concerns.

    Fair enough. We’ve revised some of the language in an attempt to address this.

    If we, as a district, stay remote plus services and numbers decrease significantly in spring due to vaccines, etc; is there a chance to get kids in the building at that time for additional classes or services?

    Yes.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive. There are students who are participating in services or Community Days as well as staff on campus.  The Lake County Health Department has directed us to provide those notices and has given us the wording to send.

    Why does it seem that Deerfield kids are getting in the building but HP freshman now only get 20 minutes?

    When DHS held their freshman day we were not under IDPH Tier 2 increased mitigation measures. In addition, DHS has a scheduled advisory period which makes it easier to bring students in the building for certain kinds of services.

    If Deerfield can have seniors come in for activities and classes on Monday, then why was the Freshman activity on Monday at HPHS moved to only a 20 minute tour?

    In the intervening weeks and days, IDPH Tier 2 increased mitigation measures went into effect and the health metrics have trended in the wrong direction, so we updated plans so we could mitigate risk. 

    We parents are not educational experts. You are. What would each of you do as an HPHS parent?

    For most students, remaining in the “remote plus services” option offers the most robust synchronous instruction.

    If we go hybrid but my children choose remote, will my children’s schedules change?

    Only if we transition to an intermediate hybrid. If the decision is made to move to a hybrid option, then either the quality of instruction will decrease (shoehorn) or school schedules will change for all students, regardless of whether their family chose to remain remote or be hybrid (intermediate).

    Over a 4 week period, how many days would a given student be on campus in the intermediate hybrid model?

    Still to be determined, but likely 2 half days per week for each student, which would translate to a total of 4 full days per month.

    Why do you continue to have sports when there are kids truly struggling and need academics.  It should be ALL about the academics!  My kid is STRUGGLING!

    We are sorry to hear your student is struggling. Please reach out to your student’s counselor and teachers so we can collectively determine a plan to provide better support.

    We continue to provide athletics in concurrence with health and safety guidance as that is an important aspect of school for some students. 

    Can the in person options that are offered, like the options for seniors, be sent to parents too? It would be helpful to know this information as a parent to see the options.

    Yes. We’re posting all services to the web. DHS Services can be found here and HPHS Services can be found here. Also be sure to read the Principal’s emails for information about opportunities on Community Mondays.

    My question was missed, as I see others after me have been answered. What percentage of families need to choose hybrid for any changes to be implemented?

    We’re answering as many questions as we can.

    There’s no threshold and the decision will be made by the Board. This is not a vote.

    When we receive COVID-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    Is it fair to say that for next semester, if kids opt to come in to the building, their schedules (including their teachers) are at risk of changing, but those that “stay the course” would keep their teachers/schedules?

    Not quite. If we stay the course with remote plus services, schedules will remain as they are for now. Students’ schedules and teachers would change only if we transition to an intermediate hybrid.

    Please confirm that our answer to the survey is not considered a commitment for our students at this point, but just being used for guidance to bring to the board.

    Confirmed.

    Given the rise in cases and the dozens of senior “friend groups” that are currently in quarantine, is Mondays in person day a good idea?  I’m worried that all the people, seniors in particular are not reporting to the school as they should be.

    It’s a valid concern. We continually review public health data and our own mitigation processes to make these sorts of decisions.

    Are there other safety precautions in place besides masks and social distancing. Like, 109 updated their ventilation system, has self sanitizing door handles, rails down middle of hall to keep kids from crowding when walking down hall, rules on number of kids in bathrooms, info on how often bathrooms are being cleaned. I haven’t heard anything anywhere about safety measures.

    Please see the District Health and Safety Plan located on the website for more information about safety.  The amount of outdoor air (OA) introduced into the building was increased in the spring of 2020.  Wall mounted hand sanitizing stations have been added to classrooms and offices. Also see the Mitigation Report provided to the Board on November 9.

    If we select stay the course, which would only be so that my kids schedules don’t change, and hybrid is selected, do we still have the opportunity for my kids to be enrolled in hybrid or are we bound by how we answered initially?

    Because we are only asking parents for planning purposes, the selection made in IC is not binding. 

    If additional adults are needed to make in-person learning viable, would you consider hiring parents who are willing to work in the school?

    Yes.

    Not sure if you can see my question but this is the third time me sending….

    I’m not sure what your question is.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    [Simultaneous teaching] works, I do it daily. Kids are happy to be back,  they don’t care! It is effective, that’s the teachers job. They do it perfectly fine!

    That’s great. That doesn’t appear to be the consensus from most families, teachers, and schools.

    Has there been any evidence, at all, of schools being a significant spreader of Covid? Please stop dodging this question; it has been asked before.

    That’s a difficult question to answer; we’re not public health experts, and the data keep changing. A nice summary is here, that our district was part of. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is tracking COVID exposure and outbreaks at schools. That information can be found on the IDPH website here. The Lake County Health Department has said that there is no way to prove that spread does or does not happen in schools. We would have to compare the DNA of the virus of each infected person to be able to answer that question. Since there is no way to know if schools have been sites of transmission, it’s a matter of risk management, and to make those decisions we look to Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health, the CDC, and then we consult with the Board.

    When I answer the survey question am I committing to the answer I give? I was uncomfortable with the first communication about this, that indicated answers are irrevocable.

    No.

    It is still not clear WHEN schedules would change, if they change. Would they change at the beginning of the semester, in preparation for a possible hybrid? Or would they change mid-semester, when/if hybrid is deemed safe?

    Still TBD. If we move to an “intermediate hybrid” model, schedules will not change until the transition begins, which could only happen after the health and safety metrics improve.

    With additional services on campus, are we investing in HEPA air filters and HVAC improvement across the buildings, beyond the nurse’s office?

    HEPA filters cannot be added to the existing air handling units.  The original AHU’s are not designed to receive HEPA filters.  In order to decrease the potential viral load in the buildings, the amount of outdoor air (OA) introduced into the building was increased in the spring of 2020.

    Why can’t we follow the lead of Loyola or Carmel? In person. No problems switching when necessary?

    I’m not sure what models Loyola or Carmel are using, but if you could share them please do. We haven’t found opening models that don’t involve difficult tradeoffs. Aren’t both of those schools back in remote learning?

    Is this vote to determine what we want our kids to do OR is it to add towards the total of all votes for a ‘majority rules’?

    It’s not a vote. We are collecting information for planning purposes and to provide information to the Board. 

    If I choose to stay the course on the survey now and then it’s decided that student schedules will change anyhow, can I change my mind or is the survey response I submit next week binding?

