As we plan and prepare for returning to school in the Fall of 2020, BPS101 will be using this page to coordinate and communicate information as we progress through this process. Many of the documents will be “live” so that they are as up-to-date as possible. So please check back here often for updates. The Leadership Team and Subgroups meet weekly, and meeting summaries will be posted HERE.

Remote Learning 2.0

Operations Guide

Choice Week is upon us. Please login to PowerSchool to make your selection for the Fall of 2020 for each of your students. The extended deadline for selection is Friday, July 24.

Leadership Team

Lisa Hichens, Superintendent
Anton Inglese, Chief Financial Officer
Brad Newkirk, Chief Academic Officer
Steve Pearce, Chief Human Resources Officer
Don Seawall, Director of Information Services
Kari Ruh, Director of Student Services
Mark Anderson, Director of Operations
Lori Carbonell, District Certified Nurse
JoAnne Smith, BHS Principal
Kelley Karnick, RMS Principal
Jeff Modaff, Principal, Grace McWayne
Holly Deitchman, Communications Manager

Subgroups

Operations Planning Subgroup

Purpose:

  • Provide feedback, advice, and recommendations to the Restore BPS101 Leadership Team
  • Explore operational service delivery and interdependencies under likely reopening scenarios, including but not limited to, transportation, facilities, maintenance, food service, and technology

Instructional Core/SEL Planning Subgroup

Purpose:

  • Provide feedback, advice, and recommendations to the Restore BPS101 Leadership Team
  • Explore eventualities
  • Vet decisions for impact

Stakeholder Engagement/Communication Planning Subgroup

Purpose:

  • Provide feedback, advice, and recommendations to the Restore BPS101 Leadership Team
  • Ensure plans are communicated to all stakeholders in a timely, accurate, organized manner
  • Vet two-way communication to ensure questions and input are easily submitted and reviewed

FAQs

The Illinois State Board of Education revised their FAQ’s on July 9, 2020. The Restore BPS101 team has weighed many decisions heavily based on ISBE guidance. Here is a link to their FAQ document.
Here is a list of many of the general categories of questions the District has been receiving regarding the return to school in the Fall of 2020. These questions are updated regularly. Please check back for more information as questions arise.

For specific FAQ’s relating to Special Services or the Early Childhood Center, please visit this document.

Where can I find the new 2020-21 calendar? Updated 7/23/20

A draft calendar can be found here. The Board of Education will approve the official calendar on August 25, 2020. The calendar is subject to change.

What school supplies do I need? Updated 7/23/20

No decisions have been made yet about changing school supply lists. The district will communicate when this information is available.

Did the district consider other Hybrid A/B models? Updated 7/23/20

Different versions of the A/B schedule were considered and we recognize all of them are inconvenient for working families. Some of the versions that we considered were the ones where students attend on the same days each week. One reason we did not choose that model is because in the first month of school, students would have several longer periods when they were away from school. There would be clusters of time when students were not in the building for 6 days, and we believe that would negatively impact their engagement. The A/B model that we selected because it provides the students with more of a routine (at school one day then at home the next day) than the other models. 

If local conditions call for the in-person environment to stay in a hybrid model beyond September 8th, we will reevaluate our model. 

The State Board of Education posted new guidance on July 23, 2020. What changes will BPS101 need to make to its plan?

The guidance released on July 23rd provides recommendations for learning. The Restore BPS101 Leadership team will review any new guidelines and recommendations at its weekly meetings and communicate any changes.

How will I receive information about school reopening?

To make it easier to prioritize and identify messages about the fall reopening, we will use the title “Restore BPS101” in all of our communications.

Updates will be sent regularly via messenger to all staff and parents/guardians. Students will receive periodic updates in their emails. Social media will be used to direct users to the latest messages.

All information will also be posted on the website on the Restore BPS101 page.

What are the options for fall instruction and how is the decision being made?

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has provided guidance for reopening schools. We are pleased to report that “ISBE strongly encourages in-person instruction for students to the greatest extent possible while keeping health and safety as the number one priority”.

So what does BPS101 do to follow those guidelines? Teams of administrators, teachers, support staff, board members, parents, and students have been meeting weekly to determine the best plan for in-person instruction. Additionally, BPS101 is coordinating plans with surrounding districts to the greatest extent possible. Going to school will look different, but we will open our doors in August unless the guidance from ISBE changes- which can happen.

