Metrics Reopening Advisory Team Update
Posted on 09/10/2020
School Year Planning Graphic
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091

The District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team held its first introductory meeting on Friday, September 4th. This team comprises representatives from stakeholder groups across our district, including teachers, support staff members, administrators, parents, two board members, school nurses and a COVID strategy expert.  The purpose of the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team is to study the metrics and progress related to the COVID-19 transmission and the District’s Reopening Plan in an ongoing way in order to guide improvements and adjustments to health/safety protocol and in-person reopening efforts as well as suggest improvements to operational procedures and health/safety protocol to help mitigate spread of the virus when staff and students are in our buildings. The Metrics Reopening Advisory Team will help establish and review metrics to evaluate and make recommendations to the superintendent regarding adjustments to the learning models and implementation of guidance on a week-to-week basis. Recommendations made by the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team will be communicated to stakeholders weekly by Monday at 5:15 pm.

This important stakeholder team will help to guide, evaluate and improve upon District 39’s reopening efforts.  Information regarding this Team, its purpose and its composition is provided on pages 58-60 of the D39 Reopening Guide.  Below is a brief update from the Team’s first meeting on Friday.

Introductions and Review of Team Purpose 

The reviewed its purpose and its composition, which is provided on pages 58-60 of the D39 Reopening Guide.  The District is developing a metrics dashboard which will be published later this week on our Reopening Planning Page. This dashboard will include additional information regarding the team and the metrics under review. 

Review and Discussion of Metrics 

The Team reviewed proposed metrics for consideration by the Team.  These metrics include data regarding COVID-19 transmission and positivity rates locally and regionally, district operations, supplies and facility information, and staff/students. The team suggested some improvements and a few new metrics that will be considered for inclusion at next week’s meeting.  Additional information regarding the metrics that will guide and inform the work of this Team are provided on page 59 of the D39 Reopening Guide.  A publicly available metrics dashboard is under development and will be published on our Reopening Planning Page next week.

Discussion of Next Steps

In addition to ongoing review and refinement of the meaningful metrics, the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team considered adjustments to the District’s progressive approach to in-person instruction.  Specifically, the team was asked to consider expediting the progression toward full implementation of the elementary in-person model, which is scheduled to begin next week.  The Team reviewed metrics and discussed common practices for re-opening. Most of the discussion focused on two factors: (1) recognition that the district does not yet have sufficient data on the “operational metrics” that will be gathered as students begin to return to campus (such as mask wearing, the ability of students to maintain social distancing with support, and facility adaptations within the school) to inform a change in the calendar, and (2) the upcoming week will provide valuable information regarding operational needs and data to understand if the district can proceed safely and more expeditiously at the elementary level.  The team discussed that reviewing metrics at next week’s meeting will allow enough time for the operational issues to surface and for the data to mature sufficiently in order to understand if we can safely proceed with expediting the in-person transition at our elementary schools.  Following some discussion, the team concluded it is prudent to proceed with the first week of in-person implementation before a decision to expedite is made. The Team agreed to carefully review metrics next week with thoughtful consideration of adjustments to the in-person instructional days thereafter.  Any adjustments recommended next Friday, September 11th would be implemented in the following week beginning on September 21st.    

The Metrics Reopening Advisory Team and District 39 are eager and excited to welcome students back to their first days of in-person instruction this week!  It promises to be a fantastic week of learning for our in-person students as well as for our fully remote students.  Later this week, the district will publish its newly developed metrics dashboard to the D39 Reopening Planning Page.  Staff and families can expect updates from the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team by 5:15 pm each Monday.