    Your response to this question is not binding.

    If/when hybrid learning is used, for the students who choose to not go into hybrid and remain completely remote, will their schedules and teachers change?

    If we stay the course with remote plus services, schedules will remain as they are for now.

    The schedules of students learning remotely would change only if the transition were to intermediate hybrid. 

    The services tab is the one that is very confusing.  It is on a calendar view instead of a list view.  It would be easier to determine what is happening if we saw a list first.

    Thanks for the feedback. You can toggle to a list view on the calendar itself. We’ll see if there’s a way to incorporate another view. 

    Has the administration and board considered the value of polling the students separately from the parents?  I think it is critical for the students to be respected, asked and have their opinions valued.

    Yes. We know, however, that the decision to attend in-person or remote is ultimately a parent, not a student, decision. That said, what parents select in IC is not a vote.

    I think the phrase “in person” is too vague. It needs clarification. How often, how many days before the end of the school year. People need to know what “in person” really means to their students.

    For what it’s worth, that’s the language the ISBE used during the early days of the pandemic.

    Details are still to be determined, but we anticipate that students would be on-site 2 half days per week during the hybrid models.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    Can you show a slide of what a hybrid schedule may look like?  Is this half days or full days?  How many periods in a day? How many days per week?  We cannot make a decision without seeing a proposed schedule.

    The Reopening Schools addendum discussed on 11/9 provides some insights into what these schedules look like. Some details are still to be determined, but think half days for students, roughly two times per week in school.

    Do all the classes have a scope and sequence to make schedule changes easier from a content perspective?

    No. Making the changes won’t be easy.

    Are teachers being considered in the decision? What percentage of teachers don’t feel safe returning during a pandemic? I would hope the community would consider all invested parties.

    Teachers are certainly part of the ongoing discussions and planning process, and their safety is just as important as students’ safety. 

    Please make sure you communicate that 2 half days a week to start is what you are calling in person. We cannot make a decision without real information.

    Real information is elusive, but we are providing as much information as possible.

    Piggybacking on a question and your answer.  If students are only there 2 half days per week.  I believe you mentioned the rest of the time they are asynchronous (so no teacher-led class when at home).  Is that correct?

    In an intermediate hybrid. The reason students working remotely are learning asynchronously is so teachers can teach only the students in their physical classroom.

    You haven’t been able to definitively say whether teacher assignments will be changed for remote learning classes. If after the survey to the parents, you decide that teacher assignments will be changed, will we have the opportunity to switch our decision to in person?

    Schedules of students learning  remotely would change only if the district transitions to intermediate hybrid.

    Why do you send email messages to everyone that report whenever someone test positive for COVID if we are in a remote learning environment?

    We are following guidelines about communication from the local health authorities. Some students are onsite for services or athletics for example. Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    What is the name of your testing kit company?

    Please see this document for information about potential testing goals, purposes, and companies.

    Has there been any consideration to use the community days (1 day per week) to rotate 25% of the kids in to attend small group sessions with their teachers while everyone else is already scheduled to do remote learning? Even if it was one class per one child every 4 weeks, it would provide that connection - and wouldn't require schedule changes.

    Yes. We’re working on that very thing.

    What will happen to students with 504 or IEP’s? Will their schedules be given greater priority? Will they be allowed to keep their case managers intact?

    Students with IEPs or 504s may be subject to the same schedule changes.  Case managers will not change, but the student may receive Learning Strategies from a different special education teacher other than the case manager depending on the schedule change. We follow all IEPs and 504 plans.

    Dr. Law. You continue to say that schools who are doing hybrid is not doing a good job and that students are not attending classes, do you have any solid data to back up this statement? Seems like you are just going on hearsay, I hear that students who are doing the hybrid model are doing wonderfully and enjoying attending classes and being in person.

    When we talk with neighboring districts, the sense we get is that (a) schooling is particularly challenging for everyone during the pandemic and that (b) simultaneous teaching models aren’t particularly effective.

    With the resources we have it inexcusable that we are not actively moving forward with testing.  Call other schools and get help if you cannot figure it out.  Discussions never move forward including with the Board.  Not closing the door, the door should be open without question. Bring a third party professional in for the testing.   We should expect you to have expertise in this area.

    We know what neighboring school districts are doing with testing. It is incorrect to say that diagnostic or surveillance testing can significantly reduce transmission. Moreover, those tests do not have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.  Just because a school district is spending a lot of taxpayer money on testing does not mean that the testing is doing what they say. 

    Right now is of course not the right time, but August, September, October, and half of November was lost. They could have gone to school!

    In August, we were in the moderate range of transmission and continued to rise. Since we first provided a pandemic metrics report to the Board September 14, the community transmission rate in Lake County has risen 432.8 percent. It is also the case that had we transitioned to something less effective than remote learning plus services, we would have transitioned back to remote learning given the level of transmission rising in our catchment area. I know of no one who claims that transitioning back and forth is good for learning.

    How much time will students be in person in the intermediate hybrid model and how much time will they be learning asynchronously?

    Still to be determined, but we estimate now that most students will be in-school for 2 half days per week.

    You have to tell us whether it will be a “shoehorn” remote model or an intermediate remote model before we answer the survey question tomorrow. There is a big difference between the two.

    Got it. We’ve updated the options with this in mind.

    Would the administration and board consider having outside school experiences in open tents when the weather improves in April, May and June?  If that happens and a student opts for remote + services, would that be considered a “service??”

    Spring weather is definitely better than winter but it usually is still inclement. Ultimately tents start to become very similar to enclosed spaces because when you consider things like bad weather and heating/cooling/electricity components.

    Michael Lach, again, why is the survey question written in a leading manner? It is a valid question.

    It is not a survey, the question asks parent/guardian preference and is written to accurately reflect the tradeoffs at hand. 

    pls define shoehorn vs intermediate?

    Please see this presentation from the 11/9 Board of Education meeting for details.

    With an intermediate hybrid model, I assume that if there is a case, students and faculty in close proximity to that student will have to quarantine for a two week period. What is the contingency plan for this?

    These plans are detailed on our health and safety plan, available here. This will also likely happen in a shoehorn hybrid, with the result that teachers will be teaching remotely to students learning remotely and to students in a classroom under the supervision of an aide.

    How can we be expected to make a choice within the next 8 days if we do not know what this version of school will look like?

    Your input today will help us in the planning process.

    Can you let us know the positivity rate of the people in the buildings this fall?  It seems we get daily emails of positive tests but we have no context and have no understanding of the overall number in the buildings.  Has there been in-building transmission?