BPS101 realizes that some families might not be able to return to in-person instruction in the fall for a variety of reasons. These families will have the option to continue remote learning for the 2020-21 school year.

Students opting into the in-person choice will return to school for a full day. Enhanced safety and cleaning protocols are detailed in the questions that follow.

Students opting into the remote choice will be assigned to classes with BPS101 staff members. They will enroll in core subjects and have some other options as scheduling allows. Some of the questions that follow provide more detail about the remote experience.

If my student attends BPS101 in the fall, will they be required to wear a mask?

Yes, the Illinois Department of Public Health is requiring face coverings at all times while anyone is in a school. There will be limited medical exemptions, and the process for waiving the mask requirement is still being determined. ISBE has more details in its Frequently Asked Questions Document. Families that do not want their students to wear a mask at school have the option to choose remote learning.

We are encouraging you to begin the conversation with your students regarding wearing a mask in school. We have added some resources to the Restore BPS101 webpage to help you through these conversations.

Will extracurricular activities and athletics resume?

A limited number of activities have already resumed for coaches/sponsors/directors who had a plan approved.  The plans will remain in alignment with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Return to Play guidelines as approved by the IDPH.

Are applications being accepted for free/reduced lunches and fee waivers?

Applications for both free or reduced-priced meals as well as fee waiver applications are currently available. For more information or to submit an online application, please visit https://www.bps101.net/fa/ . Please remember that applications must be submitted each school year.

If I choose remote learning, can my child participate in extracurricular activities or athletics?

Not at this time. The remote learning option is for families who have health concerns or are uncomfortable with the safety parameters that have been implemented.

If a student tests positive, do all students in that class have to self-quarantine for 14 days? What about if a teacher tests positive? (UPDATED 07/10 at 4 PM)

The guidance is changing. We will be following the guidance of the Kane County Health Department. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms,  our certified school nurses will work in conjunction with the health department and notify close contacts as defined by the CDC.  Close contacts will be asked to voluntarily quarantine at home for 14 days following the date of exposure.  

Should there be a positive test for COVID-19 outside of the school building (family member, teammate, etc) and a staff member or student is considered a close contact, they are asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.  At this time, a contact of a contact (someone I live with came in contact with someone with COVID-19)  is not considered for self-quarantine. These guidelines are subject to change by the IDPH and KCHD.  

If a student or staff member is asked to self-quarantine or has a confirmed case, attendance will be monitored by nursing services to ensure they do not return until it is considered safe to do so.

Will my child still need a school physical and immunizations before they can start school?

At this time, the BPS101 policy has not changed. Students entering Kindergarten, 6th and 9th grades need to submit a school physical at the start of school regardless of the option (in person or remote learning) they choose. Seniors need to show proof of receiving the required meningitis immunization.

How will schools be monitoring the health of students?

IDPH supports the BPS101 process of self-certifying that your child is healthy enough to attend school. You will be asked to daily take your child’s temperature and look for symptoms of illness. Your child must be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication rather than the previous 24-hour guideline. Children who are ill are asked to stay home. We realize that there are other causes of illness other than COVID-19; however, due to the current concerns, students will be asked to stay home if they have symptoms of illness. Please look for specific criteria to be released before the start of school. Thermometers may be available for families who do not have one in their home.

How do I make my selection for in-person or remote learning for Fall of 2020?

On Monday, July 13 a message will go out to all families that will give instructions on how to respond. The portal will be in PowerSchool and the deadline for selection is Sunday, July 19, 2020. Please know that you will need to respond for each of your students individually through the portal in PowerSchool.

How will enrollment for elective classes be handled?

There will be limited elective/exploratory options within the Remote Learning 2.0 option. We don’t know the scheduling and section implications of the remote option until we hear from our families.

What will the hours of instruction be for remote learning?

State of Illinois guidance on remote learning next fall will require 5 clock hours or more of work. It is likely that school schedules for in-person classes will be used to guide remote instruction. Remote instruction will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous work.  The District is in the process of drafting the Remote Learning 2.0 plan and will communicate this as soon as possible.

What will the classroom layout look like? Will desks be 6 feet apart?

Per ISBE guidelines, social distance must be observed as much as possible. Desks do not need to be spaced 6 feet apart; however, it is recommended that excess furniture be removed from classrooms to allow for as much space as possible in between desks.

