Important Spring Updates

Important Spring Updates
Posted on 03/17/2021
Spring Updates
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
847-512-6000
www.wilmette39.org

Dear District 39 Families,

Last week’s warmer weather was a wonderfully pleasant reminder that spring is just around the corner! Spring is a time for renewal and hope. Simultaneously, last week we acknowledged the one-year anniversary of the first school closure. We reflect upon the challenging times we have endured together (both individually and collectively), and we celebrate the availability of a vaccine and a hopeful, brighter future ahead.

As we plan for fourth quarter, Wilmette Public Schools are considering options for offering more in-person learning and extracurricular opportunities while allowing choice for students who wish to remain fully remote through the end of this school year.

Please take a moment to review the following important updates, including information about 4th quarter and registration for the 2021-2022 school year:

4th Quarter In-Person Planning for 5th - 8th Grade
At the February 22 School Board meeting, the Board directed administration to review options for increased in-person learning at the 5-8 campus in 4th quarter, and requested a report be made to the Board at its March 22nd Board of Education Meeting regarding these options. During Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, an update on this planning was provided. A recording of the discussion of this plan is available here and the presentation slides are linked here. Please review the highlights below:

  • Highcrest Middle and WJHS In-Person Programming would merge the A and B In-Person Learning Pods at HMS and WJHS for 4th quarter.
  • With health guidance supporting social distancing of less than 6 feet, this merger would provide approximately 3-4 feet of distancing in a typical classroom environment. Other mitigation measures such as mask wearing, learning pods, self-certification health screening, and enhanced cleaning would remain in place. However, student quarantines may increase because the IDPH definition of “close contact” for COVID-19 still uses within 6 feet of distance for at least 15 minutes as its standard.
  • In-Person students would attend school daily in-person with a targeted start date of Monday, April 12.
  • Classroom cohorts and schedules remain intact.
  • Cross Country and Track will be offered to all students in Grades 5-8 this Spring.

 

In-Person Opportunities for Students in the Enhanced Fully Remote Program

  • Administration is reviewing options for increasing optional in-person opportunities and connections for fully remote students.
  • A survey is being conducted this week to gauge the interest and willingness of our fully remote students and families to participate in optional in-person opportunities. Please share feedback on behalf of your child(ren) via the surveys below.
  • Programming for the Enhanced Fully Remote Program will continue to be provided through 4th quarter with increased opportunities for optional in-person time.
  • Classroom cohorts and schedules remain intact.
  • Enhanced in-person activities, opportunities and grade level activities will be available as options to families. Cross Country and track will be offered to all students in Grades 6-8 this Spring.

 

The School Board will finalize plans for 4th quarter during its Regular Board Meeting on Monday, March 22. The Board Meeting Agenda, including livestream links, will be posted Friday afternoon. At the meeting, the Board is expected to review and approve:

  • Details of the merged A/B In-Person Learning Model for HMS and WJHS for 4th quarter.
  • Opportunities for increased In-Person Options for those enrolled in the Enhanced Fully Remote Program.
  • Naming Monday, April 5 as a Non-Attendance ISBE Planning Day.

 

Covid-19 PCR Testing and Screening Options
If you are in need of a Covid-19 PCR test, there are several local options offering daily appointments. Testing information is available through the D39 COVID Testing webpage, including information regarding the FREE Township Covid-19 PCR April testing program available after Spring Break. The D39 Family Response to Illness Booklet is also a great resource for guidance on how to respond to illness and/or potential exposure as well as testing site information (pages 18-21). We encourage families to consider registering for the following:

 

Travel Guidance
Chicago and the Cook County Departments of Public Health have made an adjustment to travel quarantine requirements. Please review the CCDPH travel guidance for the most up-to-date information about domestic travel guidance. Reference this page to check if the state(s) you are traveling to is orange. Children who travel must complete a 10-day quarantine upon return from travel or provide their own negative PCR test result. International travel guidance is provided by the CDC. Please review these guidelines carefully if you are planning to travel. Useful information and testing site locations are provided within the D39 Family Response to Illness booklet.

Staff Vaccinations
At this point, more than 92% of all teachers and staff have received their first dose or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. We are confident that this number will continue to increase and encourage all who are eligible throughout our community to consider receiving the vaccine, too.

D39 Strategic Planning Set to Launch
After a hiatus due to the pandemic, we are eager to launch our District 39 Strategic Planning Effort that will envision our future goals and initiatives. This community engagement process will help guide the District's next 3-5 year Strategic Plan. In April, we will administer a survey to gather insight from students, staff, parents and community members on Strategic Planning priorities. To view an overview of the process, visit the D39 Strategic Planning webpage.

Academic Summer Enrichment Camp and Summer School Offerings
District 39 is excited to offer multiple in-person academic summer school opportunities this July. These camps will provide opportunities for academic review, remediation and advancement with small group in-person learning and a focus on grade level academic curriculum. Additional information and registration information is available on the District 39 Summer Enrichment Program webpage.

Planning for the 2021-2022 School Year
Though it is difficult to predict the health and safety measures that will be required of schools in the fall, the District is planning for daily in-person instruction for all students. We expect ongoing implementation of the district’s layered mitigation approaches to health and safety as well as additional modification in accordance with health guidelines of fall. The Draft 2021-2022 Calendar presented to the School Board in February is expected to be adopted at the March 22 Board Meeting. If you have not done so already, please complete registration for the 2021-2022 school year at your earliest convenience and prior to spring break.

 

We hope you are enjoying a wonderful beginning to the spring season, and wish you a lovely and safe spring break ahead.

Dr. Cremascoli
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D,
Superintendent
Wilmette Public Schools District 39


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