    Positivity rate is a measure of testing capacity as well as positive cases. We consulted with an epidemiologist to create our metrics, and she said community transmission is the most important metric for schools. The Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department also says that community transmission is the most important metric for schools. Both the epidemiology and LCHD say that schools need to look beyond their school zip codes when assessing risk because our students and their parents move throughout the Chicago area and our staff mostly lives all over Lake County and Cook County. We are doing what public health experts advise schools to do. 

    If you can’t answer how in person will look like how can you offer it and expect us to make a choice blindly?

    Your responses now will help us plan for the future.

    I see people on social media meeting with others without masks. How can you be sure CDC guidelines will be followed when students show a trend of not following them?

    We will require students to follow them and follow progressive discipline for those who refuse.  We can’t be sure, however, that students will follow all mitigation requirements because we cannot be everywhere at once.  That’s why we’re all in this together, and need to work collectively for the good of our community.

    Will this chat be transcribed and sent out with the recording?

    Yes.

    You need to know what in person actually is before anyone can answer that question.

    Right. The material from the 11/9 Board of Education meeting describes it pretty clearly.

    I was asking to get more details on results and feedback you have received from nearby districts and the pilot tests you have done for in-person and synchronous zooms so my kids' can have the most time with their teachers.  What nearby districts?  What issues were uncovered with simultaneous in-person teaching and zooms?

    Dr. Law talks weekly with North Shore high school superintendents. Dr. Lach chats weekly with North Shore curriculum leaders, and routinely with education leaders all over the country. With simultaneous teaching, we have found that (a) teaching with a facemask and 6’ of social distancing is challenging for both communication and group work and (b) juggling students in a variety of different settings at the same time is really hard. We have conducted no pilot tests for “in-person and synchronous zooms.”

    We cannot answer whether we want to stay remote or transition to an in-school until we know what the in-school model will be.

    Thank you for letting us know.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    Tomorrow, you are not asking for an election (final choice) or are you just asking in a survey sense?

    We are just asking in your preference to understand the choice parents may be inclined to make, it is not binding. And it’s not a vote.

    I ask that question because I have another child in private school who is doing hybrid. There was a case and he stayed home for 2 weeks, but he was still able to have the same exact schedule. I am not sure if parents realize that these things can occur.

    This is an advantage of the shoehorn hybrid. .

    It’s hard to make decisions before we know the answers to all these questions. You won’t answer the specifics so how do we tell you what we prefer. Once the specifics are known we may have a different position.

    Fair enough, but the more data we have now the better we can plan.

    What would an in-person learning model look like? Full day so students are there during lunch? 1/2 days? Need more info on what day would look like before I can vote if I want to vote to stay course or change course. I have no idea what day would look like if change course.

    Generally, we think that students will be in person around 2 half days per week. They will receive instruction in person when on campus, and asynchronous when remote.

    Please confirm that our answer to the survey is not considered a commitment for our students at this point, but just being used for guidance to bring to the board.

    Confirmed.

    If we choose hybrid and then the plans for that move forward, what happens if there is a class with only one qualified teacher?

    We still need to figure out the best path forward in this regard.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    We cannot make an informed decision about the hybrid model without a full plan (number of days, hours, etc). Any decision made by the community right now will only be based on the disadvantages of changing classes/teachers and not the advantages/structure of a fully realized hybrid plan. How can we make informed decisions?

    The information we are collecting now is for guidance to the Board only.

    There is no evidence that remote learning is causing any additional mental health problems above and beyond what returning to in-person learning during a pandemic (with all of its restrictions) would be causing.  Can you please make it clear that remote learning plus services would provide for consistency in educational and academic content while also providing for supplementary SEL opportunities while an intermediate hybrid model this Spring (based on Mr. Lach's answer that they will be in-person for 2 half days) would mean that the majority of students will be stuck at home for 3-4 days per week merely doing assigned work and not having any contact with any teachers or other students at all during that time?

    That seems to me like a reasonably accurate statement; our data tell us that mental health needs have increased across the board during the pandemic, however.

    In the event that large numbers of 113 families choose hybrid, will teachers and other school staff be able to teach/work remotely if they (1) have medical vulnerabilities, (2) have childcare needs of their own, or (3) have family members with medical vulnerabilities? I know in the neighboring districts, up until now, such accommodations have been made, but this is an ongoing point of contention, particularly for reasons 2 & 3 listed in my question.

    As it concerns human resource and personnel matters, and as stated earlier in several other forums, we will not comment on teachers who have qualified for teaching remotely as an accommodation. It is also important to point out that selections parents are making in IC are not votes. 

    Please explain what in person would look like and that most of the time will be asynchronous.

    That is true for the intermediate hybrid only. It would work like college: time in class, expectations of coursework outside of class.  The best depiction of the various models was presented at the 11/9 Board meeting.

    Can please you create a separate survey for the students that clearly explains the options and what the potential implications for each option? They’re input is more important than parents at this point.

    We’re thinking through this option. It’s important to listen to students, but we also realize as minors, it is not ultimately their decision about which model of school is preferable. Parents have educational rights for making decisions for their children. It’s also important to point out that what parents are selecting in IC is not a “survey.” We need this information for planning purposes to be ready if the Board directs us to provide instruction in-person.

    How does the shift from hybrid to virtual school work in the case of quarantine?  Do you then switch teachers again?

    Unsure if quarantine means an individual or a stay at home order. In an intermediate hybrid, students would have to change teachers because the virtual school is a separate school. In a shoehorn hybrid, students would learn exclusively from home during their “quarantine.” 

    I understand what Dr. Law is saying about making an initial decision to stay remote/go hybrid first, but without information about what happens in a variety of scenarios (AP classes, single session band, etc.) it is hard to make an informed decision

    You’re right.  It’s a double bind: parents need this information before they make an informed selection, administration needs parents’ selections to provide the information. 

    We will need to change our answer if hybrid is selected because if my kids schedules are going to change anyway even after we picked stay the course, then we may as well have them go hybrid since the only reason we would pick stay the course is to avoid schedule changes.

    We hear you. If changing schedules is a deal-breaker for you and your family, the remote plus services option is the best one.

    Thank you guys for working so hard to try to make this best for the students- we understand how hard it is.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Is it possible, please, to help students feel their voices are heard?  I understand you need parents to make a binding decision but these kids are 14-18 years old and we all want them invested in their education.  Could you please create a survey for students seperate from parents, please?  Ask for their input?

    We’re working on just that, though as you note, the decision to attend school is ultimately up to the parents.

