Rockford, Illinois News

Harlem School District releases 2020-21 reopening plan

MACHESNEY PARK – Harlem School District 122 released its back-to-school plan for the upcoming academic year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The plan offers in-person and remote learning and was drafted with guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health and Winnebago County Health Department.

“It is critical to note that this does not signify a return to pre-pandemic operations,” the district said in a release. “Appropriate social distancing, face coverings, enhanced sanitation measures, and other accommodations will be necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff, and their families.”

The district says long as the state is in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, the Harlem plan will adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings, is require.
  • More than 50 individuals in one space is prohibited.
  • Require Social distancing must be observed as much as possible.
  • Schools must conduct COVID-19 symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals to elf-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings.
  • Conduct increased school-wide cleaning and disinfection protocols.

The district will also follow guidelines set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education, minimum public health requirements that all schools must meet as they create local reopening plans in Phase 4. Those minimum guidelines are:

  • In-person instruction is highly encouraged.
  • Districts must prepare an alternative option for students with elevated health risks.
  • Districts must plan for return to remote instruction pending a resurgence or second wave of the virus.

Option 1: In-Person Instruction

Early childhood education students will have five half days. Morning sessions are from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Afternoon sessions will be from noon to 2:35 p.m.

Elementary students–kindergarten through sixth grade, will be in school five full days (7:50 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.).

The Harlem Middle and High schools will operate on a blended model. There will be two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote learning. As a result, approximately half student body will attend classes Tuesdays and Thursdays, the other half Wednesdays and Fridays.

Classroom seating will be configured with maximum allowable space between students. Masks will be mandatory.

No classes will have more than 50 students in one space at one time, including physical education and band. Limits will be placed on the number of students allowed in a hallway at one time.

During lunch, face coverings may be removed while eating and drinking. Students will be spaced according to the 50-person threshold.

Option 2: Remote Learning Only

Remote learning is available for any District 122 student with health and safety concerns, elevated health risks, or a family member with elevated health risks. Students will be assigned to virtual classrooms with students in their grade level from schools across the district. Average class sizes will be used when creating virtual learning classes.

Teachers will lead virtual classes and will have a daily presence through Google Meet, Google Classroom, and/or Seesaw.

Remote learning days will include five instructional hours and will follow the District 122 curriculum, using a balance of textbooks, workbooks and digital instruction. Early Childhood will be approximately 2 1/2 hours of instruction.

Daily and weekly social-emotional learning lessons will be embedded in the curriculum to support the unique needs students are facing during the pandemic.

Read the full guidelines here.

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