Updated on August 8, 2020
Dear Robinson CUSD#2 Families,
The early days of August are one of my favorite times of year as an educator as we prepare to welcome our students back into our schools. This year has been extremely challenging but I want to assure you that the excitement and anticipation that our staff feels is still there and we can’t wait to see our students.
As mentioned in my message earlier this week, online registration on Skyward is in progress and will remain open through Sunday, August 9. Please remember that we need all Robinson CUSD#2 students to be registered through Skyward, regardless of whether they will attend in person or participate in remote learning. If for any reason you need to access the registration system after August 9, you may contact your child’s school office and they can assist.
Our Back-to-School planning group of 33 individuals is wrapping up some last details on our overall plan and we anticipate having the full plan completed early next week. I am extremely grateful to this team for their generous gifts of time and expertise to plan for our safe return to school. Even when complete, our plan will be continually reviewed and revised as necessary to respond to changing conditions. In my message on August 2, I shared the completed draft of the section on Face Coverings and today I want to share our draft of the Instructional Design section of the plan. This section provides information about in-person learning and remote learning.
If you wish to select the remote learning option rather than returning for in-person learning on August 24, please contact your child’s building principal anytime from August 10 through August 14.
I hope that you will enjoy these last days of summer and stay safe and healthy.
Our committee and our staff are preparing to welcome the majority of our students back for in-person learning on August 24. However, at the same time, we are building the district’s capacity to provide remote learning as necessary.
School start and stop times at Washington Elementary School (8:10-2:35) and Lincoln Elementary School (8:20-2:45) will remain the same as in the past. The start and stop times at Nuttall Middle School (8:00-1:45) and Robinson High School (8:00-1:40) have been modified to allow teachers time to check in with students learning remotely and plan and create content for those students. Families selecting in-person learning do not need to complete any additional steps beyond registering through Skyward.
Robinson CUSD#2 has taken several steps to enhance our capacity to provide remote learning. We have purchased enough devices to allow for every student in the district to be assigned a school-owned Chromebook. In addition, we have options to assist students who may have no Internet access. Finally, our technology committee has developed training for both students and teachers to familiarize them with remote learning and the specific platform we will be using. There are three different scenarios that we anticipate remote learning may be utilized:
Remote Learning from First Day of School
Enrollment: Families electing to enroll their child in remote learning starting on the first day of the school year should first register their child as normal through the Skyward online registration system. Families are then asked to contact the building principal between August 10 and August 14 to indicate that they would like to participate in remote learning. The principal will explain the remote learning program and ask the parent to provide information about Internet access and contact information. Students will be enrolled in remote learning for a period of one academic quarter. At the end of each quarter, parents will have the option to re-enroll the student in remote learning or to return the student to in-person learning.
Teacher and Curriculum
K-5 Elementary Students: All K-5 students participating in remote learning will be assigned a homeroom teacher at their grade level. In addition, each student will be assigned a remote learning teacher. The remote learning teacher will be fully licensed teacher working for Robinson CUSD#2 but may or may not be the same as the homeroom teacher. At the K-5 level, the district will provide access to a commercial online curriculum for students enrolled in remote learning. The remote learning teacher will be in touch with each remote learning student daily. The remote learning teacher will coordinate the remote learning content with what is being covered during in-person learning to allow for a smooth transition from remote learning to in-person learning should that become necessary. In addition, the homeroom teacher will contact the remote learning student on a regular basis to build and maintain rapport in preparation for a potential return to in-person learning. Students will be expected to engage daily in the curriculum (unless ill or absent) and participation will be tracked. Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) will continue to work toward progress on IEP goals. IEP minutes will be determined on an individual basis based upon the students’ current percentages in special education and the students’ individual needs. IEP minutes will be met with a combination of virtual, telephone, videos, emails, and/or work assigned. Activities will consist of group meetings, individual meetings, independent work, or providing accommodations to the students for testing and general education assignments.