    Scheduling changes can be detrimental to students, especially considering it’s been hard already to establish connections with teachers/peers online and a lot of people feel like they’re just starting to really get to know each other now. Why is it necessary for schedule changes to occur? How do schedule changes affect actual class curriculum? If a student is going from one teacher to another, have you taken into account they may be behind going into 2nd semester?

    Hybrid models involve tradeoffs associated with bringing students back to school. Since social distancing rules and classroom shapes and sizes limit the number of students we can have on campus at any one time, changes other aspects of schooling must occur. In order to have students rotating in-person to about 2 half days/week, we either must ask teachers to teach simultaneously students in person and remote, or switch schedules so that instruction can be targeted to the students at hand.

    How do you know if people are voting to stay the course because of health concerns or because their students don't want to change their schedules/teachers?

    It’s not a vote. There are many reasons why different members of the District 113 community will respond, but operationally what matters is their selection, not why they made it.

    If hybrid  moves forward but we choose remote will we still follow the same daily schedule we have been following with mostly synchronous work? Or will the remote students be following the same synchronous/asynchronous schedule as the hybrid students?

    If we remain in remote plus services, schedules will remain the same for all. If we move to a hybrid model, some families may opt into remaining remote. 

    How would you handle in person learning if there is another surge?

    We will follow the guidelines as set forth by public health officials. And the data tell us we are in another surge.

    Are the notices we receive of positive cases only counting those people who are in person learning or in person services somewhere?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    The question you're asking is impossible to answer without knowing exactly how intermediate would work.

    Yes. “Knowing exactly” is pretty aspirational during these trying times. It’s a double bind: parents need this information before they make an informed selection, administration needs parents’ selections to provide the information.

    Is there any way to have an option to bring our kids onsite without risking being assigned new teachers?

    We could bring students onsite, and have teachers teach them remotely. This is a “shoehorn hybrid” model, and will likely result is poorer overall instructional quality.

    Please clarify for people that IF hybrid program comes to fruition...the students will have LESS synchronous time and in person is only a small portion of the week. Staying the course is most synchronous teaching time.

    This is true for the intermediate hybrid. Teaching in a shoehorn hybrid would be synchronous for all, though it’s important to realize that  teachers would have to divide their attention between students in the classroom on computers and students on computers at home or just teach everyone as if they were remote. 

    Let’s say my student chooses hybrid and they got Covid. Will they be remote learning from home into their in person class or in virtual class while they are quarantining?

    While quarantining, students are not permitted to come to campus. In a shoehorn hybrid, they would just work remotely and not rotate to campus when their day on campus came. If we transition to an intermediate hybrid, however, transitioning to remote learning means transitioning to the virtual school to a new teacher.

    Is section 2 of the survey to be answered as if the school decided to move forward with intermediate hybrid?

    We’ve changed the question based on input. Please note this is not a survey.

    Could you please shed some light on the 2021-2022 planning process with respect to determining whether teachers will be tracked. In other words, will teachers be assigned only one track or will students in both tracks (in person and remote) have equal chance of getting a certain teacher? Will teachers be able to teach in-person students AND ones that are only learning remotely? How do you ensure that students in both tracks have the same opportunity to learn from strong teachers?

    We are in the very early stages of thinking about 2021-22. Those are great questions that we need to consider, but don’t have firm answers for them at this time. Two issues we need to resolve are the availability of singleton classes and the consistency of the curriculum between the virtual school and the hybrid school. 

    I agree with Dr Law and Lach and appreciate the candor about the tradeoffs. Please keep all of the kids/teachers in the same model, rather than trying to run parallel situations. Noone has the bandwidth to do it well. For those who opt in, they put our entire community at risk for both lessor education and health risks.  Focus on adding Mental Health and tutoring services to allow all to succeed in remote.

    Thank you.

    For the threshold question- if most parents pick “remote, stay the course” then does that mean that all of second semester will stay remote (+ services)?

    Your selection is non-binding; it will provide data that will be considered by the Board to inform their decision.

    Why are we even considering this when cases are rising and we are arguably back to where we were in March?

    We do not anticipate any increase in in-person activities in the near future, for exactly these reasons. When the number of cases falls to the level that risk is low enough, the Board may direct us to provide instruction in-person. To reduce the time of that transition, we need information from parents.

    Your emails were not clear that the choices parents are making Nov13-20 were just an indication not binding choices for students

    Please see the updated email.

    If we are going to continue in a remote environment, wouldn't it make sense to focus on courses that can effectively be taught and learned remotely? I am concerned that we are moving kids forward into advanced courses without the knowledge they need.

    We agree. It would be more effective to focus on continually improving remote learning rather than ask teachers to begin preparing to transition to in-person learning. 

    How will students with IEPs schedule be impacted?  Will their case managers and or resource teachers change?

    There will be no change to case managers under any scenario, but the resource teacher could change depending on the student’s schedule changes. Students’ IEPs will be followed.

    Please confirm again that how we answer the survey tomorrow is not binding.

    Confirming, again. It’s not a survey.

    So will one decision be made based on Majority vote?

    A majority of voting Board members, yes. What parents are selecting in IC is not a vote.

    Can we please have a cheat sheet of definitions of terns you use?

    Please see the documents shared with the Board over the past month--there’s lots of details there.

    In an answer above Dr. Lach said that schedules may not change until metrics allow students back in school? So schedules could change halfway through second semester??

    Yes, if we transition to an intermediate hybrid. Schedules change only in an intermediate hybrid.

    If a student is in intermediate hybrid and needs to switch to virtual for any reason, will they have schedule and teacher changes when they pivot between virtual and hybrid?

    Possibly. We don’t know all the details at this point.

    In the intermediate hybrid, how much in-person learning is there each week?

    Based on our classroom sizes and social distancing rules, we estimate about 2 half-days/week of in-person instruction for each student.

    How can my schedule be effectively changed in the middle of the semester? How will grades transfer?

    Those are great questions that we need to determine answers for. Those questions highlight the difficult of transitioning to an intermediate hybrid during the school year.

    I received and read the choices that you are presenting for online or intermediate hybrid learning, even though you may think that you are presenting students with a choice, the truth is that no one would choose the intermediate hybrid because no one would want to change schedules or teachers at this point in the school year. Those who want to be in in-person school will be forced to choose the online learning so that they can keep their current schedules. The students are not given an actual choice!

    How about thinking with a different frame: Schooling during a pandemic is challenging, and all options have tradeoffs associated with them. Some families find certain tradeoffs to be more palatable than others.

    Why does intermediate hybrid only allow for 25% live time?  What space restrictions are guiding that?

