Dear Glenbard students, families and staff,
The Glenbard District 87 administration is meeting regularly to consider safe options for the 2020-21 school year. We are studying multiple areas of work to decide how to best serve our students in the safest and most effective instructional settings. The safety of our community is at the forefront of the work, while we balance the educational and social emotional needs of our students.
As a result of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, schools were closed via an executive order signed by Gov. JB Pritzker in March 2020. On April 17, Gov. Pritzker suspended in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year to slow the spread of COVID-19. During this time, all teaching and learning was conducted in a remote environment via e-learning. Glenbard’s multi-year work around 1:1 devices for every student and an emphasis on deep learning allowed the schools to make this change swiftly. All staff worked to connect with each student during this time. Struggles to serve students were identified and addressed in the most effective manner possible, including:
Prior to COVID-19 being identified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, Glenbard began reporting data on student and staff illness to DuPage County; provided students, staff and families with information about how to stay safe and healthy; and provides links to sources so everyone may stay up to date with accurate information about COVID-19.
Since remote learning began, Glenbard has worked with local governing agencies and adhered to the guidance of multiple local, state and national agencies. This includes:
The guidance has changed in the last few months and is anticipated to change further throughout the summer. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, these agencies change their respective guidance. It is important to note that while each agency makes global statements, including “may” or “could,” they all go on to include very specific requirements for schools and general health precautions. As a public entity, it is critical that we follow these guidelines and adhere to liability and legal requirements.
Each of the organizations listed and monitored for guidance has explicit expectations, recommended practices and timelines for resuming in-person school and school events. While every community member is aware of the requirements to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth and fits tightly around the face, as well as social distancing by remaining 6 feet apart from other people, these recommendations and others are challenging to integrate into large high school settings. While recommendations may change over the next few weeks or months, Glenbard is working hard to be ready for in-person instruction when it is allowed. We are planning for significant safety modifications, including:
Our administrative teams are working to understand the requirements and recommendations as well as design the safest educational experience for each student. New and changing guidance is anticipated in the coming weeks. This guidance may impact our planning each time it changes. Our entire team is focused on designing and sharing a plan that is best for students and meets the requirements listed. Students, staff, families and community will be updated on the 2020-21 school year plan as soon as it is completed. Stay safe and healthy.
David F. Larson, Ed.D.