6-12 Students: For students in grades 6-12 participating in remote learning from the beginning of the year, the content will be provided by the same teacher who would be providing the instruction in person. The curriculum will match what is being covered in the physical classroom and will be provided through Google Classroom. The in-person instructor will monitor progress, assess, and provide feedback as needed. Students will be expected to engage daily in the curriculum (unless ill or absent) and participation will be tracked. Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) will continue to work toward progress on IEP goals. IEP minutes will be determined on an individual basis based upon the students’ current percentages in special education and the students’ individual needs. IEP minutes will be met with a combination of virtual, telephone, videos, emails, and/or work assigned. Activities will consist of group meetings, individual meetings, independent work, or providing accommodations to the students for testing and general education assignments.
Technology: All students participating in remote learning will be issued a school-owned Chromebook. Students will log in to their device using their school-issued Google credentials. The devices are protected (filtered) through the GoGuardian software which insures the devices are used for educational purposes only. This software is compliant with the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The district will work with families to assess their Internet service and will assist with addressing any gaps in Internet access needed to facilitate remote learning.
Remote Learning During a Small-Scale Quarantine or Extended Absence
In the event that a student learning in-person comes under quarantine or has any other extended absence, the student will be provided with material by his or her classroom teacher as has been the normal practice during absences in the past. This may be supplemented by online content at grades 6-12.
Remote Learning if District School Buildings Must Close
The Instructional Design Committee has revised the district’s remote learning plan that was utilized in the Spring of 2020 to reflect new mandates from the Illinois State Board of Education and our increased capacity to provide instructional content through technology. If we face the unfortunate circumstance that our school buildings must close to in-person learning, this plan will be implemented. We will provide every student with a school-owned device and work with families to insure that every child has adequate access to the Internet. All of our teachers will shift to providing online content on the Google Classroom platform.
Published on July 21, 2020
Good afternoon Unit 2 Families,
I hope that this message finds you safe, healthy, and enjoying some family time this summer. With the start of school just over a month away, I know you have many questions about what school is going to look like this year in Unit 2. The purpose of this message is to provide you with a summary of our planning process and provide you with some dates and information that we hope will answer some of those questions. We are thankful that we have the opportunity to bring our students back into our school buildings and we are working diligently on plans to do that in a way that ensures the safety of our students, staff, and community.
Planning and Preparing for the 20-21 School Year
Our district has formed a multi-disciplinary committee with more than 30 individuals bringing expertise in instruction, technology, administration and policy, school health, public health, transportation, food service, cleaning and disinfecting, social-emotional health, and parent/home considerations (parents). This committee is divided into 7 working groups, each focused on a particular issue essential to bringing our students back to our school building safely. These are Transportation, Food Service, Symptom Screening & Quarantine, Physical Environment & Procedures, Instructional Design, Technology and Internet Access, and Cleaning & Disinfecting.
The committee is utilizing the directives issued jointly by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to develop our plan. Key components of the ISBE/IDPH document include:
- Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
- Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
- Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;
- Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals
self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and
- Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.
At this time, we are planning on a return to daily in-person learning under these guidelines, possibly with slight modifications in arrival and dismissal times. However, our committee is concurrently planning for and building capacity for a transition to remote learning if (or when) that is needed. Also, please keep in mind that we are over a month away from the scheduled start of school and that much can still change.
Online registration will be available for all continuing students starting on Saturday, August 1. In addition, for students who are new to the district or enrolling for the first time, we will have new student enrollment available through a new module in our Skyward Student Management System. Details and links about accessing both new student enrollment and online registration will be shared prior to August 1.
We made some adjustments to our school calendar to allow additional time for staff to prepare for remote learning if or when that becomes necessary for an individual student, class, or the entire district. Teachers will be making preparations at schools during the entire week of August 17 and the first student attendance day for the 20-21 school year will be Monday, August 24.
A family survey will be released later this week to seek your feedback on some of the issues being discussed by our committee. A link will be emailed to all families via the contact information in Skyward. In addition, one step of the online registration process this year will ask you to provide information regarding your student’s access to the Internet in your home. As more details are settled we will share additional information. Until then, please know that we are
working diligently to plan for a safe return to school on August 24.