    It’s an estimate, based on what anticipated numbers of families electing to remain remote regardless, social distancing rules under Phase 4, and classroom sizes and shapes. Based on what we have seen in other high schools, we would be able to scale up from 25 percent because in-person student attendance falls off after they experience the shoehorn hybrid.

    When we get emails that are reporting positive COVID cases from the school, are those community reported cases of staff or students, or cases that are reported from individuals who  have been ‘on campus’ for services?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    Can you please explain what you mean by 'plus services'? What are the services you are referring to?

    Services generally refers to outside-of-class events and activities, such as athletics, clubs, study halls, pep rallies, tutoring, and the like.

    What is the threshold for determining the intermediate hybrid shift? For both pandemic metrics but also what percentage of students need to be signed up for the hybrid in order to make it go?

    We don’t know yet. Information we receive this week will help inform the Board’s choices, but it is important to know that this is not a survey or a vote.

    Content is worth more then mental health???

    To some families, yes. To others, not at all.  In the view of neuroscientists and educational researchers, learning is diminished if it’s possible at all if mental health is compromised. 

    Just want to recap. If you choose to remain remote plus services the students schedule will not change. If you choose to go hybrid with services then the students teachers and schedules may change.

    Correct.

    Did I just hear Dr. Law say what we are doing now would be best? What is his recommendation AS A PARENT?

    We should remain in the current model, and ramp up more services for students when the metrics indicate it is safe to do so. I have to think what is best for all students, not just what would be best for mine if I had a student in high school.

    What have the teachers said they would like to do, stay the course or change to hybrid?

    Our teachers prefer to remain in remote plus services, which does not mean they are not eager to get back to the classroom to teach. Teachers tell me that they have figured out remote teaching and do not want to lose what they have gained by trying to teach remotely from the classroom.

    Has anyone asked the kids how they feel remote learning is working?  It really is all about what is best for them - maybe they should be able to voice their opinions.

    We have asked them about how the school year is going repeatedly. Since parents and guardians are the ones who will make the decision for their student, we wanted to make sure parents' voices were heard.

    So if Intermediate Hybrid happens during the middle of the semester, at that time all students, including remote+, could end up changing schedules and teachers?

    Yes.

    Will someone be able to address my earlier question about using community days to bring 25% of students into the school, even if for only one class? Seems like the planning for intermediate hybrid hasn't fully considered options that might allow for in-person without changing schedules.

    Please see above, and yes, plans along these lines are in the works.

    3rd time: Michael Lach, again, why is the survey question written in a leading manner? It is a valid question.

    Patience, please. We don’t intend our question to be leading or misleading. We think it is important that parents have an understanding of the selection they are making. And it’s not a survey.

    Have you considered students studying science (biology, chemistry, phtsics) being able to return in person for the lab portion of their class?

    It’s something that we are considering.

    Please confirm again that how we answer the survey tomorrow is not binding. This is an important point that all parents should understand. This should also be added to the survey so parents are clear about that.

    Confirmed.

    Ideally I would like my child to return to school if possible, but we really don’t want his schedule to change. Just to confirm, you are saying if enough families choose hybrid, their schedules would change. Is this correct? And please reiterate if this schedule change would be taking place at the beginning of second semester or only once the numbers indicate students can safely return to the building.

    At this point, we are collecting information that will inform a presentation we make to the Board.  If an “intermediate hybrid” model is chosen, schedules will likely change. That model won’t start until the health and safety metrics indicate it is OK to do so. Students’ schedules will not change in remote learning plus services or in the shoehorn hybrid.

    If the metrics are not aligned with in person learning, is there a point in the school year where a decision would be made to just stay with remote learning? (I.e. not enough time left in the school year to plan a switch to hybrid).

    Yes. One advantage with remaining with remote plus services is that it preserves this sort of consistency. We need to know parents’ selection for how their student will learn for planning purpose in the event we transition to in-person learning.

    Can you point to research that shows a student can “learn” a lab science by watching someone - including a teacher’’s elementary age child - doing experiments? My son is learning nothing about chemistry. It is like trying to learn to play basketball by watching LeBron videos and writing papers about it.

    There’s a lot to unpack in this comment. As a resource, you might consider starting with this report.

    Does the opportuntity for in person educaiton correspond to a specific number of covid cases or statewide or county wide Covid Phase or more local community statistics?  Even though today numbers clearly look very bad, I'm just curious what we should keep an eye on for the future.

    Please see the district’s pandemic metrics page for more details. We follow the advice of an epidemiologist with whom we consulted and Lake County Health Department and look at the community where our students and parents move around and where our staff live.

    With the numbers increasing, is the plan still to have the freshman day on Monday?

    Yes, but with increased mitigation as discussed at the November 9 Board meeting.

    What is the new calendar and longer school year referred to in the board presentation for hybrid model?  Can you explain this?

    Those are potential changes we could make in order to bring more students back to campus for in-person instruction. Neither is being recommended.

    It seems like a major factor in evaluating the desirability of intermediate hybrid is how long it would be limited to 25% live.  What metrics would be used to determine when it could be ramped up to 50-50?

    Part depends on the portion of families choosing to continue learning remotely, part depends on the attendance rate of hybrid students, and part depends on social distancing rules. (For instance if the rules were changed from 6’ of distance to 3’ of distance, more students could fit in a smaller space.)

    I want to echo thanks to all of you for your efforts on these complex questions. I’ve really felt a lot of confidence in the work you’ve been doing and its been a relief amidst so much else that is happening.

    Thank you!

    again, pls define shoehorn vs intermediate!

    Please see the documents shared at the 11/9 Board meeting. In brief, in a shoehorn hybrid, teachers are teaching like they are now only from their classroom to a portion of students in masks and on computers in their classroom while the rest of the class is learning simultaneously on their computers. The intermediate hybrid is so-called because it has the elements of a true hybrid like we have discussed for 2021-22 but implementing it during the school year requires student and teacher changes because we are building two schools, a virtual school and an in-person school to avoid simultaneous teaching. Teachers teaching in this hybrid would be teaching a portion of their students in their classroom while the rest of the class is learning asynchronously, like what happens in college. Work is expected of students when they are not sitting in class. Sorry that wasn’t brief.

    Lake forest is doing 1/2 the alphabet M,W and 1/2 Th Fri and it is working as far as kids thriving and learning. Loyola Academy is as well now and kids are learning and thriving. ZERO schedule changes.

    That’s great. Not sure if there’s been any changes at Loyola but Lake Forest is taking an adaptive pause. We also know that most students at Lake Forest continue to learn remotely.

    What is the earliest our kids would go back to school on site - I think that is a big question in determining if its worth it?

