Questions Received in Email since Friday Night
Additional questions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The questions in bold below have not been edited, how they appear is how they were phrased when asked. Responses are in regular text below each question.
Are both parents’/guardians’ signatures needed to submit the form?
No. Just one.
If the district adopts an intermediate hybrid model, but parents still choose for their children to learn remotely, will they have synchronous learning with a remote teacher for 5 days per week? If not, what will their schedule look like?
Yes. Asynchronous learning comes only with intermediate hybrid.
And, will fully remote students (under either intermediate hybrid or "shoe-horn" hybrid) still have the opportunity to participate in on-campus "services" (e.g., some extracurricular activities, etc)?
What if I want to change my selection in IC. Can I do that?
Yes. Just email IT at email@example.com. Parents’ selections are just that, selections, not a vote, so after receiving additional information, parents can change their selection for how they want their student to learn second semester.
What evidence do you have that covid is being spread at schools? Lots of schools are open and have been open since August.
Until an October ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation into COVID-19 outbreaks at schools, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) did not publicly identify those schools. IDPH has since changed that practice, reporting both exposure at schools and outbreaks at schools using contract tracing data. You can find that information on the IDPH website here.
As of November 4, 2020, IDPH has defined an outbreak in schools as five or more cases occurring within 14 calendar days of each other in individuals in the same classroom. Before November 4, two cases within 14 days were considered an outbreak.
Additionally, 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.
Please confirm that my daughter's schedule and teachers would remain the same with this selection.
Students’ schedule and teachers would only change if the district transitions to an intermediate hybrid model. That is because we would staff a virtual school for students learning remotely and an in-person school for students learning in-person.
Please confirm that all learning, whether in-person or remote, would be synchronous, as she would either be in the classroom OR via Zoom remote, learning from that same teacher simultaneously. (So if the teacher is teaching from home, and she's in the classroom, there would be a "proctor" perhaps monitoring the students in the classroom?)
Learning would be synchronous in remote learning plus services, like we have been doing first semester, and learning would be synchronous in a simultaneous (“shoehorn”) hybrid.
Please confirm this does not apply to the 2021-2022 school year whatsoever. Once you all know what that looks like, another decision would be made as to how that starts, right?
Correct. We are asking parents how they want their students to learn second semester. If we move ahead with planning a true hybrid model, there will have to be another opportunity to indicate a preference for the 2021-22 school year, which will need in the event things are still not back to normal at the beginning of the year.
And knowing that the numbers have to be low enough to do this, and remain low for 4 consecutive weeks, and knowing that Spring Break is mid-March, the earliest this would probably be able to kick in, if at all, would probably be in April. Am I understanding this correctly?
It is impossible to know what the public health situation will be, but you are correct that before recommending a change to our operational approach the pandemic metrics have to fall to a level at which the risk of students and staff being in-person for learning is at an acceptable level. The reason for the four-week status period is we want to avoid bouncing back and forth.
The email sent doesn't clearly explain what happens during the days the kids aren't in school? If they're in person for 2 half days, what's the plan for the other days (the 1/2 days they'll be remote and during the full remote days)?
It depends on the model we are using. In an intermediate hybrid, students working remotely would be learning asynchronously, like they will do when they are in college. In a simultaneous (“shoehorn”) hybrid, students working remotely would be learning synchronously simultaneously with the other students in the classroom.
Will the teachers be onsite during the 1/2 days in school? I understand you may not have this information yet, but will this be up to the teachers or the board? Will this be a personal choice each teacher makes?
There are teachers who qualify for accommodations to teach remotely, and we know there will be teachers who have to teach remotely due to the need to quarantine, isolate, or recover from infection. Even in an intermediate hybrid, there will be occasions when teachers who are teaching in-person will have to teach remotely. This is one of the trade-offs of being in-person.
For options B and C: Neither of these options said plus services. If I choose option B or C, would my kids be able to be involved with sports, clubs, etc?
We know that “services” is an unfortunate term, but we needed a way to describe students being onsite for a variety of reasons, academic, athletics, activities, etc., both during the day and after school. If the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to in-person learning, “services” during the day would be reduced, but “services” after school would look like after-school activities.
For Option C, it says that teachers will generally be in the building for hybrid teaching, but what does that mean? Could my children still have all of their teachers at home? Can we ask teachers what their choice will be so that we can make an informed decision? If many teachers decide to be home then that would change my mind and I would not want option c.
I see that teachers will not be required to teach in person in Option B. Would this mean that students would be zooming from the classroom while the teacher is at home? Who is monitoring in person?
This question is similar to the one above. There are teachers who qualify for accommodations to teach remotely, and we know there will be teachers who have to teach remotely due to the need to quarantine, isolate, or recover from infection. Even in an intermediate hybrid, there will be occasions when teachers who are teaching in-person will have to teach remotely. When that happens, we will have adult supervision in the rooms, and would likely have to hire aides for that purpose.
What about distractions of feedback from technology with multiple students zooming in the same classroom?
It’s one of the reasons that we think the simultaneous hybrid will be less effective than what we are currently doing and diminish the gains teachers have made in remote teaching.
I feel that if you are asking families to commit, then it would only be appropriate to ask teachers to commit at this time as well. In order for me to make a reasonable decision for my sons’ best interests, I need to know which/how many of their teachers would be in person. This would affect my decision.
This question is similar to the one above. There are teachers who qualify for accommodations to teach remotely, and we know there will be teachers who have to teach remotely due to the need to quarantine, isolate, or recover from infection. Even in an intermediate hybrid, there will be occasions when teachers who are teaching in-person will have to teach remotely. We will not divulge which teachers have accommodations or why teachers are teaching in-person then remotely.
i didnr understand the difference between b and c
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.
Can you please explain why you decided to include the shoehorn option which you clearly deemed as an inferior educational model in your options to the 113 community?
It does seem inconsistent to say to the Board at the October 13 and November 9 meetings that the “shoehorn” hybrid, which we should call the simultaneous hybrid to as not to characterize it, is inferior. After listening to parents for months now, we thought it would appear like we were not listening not to include it. We understood that some parents may prefer in-person learning for their student but not if it meant changing their student’s schedule and teachers. Offering the simultaneous option allowed parents to make that distinction. Since parents’ selections are not not a vote or a survey, it is information we would use If the pandemic metrics fall to acceptable risk levels and the Board directs us to transition to simultaneous hybrid for in-person learning.