Will Honors/AP classes be offered to Remote learners?

We have not made the decision to eliminate this as an option for students.  Once families make their decision to have their child participate in remote or in-person learning, the high/middle school staff will begin to rework the master schedule, student schedules, and teacher schedules.  At that time, we will determine the variety of core courses we can deliver remotely during the fall semester.

Why isn’t a hybrid or blended schedule option being made available to families?

From the ISBE guidance: Schools and districts are strongly encouraged to provide in-person instruction to students. However, schools and districts that are unable to adhere to IDPH requirements may choose to implement Blended Remote Learning Days. At this time, BPS101 is able to adhere to the IDPH requirements while bringing everyone back full time. 

Other districts have identified that they are not able to adhere to the IDPH requirements so they are creating blended or hybrid plans. Some of the options, such as A/B days bring extra challenges. From ISBE: When crafting student schedules, it is important to keep child care needs of your community in mind. It is estimated that 700,000 school age children (ages 6-12) in Illinois reside in households where all parents work and likely require some form of out-of-school child care. When children aged 0-6 are included, an estimated 1-1.2 million parents rely on child care to return to work. Blended remote learning will likely increase the rate of infection and the demand for center based and non-relative care, increasing the number of different people that children are in contact with each week and, thereby, their probability of exposure to the virus.

Another challenge of an A/B schedule is that teachers would still be required to ensure 5 hours of student engagement for both sets of students (in person and remote) on each day.

Is a school required to transition to remote instruction if an individual who was in the building tests positive for COVID-19?

We will follow the guidance from the Kane County Department of Public Health. If there is a positive test, a close contact determination, as defined by the IDPH, will be made and this may require self-quarantine of individuals for 10-14 days. Our district certified school nurses in conjunction with the Kane County Health Department will make these determinations. Teachers will be sharing their online learning plans with all families at the beginning of the year to make the transition as smooth as possible if a classroom or a building is required to transition to remote learning.

Will in-person students still have art, music, and PE?

While class procedures will change, we believe that we can still offer high-quality instruction in our specials/exploratory/electives areas.

Will the start and end time of the school day be the same as last year (for in-person learners)?

Yes. Under the current IDPH recommendations, we are able to open full-time.

Will there be before/after school care for elementary students? Will the Park District provide Kindergarten Enrichment so?

Yes.

How will the students eat lunch?

During lunch, all individuals will maintain six foot physical distancing when eating. Students will be assigned an eating area (classroom, cafeteria, multipurpose room, etc.). 

What are the cleaning protocols for the building?

All buildings and classrooms will be cleaned nightly when school is in session. During the day, there will be frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces. Common areas will be cleaned throughout the day as well.

How many students will be allowed in a class?

Our class size guidelines are not changing. In-person class sizes will be impacted by the number of families who choose remote. Teacher assignments and student schedules will not be available to families until administration has time to adjust staffing to meet family requests.  This work cannot begin until the week of July 20th after families have made their choices. BPS101 will not exceed the maximum number of people allowed to gather in any one space (currently 50). 

What is the protocol for hallways and passing periods?

Procedures for each building will be communicated to all staff and students prior to the start of the school year. To reduce the number of students and encourage quick transitions, plans may include: students not having access to lockers, one-way hallways and stairways where possible, and not allowing students to congregate in hallways during passing periods.

Will my child’s food allergy plan be enforced regardless of the lunchroom location?

Yes, all BPS101 schools will continue to follow a child’s food allergy plan. Parents should contact their school prior to the start of the year if the plan needs review.

What will recess look like?

Current guidance states that students will be wearing masks outside unless they can maintain 6 feet of distancing. Recess options will include opportunities to play together wearing masks or playing with 6 feet of separation without masks. Playground equipment and shared objects will be limited. There will be a handwashing process prior to the transition from recess to the next activity.

Will students attend their classes that are held outside of BPS?

Students who attend off-campus classes, alternative locations, or partner schools will need to follow the plan for that school or district.  Your BPS101 home school administrator can assist with these arrangements.

Can I switch my option after choice week?

We cannot guarantee that changes can be made due to class size guidelines and availability of staff. Efforts will be made to accommodate changing family situations.

Will the school year calendar be remaining the same?