    That depends on the health and safety metrics, which right now are trending in the wrong direction. We report those to the Board at each regular meeting.

    Is there some point at which intermediate hybrid is no longer a viable option? For instance, is it really worth it to change everyone’s schedules if the numbers aren’t stable until February or March?

    Yes.

    I may have missed it - what is the staff's recommendation among the three models? Remote, shoehorn, or hybrid?

    The staff hasn’t formally weighed in on an option. I have heard teachers say that they have figured out remote teaching and worry that changing what they are doing will diminish what they are able to do. 

    In your survey that you send out tomorrow, please make it even clearer exactly what the disruptions will be. Not everyone understands that if the community chooses hybrid, that means that EVERYONE’s schedules and teachers may change. Please include that wording in your initial question survey tomorrow.

    We’re revising the language and the options as I write this.

    When will we find out all of the details of the hybrid model? I don’t feel comfortable in commiting to a choice without understanding the entire plan.

    Your response will be for initial data collection, and more details will be forthcoming.

    Would you consider testing the hybrid this semester with a class or two to see how teaching in person with some kids remote zooming in at same time to see if it works. Have other school been successful with this?

    We’ve already piloted this in a few ways (teacher at a desk; teacher with a lavalier microphone, etc.) and the results aren’t particularly encouraging.

    if nearby districts saw large drops from hybrid, why are we even asking this question now

    We all want our students back in school as soon as it is possible to do so while we mitigate risk.

    So if other schools are taking their remote and putting them into hybrid as Dr. Law just mentioned, why can’t we?

    We could; we don’t think that will be educationally beneficial for many students. Our first priority is safety, and educationally we want to do what is most effective.

    it is not clear why instruction would be worse with shoehorn hybrid - it seems like we are over complicating things by having two schools with different teachers. keep it simple

    Pandemics don’t seem to foster simplicity.

    In a shoehorn or simultaneous hybrid model, teachers would be expected to teach students in front of them and on Zoom at the same time. Since most of our teachers do not just lecture information to students but instead engage them in reasoning and thinking, the quality of instruction would decrease in this arrangement.

    Just tell the parents/board “no,” it’ll just be all remote because in-person is not going to be effective (six feet apart, masks, no congregating). Some parents might not like it, but too bad.

    I hear you, but part of the work is listening to lots of ideas and making sure that people can indicate how they want their students to learn if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning. The Board has been very supportive of science and our recommendations as educators, but they ultimately make decisions about schools and curriculum.

    What percent needs to vote on hybrid in order for us to go hybird?

    It’s not a vote; we want to share information with the Board and we need to know parents’ selections for planning purposes if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning

    Please describe exactly how intermediate hybrid will work. If a student has to stay home, do they move into the remote schedule with different teachers? Do they go asynchronous? What happens if the in-person teacher become ill or must quarantine? A sub. We need these questions answered to make the decision about remote v in-person.

    We’re working on all those details--much will depend on the number of students who elect to just remain at home. We anticipate that a portion of students in the physical classroom will be taught by the teacher while the others are working remotely and learning asynchronously, like they will do in college. We know that there will be students and teachers who are onsite will have to quarantine, isolate, or recover, and that is one reason that having students and staff onsite for instruction could be disruptive to learning and ultimately diminish student learning.

    For those that remain remote what % of their time would be asynchronous learning?

    IF the district maintains the remote plus services model, there will continue to be synchronous learning 4 days/week plus opportunities to safely come on campus as we have done first semester.

    If we switch to an intermediate hybrid, roughly 25% of instruction will be synchronous and in-person.

    If I choose in person learning and my child becomes sick or has to quarantine, how does my child receive instruction?

    They’d need to switch to a remote setting for 14 days.

    Can you be more specific about services that are offered. are they only offered for kids who have IEP’s or 504 learning issues?

    No, services are not only for students with IEPs or 504s. There are different kinds of services. The services are developed through collaboration with teachers, coaches and sponsors who work on a Supplemental Safety Plan specific to that service. That plan is then reviewed to make sure it follows all the guidance it mitigates risk as much as possible. You can find information on DHS Services here and HPHS Services here

    Are you looking for a certain percentage of families committing to hybrid to decide to implement it?

    No. We are collecting information that will inform the Board’s decision making process and for our planning purposes if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning.

    Is this gonna be ready to go when we have the four weeks? We shouldn’t have a delay. It should be a light switch with all this preplanning now. Time matters.

    Agreed. As we mentioned to the Board on 11/9, we are ready to go with a “simultaneous hybrid” model now but do not recommend it. One of the reasons for asking parents their selection for their student second semester when the rate of virus transmission is currently so high is to be ready if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning.

    Will clubs be allowed to hold meetings in the building vs outside in the winer?

    Yes, each club running onsite would formulate and to submit a Supplemental Safety Plan, and  health and safety rules will need to be followed. Currently we are increasing mitigation measures during a time of substantial virus transmission.

    Given the current surge of covid in IL, it seems safe to assume that next semester will start as-is. So then, at some point during the semester, IF the #s allow, there may be a shift to hybrid, if the community/board decides on that. But, assume that will only be an option until a certain point in the semester, ie it wouldn’t make sense to shift to another mode at the very end of the semester, so essentially would need to think about what is the window of opportunity….at a certain point ito be real t would just be too late to make a change anyway, otherwise it’s just asking for more chaos on top of everything else the students and all of us are dealing with…

    That is an important point that we are considering. As we have done since summer, administration makes recommendations to the Board and the Board accepts or does not accept those recommendations. What parents are selecting for their students in IC is not a vote and it is not a survey.

    Just to clarify-The reason schedules change in Intermediate Hybrid is because the model has the school splitting into distinct Remote and distinct Onsite, dividing the teachers' time?

    That’s close. The reason schedules and teachers will change is there will be two schools, one where students learn remotely and one where students rotate in-person, and we need teachers for each. 

    Is shoe-horn off the table?  Are you only considering intermediate learning?

    No. We do not recommend the shoehorn “simultaneous” hybrid approach, but after much input from parents we offered it as an option even though we do not recommend it. .

    How can we decide remote  vs hybrid if we have no clue what it will look like?

    It’s a double bind: parents need this information before they make an informed selection, administration needs parents’ selections to provide the information.

    Thank you to all the board members for their hard work and leadership. It appears at this time there is no reason to change from where we are. 

    You’re welcome.

    What is the lead time we would get prior to the implementation of hybrid?

    The metrics would need to show four consecutive weeks of being in the mid-range of moderate transmission. One reason for asking parents their selection for how their student will learn second semester is to shorten transition time if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning. 

