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Return to Learn


Superintendent's Family Message March 24, 2021

March 24, 2021

I would like to take a moment to thank you, for walking alongside us during this pandemic. One year later, we are hoping that this communication allows you to see a hopeful future for a transition back to a more familiar way of learning. Each step along the way has been small but much needed forward movement with safety at the forefront. 

We want to remind all of our families that we will be off of school on Friday, April 2, and Monday, April 5, 2021, as noted on our 2020-2021 school calendar. The changes outlined below will take place after the short break.  

Increased Instructional Opportunities and State Guidance 

Our community continues to take strides in reducing the community spread of COVID-19. District 186 developed a COVID-19 Dashboard in partnership with the City of Springfield and made possible by the Bloomberg-Harvard Data Track Initiative. The dashboard can be found here on the District webpage. This tool is one more way we are communicating with District families and Springfield residents around daily COVID-19 cases within District 186 schools. You can scroll down to individual school sites and see updated daily information. It is uploaded each night after 5 p.m. 

Starting Tuesday, April 6, 2021, students who are on a hybrid schedule will begin attending 4 days a week for in person learning Tuesday through Friday. Students should be prepared to attend school in-person Tuesday through Friday if they are currently hybrid. Busing will be available each day Tuesday through Friday. Mondays will still be asynchronous and we will still maintain the current dismissal schedule for your child’s school. We will maintain this schedule through the end of the school year.

This increase of in-person days for hybrid learners is made possible by the reduced community spread along with guidance released on March 9, 2021. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education joint guidance document provides a transition guide for returning to learn. This is the guidance that we will follow as we make student-centric decisions. The document is specific to Illinois and is meant for Pre-K through 12th grade. 

This document updated the recommendation for social distancing for in-person learning. Social distance for in-person learning is now defined as 3 to 6 feet for students and fully vaccinated staff. Additionally, the state guidance indicates that unvaccinated staff should maintain 6 feet of social distance as much as possible (pg.3). Furthermore, this document reiterates that masks must be worn at all times unless eating or outside with 6 feet of social distancing. 

Remote Schedule – Elementary remote students will continue to meet 4 days a week Tuesday through Friday. Middle and high school remote students will also begin meeting 4 days a week. Mondays will remain asynchronous. We are committed to continuing a robust remote learning program for those students who have chosen that model this school year.

A student’s model of learning will stay the same. Exceptions will be considered based on individual and school circumstances. Any requests to change the learning mode for the remainder of this school year will be considered on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with teachers and school administration.

Please contact your student’s school if you have questions about schedules.

As we finish out the school year, the following plans are in the works and will be communicated soon. 

  1. We will be sharing opportunities for summer learning boost programs. 

  2. We will share end of the year activities and graduation information. 

  3. We will provide a schedule for the required state assessments. 

  4. We will provide information on next school year to the best of our ability. 

Again, thank you for your support. We hope this step forward allows your student to continue to thrive in hybrid and remote models of learning.