There have been some changes at the State level that will require a calendar update. More details will be shared during the week of July 20th.

Will vendors and visitors be screened? Who will be allowed into the schools?

Anyone entering BPS101 schools will need to verify that they are symptom-free and fever-free prior to entering. The only visitors and volunteers allowed to enter a building will be those providing essential services.

What will the district do if a student does not wear a face mask? (UPDATED 7/11)

If a student does not want to wear a facemask, they will be excluded from in-person instruction per the Illinois Department of Public Health. There will only be a few exceptions. 

If a student has a medical exemption in wearing a face mask and chooses in-person learning, accommodations will be made to ensure the student has access to their learning while keeping a 6 ft distance. S/he may be asked to wear a full face shield and be subject to dismissal if s/he develops any symptom of illness.  The child should self-quarantine when not at school to decrease the overall risk to themselves and the school community.

Will graduation requirements change for a student who requests remote learning?

While there is some flexibility in terms of graduation requirements due to the on-going pandemic, we believe we can meet graduation requirements for our students, especially given the block schedule.

How is hygiene being addressed?

Appropriate handwashing hygiene will be taught and reinforced including washing hands with soap & water frequently, using hand sanitizers when needed, and visual and verbal reminders. Bathrooms will have proper supplies and extra time will be allowed throughout the day for hygiene practices.

Will the students be at the same desk and in the same room all day? Will they be sharing tables? Will they be 6 feet apart?

It may not be feasible for every student to be at the same desk and in the same room all day or six feet apart. The mask requirement, increased hygiene reminders such as handwashing, and enhanced cleaning procedures will be some of the strategies that will be used to remain compliant with the IDPH plan.

Can the PTO host events?

All school events will look different for the near future.  All school events will have to follow the guidelines set forth by the IDPH and Kane County Health Department.  These guidelines continue to evolve and change, so BPS101 and principals will work with our PTO’s to ensure that any and all school events follow the current IDPH and Kane County Health Department recommendations.

PE: will they change? What will it look like?

Students will be asked to come to school prepared for PE class.  Lockers and locker rooms will not be available.  There will be some adjustments to the curriculum in order to maintain safety and sanitary guidelines. Physical contact and sharing of equipment are not allowed at this time.

Will alternate extracurriculars for remote learners be available?

Some clubs and activities can include remote meetings as part of their regular business. Athletic activities will follow IHSA and IDPH guidelines.

Will enrichment services or advanced level coursework be offered to elementary students and middle school students who choose remote?

We have not made the decision to eliminate this as an option for students at the middle school.  Once families make their decision to have their child participate in remote or in-person learning, the middle school staff will begin to rework the master schedule, student schedules, and teacher schedules.  At that time, we will determine the variety of core courses we can deliver remotely during the fall semester.

Our elementary services include enrichment for reading and math for primary grades. Differentiated experiences should be able to be offered remotely for these students. Compacted math in 4th and 5th grade has not been determined as we have not had the opportunity to work with these staff members yet. However, we do offer “remote” services every other day already.

Will masks be provided and is there guidance for what we should be purchasing?

Students will be expected to bring their own masks (cloth or disposable) to school each day.  The Policy on Student Appearance will be applied. The design of the mask must not disrupt the educational process; interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching/learning climate, or compromise reasonable standards of health, safety, and decency. See CDC guidelines for more information.

When, exactly, will I need to keep my child home based on the daily symptom screening?

A student should stay home from school when they display one or more of the following symptoms:

-Temperature at 100 or higher

-Sore throat

-Cough

-Nausea

-Vomiting

-Persistent headache unrelated to migraine, dehydration or other known cause.

-Rash on extremities

-Cough, especially if sudden onset (unrelated to asthma/allergies)

-A complaint of difficulty breathing- unrelated to asthma

-A complaint of no sense of smell or taste

A student may return to school when they have been free of fever for 72 hours and have no other symptoms.  Questions regarding the cause of illness should be referred to your health care provider for diagnosis, testing, and treatment.

If diagnosed with COVID-19, a person will self-isolate for 10 days and can return to school when there are no symptoms of illness. At this time, proof of a negative COVID-19 test will not be required. All of this is subject to change if CDC/IDPH guidelines change for schools.

Who will be making decisions about the health of the students and staff and what is their training? Will the district monitor absences?