    For the threshold question- if most parents pick “remote, stay the course” then does that mean that all of second semester will stay remote (+ services)?

    No. The question and the options have been revised and it is being used to provide guidance to the Board, who will make the decision.

    When we receive Covid-19 notices, are those teachers and students that are “in” school or any student who is doing remote only?

    Notices are issued when someone who has recently been on campus has tested positive.

    Would it make sense for seniors to be fully remote and not change their schedules? Would that also help with student numbers in classes?

    It might. Complicating things is the fact that many classes have students from multiple grades, making a “seniors only” strategy difficult to implement.

    If you choose remote + would your schedule change?

    No.

    I thought this decision was biding. than u said its not. can you clarify.

    The question and the options have changed. It is no longer binding. It was originally stated that way because it would help in planning, but not knowing when or if a transition to in-person learning could begin left parents feeling uneasy about a binding decision for an event that is not imminent.

    BTW, if you are trying to help all of us decide whether to stay the course, please, please be clear with your use of the terms “intermediate” hybrid b/c right now they seemed to be used by all of you in both categories.

    Fair enough. We’ve developed some new content that hopefully helps. One problem with the word hybrid is that no one knows exactly what it means, which means people understand it as a little slice of normal. To try to help parents understand the differences, we had to add descriptors to try to keep it all straight.

    There was something written about extra curricular activities. If students are remote only would they be allowed to participate in extra curricular activities? Please clarify. 

    Yes, they would be permitted to participate.

    Also, as an educator I GREATLY appreciate the challenges that this brings and I hope as a community we can be supportive and not judgemental. It’s so hard on EVERYONE! (kids, families, teachers and administrators)

    Thank you.

    Would the administration and board consider having outside school experiences in open tents when the weather improves in April, May and June?  If that happens and a student opts for remote + services, would that be considered a “service??”  Could a remote + services student participate in outside school options with teachers?

    It’s something we are considering to add more enclosed space and enhance our ability to practice social distancing.

    Not a clear answer. Is the response binding?

    No.

    Why not consider the 112 model where select courses are in person? Math, English and Science?

    In high school, students take 8 or 9 classes at different periods during the day and at very different levels. In elementary districts, even in middle school, students for the most part are in one class for math, English, etc. That is not how high school works.

    When were these questions sent and where I can complete the survey?

    The question will be asked in Infinite Campus so we can track responses for each family. It’s not a survey. . 

    Based on what Kathryn Anderson just explained, that means that all the upheaval of schedule changes is for kids to be in school possibly just 4 full days a month? I think that’s important for parents to understand.

    Yes, that’s right.

    agree. could someone define the types of hybrid.

    Please see the 11/9 Board presentation for more details. In a shoehorn hybrid, teachers are teaching like they are now only from their classroom to a portion of students in masks and on computers in their classroom while the rest of the class is learning simultaneously on their computers. The intermediate hybrid is so-called because it has the elements of a true hybrid like we have discussed for 2021-22 but implementing it during the school year requires student and teacher changes because we are building two schools, a virtual school and an in-person school to avoid simultaneous teaching. Teachers teaching in this hybrid would be teaching a portion of their students in their classroom while the rest of the class is learning asynchronously, like what happens in college. Work is expected of students when they are not sitting in class.

    If other schools are taking their remote and putting them into hybrid without schedule changes as Dr. Law just mentioned, why can’t we?

    We could, but in doing so we would depreciate our instructional quality significantly.

    I was not suggesting that extending the school year into the summer is a good idea.  I believe I had read it somewhere that you were considering it.    I agree it would be a tough option.

    It is one of the many tradeoffs we need to consider. It’s not being recommended.

    I don’t have a question, and you do not need to respond, but I just want to thank you for prioritizing INSTRUCTION as you navigate a path forward. I am teaching in a “hybrid” school and you are spot on about how unsuccessful it has been. Trying to meet the needs of students in person and on zoom simultaneously has lowered the quality of instruction. I hope we can move on and agree that “shoehorn” hybrid is off the table.

    Thank you!

    When will we find out all of the details of the hybrid model? I don’t feel comfortable in commiting to a choice without understanding the entire plan.

    We are not asking you to make a commitment now.

    If I choose hybrid tomorrow, I am beholden to that decision moving forward??

    No.

    Again it is unclear why teaching will not work with shoehorn hybrid

    Teaching remotely is tough. Teaching remotely and in-person at the same time while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask is really difficult. See the question above, which contains a description of shoehorn hybrid from someone teaching in that model.

    The disruptions and trade-offs that are mentioned need to be made clear - either by adding language to the questions or linking to a page with the details.

    Good point. We’ve tried to clarify.

    Since any change to a hybrid will occur during the semester, why are you even considering the “intermediate” model and not just accepting the “shoehorn” is the best we can offer so that the students don’t have to have their schedules and teachers changed?

    Different families have different values, and different perspectives about what is best for their children.

    Please please create a glossary of phrases and titles of services and learning models you talk about.

    It’s on our to-do list.

    but we can’t make a choice unless we know if classes will change!

    Your choice now is not binding.

    Is the response B binding tomorrow?

    No.

    I’m a DHS parent, but I work at a neighboring district that implemented the “shoe-horn” model. The teacher is splitting attention between the in-person and remote students. Neither group gets the type of attention and support they need. Instruction has been drastically slowed. Class discussion is ineffective because there is audio feedback when more than one in-person  student is unmutted on Zoom. When we first moved to this model, more students were coming. As time went on, students recognized that there was nothing “normal” about school. They could not collaborate with peers or have lunch with friends. On any given day, only 2-3 students will attend a class in person and the rest choose to stay remote. Many classes have 0 students coming now. There are days when 150 out of 2,000 attend. That said, I think changing teachers mid-year is disruptive. That seems more feasible at the start of 21-22. Remote works best right now but more opportunity for labs (etc.) in person would go a long way.

    Thank you--that meshes with what educators from those districts are telling us as well.

    Do we need to hire more teachers for a hybrid model?

    Perhaps, though we think hiring more teachers mid-year will be difficult.

    I’m sorry. This is ridiculous.  You’re talking in circles and nobody knows what’s going on.  Enough with the surveys.  Make a plan!!

    I’m sorry you feel that way. The Board approved a plan in July and we’ve updated that at every Board meeting since.

    But what if most parents want to stay remote? Then there is no hybrid at all second semester?

    The Board will make the decision, not “most parents.” 

