Proposed Return to School Plan
Lockport Township High School District 205 will reopen on August 17, 2020, using a combination of in-person and remote learning. The LTHS Board of Education approved the administration's Return to School Transition Plan on July 20, 2020. The proposed framework aligns with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Starting the 2020-2021 School Year guidelines. These guidelines prescribe the following procedures for the health and safety students and staff:
- Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
- Prohibits more than 50 individuals gathering in one space;
- Physical distancing observed, as much as possible, particularly in classrooms, on buses, and during lunch.
- Symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings;
- Increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection, particularly the use of handwashing and hand sanitizing.
Students will be divided into two groups by last names alphabetically, with both campuses in parallel, keeping students from the same households on the same daily schedule (A - LA = the LTHS Group, LB - Z = the Porters Group). Students will receive two days weekly of in-person learning (Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday), with two days of asynchronous (independent) remote learning (Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday). All students will participate in synchronous (real-time) online classes on Wednesdays.
This type of hybrid weekly schedule will:
- maintain safety and establish protocols to mitigate disease spread;
- resume in-person learning;
- provide equity of access to educational experiences;
- increase our flexibility to serve students and respond to the potential of future school closures; and
- steward our financial resources responsibly.
Students and staff members will be required to wear face coverings.
Prior to entering school buildings, students will either be subject to symptom screenings and temperature checks or be required to self-certify that they are free of symptoms.
Reducing the number of students during in-person learning allows for distancing on buses, in hallways, during lunch, and in classrooms.
There is a robust cleaning and disinfecting schedule for both campuses.
Staff and students will receive proper training in health and safety protocols and procedures.
LTHS has established protocols to respond to potential incidents of COVID-19 exposure or infection based on the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education guidelines.
In-person learning days will be built around thoughtful and purposeful activities that center on essential standards and promote connections between teachers and students. In-person learning days will take place on an adjusted full-day schedule.
Remote learning days will support in-person learning days, focusing on learning activities students can complete independently or in small groups.
Attendance and participation expectations will be communicated with families.
Teachers will post learning objectives and resources for both in-person instruction days and asynchronous (independent) remote learning days in the Google Classroom.
On each of the days that students are in-person or doing asynchronous remote learning, teachers are scheduled a Remote Learning Connection Time. This time at the end of the school day allows for teachers to respond to students who were remote learning that day.
The synchronous (real-time) remote learning experience will allow for a third touch-base between students and teachers within the routine week to ensure learning, connection, and development of relationships.
Students do not have the same resources available at home for remote learning. LTHS is committed to providing ample support during students’ remote learning experience.
LTHS is striving to address the needs and challenges of its students under the current conditions.
Incorporating a robust remote learning component to its instruction allows the district to more effectively pivot to a full remote schedule in the event COVID-19 conditions once again warrant school closures.
A critical component of safely reopening the school year is creating a financial plan that will accommodate the additional costs associated with meeting the staffing, safety, and procedural requirements of returning students to in-person learning in this context.
Lockport Township High School District 205 anticipates it will receive an Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant. This grant is the educational equivalent of the Federal CARES Act. These funds would be used to cover the following costs the district has incurred:
Costs incurred during the school closure in March, April, and May. These costs include continuing to pay employees who could not work due to the school closure, meeting the cost of any overtime employees earned during the closure, and supporting the purchase of additional cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and PPE.
Provide 6 hours of summer curriculum funds for all licensed staff members so that they could prepare for the opening of school in such unusual circumstances.
Purchase additional supplies and PPE that will be required to reopen school in alignment with the Illinois State Board of Education guidelines.