BPS101 employs two certified school nurses who have both been certified as contact tracers via training from John Hopkins University.  Additionally, they have both been working closely with Kane County Health Department all summer and will continue this collaboration during the school year.  They will be overseeing all health protocols and processes conducted by our nurses at each building.

We will work in coordination with the Kane County Health Department on all health-related issues. Absences will be monitored daily and the KCHD requires school surveillance data to be submitted.

How will classroom ventilation change?

Classroom ventilation will be increased. We will also use open windows, weather permitting.

Will school supply lists and drop-offs look the same this year? Will students be sharing supplies? Will the lists be changing? When will we get the list?

School supply lists will not change at this time since these were ordered last spring. However, there will be new classroom procedures for reducing shared supplies.

We do not anticipate supply drop off events to be conducted this year; students will bring supplies with them on the first day.

Lockers at the middle and high school levels will not be used.

Many questions are being raised about desks being placed 6 feet apart, lunchroom, bus, and passing period plans.

The Restore BPS101 teams are following ISBE guidelines for social distancing in schools. Here is the link to the most up-to-date guidance from ISBE. This is from July 9, 2020, and is in the form of an FAQ. Questions 12-14 address Social Distancing specifically. Please follow this link to their FAQ document.

How will student privacy with health data be maintained?

Student privacy is a district priority in the development of our screening tool with careful consideration to follow Federal and State privacy guidelines.  Results obtained from the screening tool will be shared with school nurses for follow up and monitoring.

Will children who receive remote instruction be given textbooks, workbooks, curriculum resources to take home? Or will it mostly be done on the computer?

The materials that students use will primarily be delivered through a device. Some materials for kindergarten students may be sent home.

Will band be offered to remote learners at the Middle and high school level?

We have not made the decision to eliminate this as an option for students.  Once families make their decision to have their child participate in remote or in-person learning, the high/middle school staff will begin to rework the master schedule, student schedules, and teacher schedules.  At that time, we will determine the variety of courses we can deliver remotely during the fall semester.

Will the bus company sanitize the entire bus between each new group of student riders/bus routes?

Buses will be cleaned between routes. The specifics of those procedures have yet to be finalized.

If a student chooses remote and takes the chances that his AP classes will be available to them, then the classes are not offered remotely will they be able to come to school and take the desired classes?

At this time, there is not a customized hybrid plan for remote and in-person options.

If a student travels out of state, will they have to stay home from school for 14 days?

If the Kane County Health Department recommends that they do so. Any travel advisories would be posted on the Kane County Health Department website.

With all staff and students wearing masks and carrying backpacks everywhere, will there be some screening and possible backpack checks periodically?

We do not have an answer at this time.

What criteria is the District using to assign teachers to remote learning? Were they good remote teachers in the spring?

Teachers will be assigned using a variety of factors including their ability to successfully deliver remote instruction.

What platform will lessons be shared on for the Fall? Still Google Classroom?

All teachers will communicate their platform. See the Remote Learning plan for more details.

How will BPS101 be monitoring Remote Learners to make sure they are not cheating?

Staff will determine solutions when needed.

Will there be a difference in fees between remote learning and in school learning?

No. Fees will be the same for remote and in-person learning.

If your questions have not been answered by these FAQ’s, please email us at: help@bps101.net.

Videos

Please remember that all of this information is subject to change. This is the correct information as of this week.
For additional clarification:
There will be no locker use.
To participate in extracurricular activities and sports, you will need to choose the in-person option for the Fall of 2020.
Please remember that we are working on this constantly and will provide you with the most detailed information as it is available. Thank you for your patience.

Fall Reopening Plan Update with Superintendent Hichens

Screening and Reporting with District Nurse Carbonell and Superintendent Hichens

EC and Special Services Update July 15 with Kari Ruh

Big Picture with Superintendent Hichens

5 Important Things with Anton Inglese

Communication Tips with Holly Deitchman

Special Services with Kari Ruh

Kindergarten Info with Brad Newkirk

Elementary Info with Principal Modaff

RMS Video with Principal Karnick

BHS Video with Principal Smith

Safety Video June 2020

Food Distribution

Applications for both free or reduced-priced meals as well as fee waiver applications are currently available. For more information or to submit an online application, please visit https://www.bps101.net/fa/ . Please remember that applications must be submitted each school year.

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