    Why not start the intermediate hybrid at the beginning of 2nd semester (virtually, if need be) so that schedules and teachers would only need to change at the beginning of the semester, rather than mid-semester.

    That’s an option, and it makes more sense operationally to do it then than sometime during the semester, but it would still require changing students’ schedules and teachers, which is a tradeoff parents are clearly telling us that they don’t like--and we don’t either..

    How do you ensure that the Covid protocol plan is the reality when students are in school?  I’ve heard many plans from various organizations but have rarely seen them enacted as they were described.

    It’s one of the many challenges associated with operating schools during a pandemic.

    When I’ve been at DHS recently I’ve not seen distancing while groups were entering or leaving the school, depsite staff being present.

    That’s one of the many challenges associated with operating schools during a pandemic.

    If the majority of families/students decide to go intermediate hybrid,...and the timing is mid spring based on metrics/science this could be extremely disruptive.  Looking at this from a medical perspective, even if the vaccine becomes available, not everyone will have access to it in the short term and therefore the likelihood of us being in a position to change will not happen until mid spring.  The Intermediate hybrid with a change of schedule and teachers midway through the semester could be a disaster.

    Agreed but please keep in mind that starting in the summer administration made recommendations to the Board regarding our operational approach and the Board then considers that recommendation. It’s not a vote or a survey.

    Is this survey set in stone? Or is this a survey to see how the community feels?

    This is a question for parents/guardians to indicate their preference for each student so we can collect data to bring to the Board to inform their decision-making process and for planning purposes. One of the reasons for asking parents their selection for their student second semester when the rate of virus transmission is currently so high is to be ready if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning.

    So the survey is not binding?

    Your response is not binding. And it’s not a survey.

    So it is not a choice between intermediate and shoe-horn?

    You will need to review the revised language and options. 

    Does it mean you have to change the time of classes or you may not be able to continue taking a class you have already started?

    Both are possible.

    So all this hybrid talk for 8 days a month is crazy.

    There are many who agree with you. There are also many who do not.

    So if we choose option b, is shoehorn an option.

    Yes, though note that since this question was posed, we’ve changed our question numbering. Please also note that we are gathering information from parents for planning purposes. One of the reasons for asking parents their selection for their student second semester when the rate of virus transmission is currently so high is to be ready if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning

    I am very concerned that students do not feel heard.  Can you please send a survey to students?

    We survey them routinely, and will continue to listen to their perspective.

    Can I please have link to presentation?

    Documents are all at https://www.dist113.org/Page/3285

    There was something written about extra curricular activities. If students are remote only would they be allowed to participate in extra curricular activities? Please clarify.

    Yes, they would be allowed to participate.

    Also, as an educator I GREATLY appreciate the challenges that this brings and I hope as a community we can be supportive and not judgemental. It’s so hard on EVERYONE! (kids, families, teachers and administrators)

    Thank you.

    Many people are not paying attention and don’t know that question B means changing schedules/teachers.  Could you add that to the question?

    We’ve updated the survey based on some feedback and how it is clearer now.

    Your data is what other superintendents tell you? Are you kidding me?

    No. I’m not sure why we shouldn’t trust what other school leaders are saying? There hasn’t been the time to conduct more robust research since the pandemic started.

    Id like to know what each of you would recommend based on what you know now.

    The administration is in favor of maintaining the remote plus services model, as we said to the Board at the October 13 Board meeting and again November 9.

    If I have to quarantine and I picked in person learning, what class would I zoom into? The classes I switched out of?

    Yes.

    Still confused after listening for 1 hour. Is the response to tomorrow’s survey a commitment that we cannot change once we have more info?

    No.

    So if a majority of parents respond with A does that mean we officially “stay the course?” and not change students’ schedules?

    No. This information will help the Board make the decision. It is not a vote or a survey. One of the reasons for asking parents their selection for their student second semester when the rate of virus transmission is currently so high is to be ready if the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning

    But are the trade offs worth the distruption the transition causes though??? :/

    That’s one of the many reasons why this is so challenging. As we have stated to the Board at the October 13 Board meeting and again November 9, we don’t think so.

    Thank you for your dedication.   Is there a sense of drop dead date - in that if we are not ready to move to hybrid by a certain date, we will stick with remote for the rest of the year?

    Not now, but it’s something to consider.

    sorry still not getting my answer - is shoehorn off the table and we are only considering the intermediate model?

    No.

    Unless the whole parent population is on this call, I'm concerned that these options will not be clear enough...we all "want" in-person.

    We all want in person… but we can’t do in-person during a pandemic. The next best options all involve difficult tradeoffs.

    Can we try shoe horn hybrid and move to intermediate if needed?

    That’s possible, though many want to minimize the changes during the school year. 

    it’s not clear… if we choose plan B does that mean there is chance of teachers/classes changing?

    In “intermediate hybrid”, schedules will change. In “simultaneous hybrid” schedules remain the same but the quality of instruction goes down.

    Have the questions submitted before been addressed?

    Mostly, yes. We’ll figure out a way to share questions and answers that haven’t been considered shortly.

    There was something written about extra curricular activities. If students are remote only would they be allowed to participate in extra curricular activities? Please clarify.

    Yes, they would be allowed to participate.

    Also, as an educator I GREATLY appreciate the challenges that this brings and I hope as a community we can be supportive and not judgemental. It’s so hard on EVERYONE! (kids, families, teachers and administrators)

    Thank you.

    Why has Northbrook and other communities around us figured this out but Deerfield can't?

    We are not convinced that other districts have figured this out. What does “figure it out” mean? We could transition to a shorehorn hybrid; we just do not think it is more effective than what we are doing right now and in fact might be worse.

    If most people choose intermediate hybrid, would children choosing remote be able to keep their teachers.  That feels like the most important factor to successful learning during this situation.

    No but note that this is not a vote. As we have done since summer, administration will make a recommendation to the Board and the Board considers that recommendation. 

    Thank you for all of your hard work!

    You are welcome.

    Thank you, 113 Board and administrators. You are the group that is doing THE BEST job of any in the north suburbs, relying on expert opinions and science and refusing to capitulate to the loud voices!

    Thank you.

    Thanks. I think I'd like Freshman opportunities with regards to these Community Days to be clearer. I haven't seen much.

    Agreed. It’s something we’re working on.

    This is absurd. Is this pomp and circumstance? You can’t make a plan to make this happen once the numbers are aligned. Still more planning and board meetings. If this was my place of work I’d be fired or fire my team. Disservice to the students. This district likes to compare to other districts when we have accolades. Now we don’t want to compare. Love the irony here.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but am happy to talk more. Please reach out.