Update from the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team

Update from the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team
Posted on 09/14/2020
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 D39 Families,

Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy day for this week’s D39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team update. Please watch this quick update video from Dr. Cremascoli and then review the additional information provided below.

First let me say a heartfelt thank you to the entire community for their patience, flexibility and support as we continue into this unique school year. We had a great week last week. Our students participating in the enhanced fully remote program enjoyed their second week of learning while our in-person students experienced tremendous success joining us on campus.

As I visited our schools last week, I was delighted to see the smiles of our students and faculty. Although their faces are safely covered, I could easily still see their smiles through their bright eyes and their enthusiasm. The same is true in the connections we see and feel with our remote learners. We have always known our Wilmette students are amazing, but I could not be more proud of how our students have conducted themselves throughout the first two weeks of this school year. We know that this new way of learning is not easy for anyone, and we appreciate everyone’s partnership and grace as we work together to support one another.

As a reminder, we have formed a District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team. This team is composed of teachers, support staff members, administrators, parents, board members, school nurses, medical experts and a COVID strategy expert. We know that the pandemic circumstances surrounding us continue to shift as does the guidance for schools and public health. The purpose of the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team is to study important school-relevant metrics of COVID-19 and the District’s Reopening Plan and efforts. Each week this group will meet to review the latest data and make recommendations for adjustments and improvement in health and safety protocol and our reopening efforts.

The District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team held its second meeting on Friday, September 11, 2020. The team is excited to announce its launch of a publicly available District 39 Metrics Dashboard, which includes the data reviewed weekly as well as additional information regarding our Metrics Reopening Advisory Team. Our Metrics Dashboard will be updated weekly along with supplemental reports and live links to allow those interested in tracking data in real-time ways. For those interested, a video overview of the D39 Metrics Dashboard presentation provided to the Board of Education during their Committee Meeting this morning is linked just below the dashboard. A lot of information is reflected on the dashboard as well as reviewed and analyzed by the Metrics Team weekly, including:

  • COVID positivity rates and cases in Wilmette, throughout the New Trier Township, Suburban Cook County, and other neighboring communities,
  • Operational and supply metrics within District 39,
  • Staffing considerations and metrics, and
  • Students absence rates.

 

During Friday’s meeting, the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team reviewed the metrics, finalized it’s weekly report and dashboard, and discussed operations within our schools during the first week of in-person transition. The team also discussed options for expediting our elementary students’ frequency of in-person days. Although the team recommended continuation of our Wilmette Welcome Weeks progressive approach to in-person instruction for the upcoming week, it is eager to evaluate how our elementary students do this week as they transition to full-days of attendance. The team agreed to carefully consider increasing full-time attendance in the weeks thereafter. This week’s team deliberations on Friday, September 18 will advise adjustments for Monday, September 28 and thereafter.

Other adjustments we have made:

  • After experiencing some challenges with temperature checks last week, we have purchased improved contactless thermometers for the upcoming week.
  • We continue to expand cleaning and disinfection procedures for all classrooms and offices where in-person students attend as well as high-touch surfaces, including daily electrostatic disinfecting spray and targeted UV-C light use, as needed.
  • We are making improvements to onsite lunch procedures.
  • We are reviewing bathroom schedules and access to better support safety and social distancing.
  • Our kindergarten and 1st grade scoot chairs have arrived and are being distributed to our youngest learners’ classrooms.
  • We are initiating a targeted review of our remote learning programming, connections and needs.

 

If you are wondering what you can do to help, below are a few things we ask you to consider.

  • If you are the parent of an in-person learner, we have identified a few reminders and needs that we are hoping you can support.
    • First, our students did an amazing job wearing their masks. Please take a few moments before your child returns to in-person school this week to ensure that your child’s mask fits comfortably and covers the nose and mouth without needing frequent adjustment. This will help your child to remain safe and focused at school.
    • Second, remind your student to be aware of and maintain distance while in school, as much as possible. This can be especially challenging while walking in hallways. We have placed stickers on the floors of our schools to help provide reminders to students.
    • Third, make sure that your child brings their self-certification health ticket to school each day with a parent signature. This is an important screening tool that helps keep everyone in school healthy. As always, check your child’s symptoms and temperature before sending them to school. Stay home and report the absence if your child has a temperature or is not feeling well.
  • If you are the parent of a remote learner or an in-person learner, there are two things you can do to support our success.
    • First, while learning remotely please continue to ensure that students are logging in and participating fully within each of their class sessions. Participation and engagement are key to our students’ success.
    • Second, for all of our students and families, please continue to practice safe habits away from school. Even when students are not on campus, it is important that we all are vigilant in keeping our entire community safe and healthy. Social distancing, mask wearing and frequent hand washing are three important ways we can all help keep one another healthy and safe.

 

As always, we encourage you to visit our website and D39 Reopening Guide for the most up to date information.

I want to close with a note of tremendous appreciation to all who are supporting our success in this unusual start to this school year. To our faculty and staff, thank you for all you are doing to connect, to inspire and to problem solve. You are amazing! To our parents, thank you for your support, your encouragement, your grace and your understanding as we all work together to support the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students as well as the health of our entire community. To our students, thank you for being you! Thank you for your hard work, your tenacity, your engagement and your enthusiasm. You make it all worthwhile!

We are looking forward to a great week! Be well.

Your partner in education,

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


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