Dear Burbank 111 Families,
Who would have guessed we would end the 2019-20 school year with a shelter in place order and remote learning? Although we weren't ready for it, our students and staff really stepped up to the plate and ended the year strong. It wasn’t a perfect situation, but our experience this spring gave us invaluable insight and knowledge in order to prepare for the upcoming school year.
We know this is a stressful time for our families and staff and everyone has their own unique perspective and concerns. Our School Reopening Plan prioritizes what is best for our students and staff, and provides options for families as school resumes. Parents/guardians were given the choice of the hybrid model or full remote learning for their children. The final plan was approved by the Board of Education at the regular meeting on July 22 and sent to families along with the learning environment selection form on July 23. We understand that neither option is ideal for working parents with childcare concerns, but after much consideration we felt this plan provided the safest environment for in-person instruction, while following all recommended safety and sanitation guidelines.
Here’s a few helpful tips for parents as we begin the new school year:
- Set (and keep) a schedule In-person days and remote learning days should have the same schedule. Students should be online daily Monday through Friday.
- Make sure they have any materials necessary to complete all assignments Whether its pencil and paper, a stable WiFi connection, log-in information for all accounts, whatever they need to get the work done.
- Provide an environment conducive to learning This isn’t always easy. If they’re too isolated, it’s difficult to check in with them. If they’re at the kitchen table, depending on the child or their environment, they may be too distracted. Personalize the space (sound, light, room, etc.) and make sure all materials needed to work are easily accessible to them.
- Make sure all work is completed And any work that remains incomplete is incomplete for a good reason and has a time-bound, actionable next-step (e.g., email the teacher asking for clarification on step 3 of the activity so that you can turn it in tomorrow by noon).
- Help them check messages and communicate with school Check for messages daily from teachers and other students and make sure to reply to any messages that require one.
- Learn to identify the barriers When a child says, “I don’t get it”, exactly what do they not understand? When students say, ‘I don’t get it,’ the first step is to identify exactly what ‘it’ is - and this isn’t always easy. Most students don’t know what they don’t know. That’s why you, and an internet full of resources, are there to help them.
District 111 will continue to follow guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health. By now we have all learned that things can change very quickly when dealing with COVID-19, so please continue to check your email and the district website for the most up to date information. There may very well be changes made even after this newsletter was printed and mailed. We appreciate your continued flexibility, cooperation, and patience as we navigate through these challenging times. District 111 remains committed to the safety and well-being of everyone in our community. We miss our students and staff and look forward to welcoming them back to school very soon!
Dr. Franzy Fleck