Greetings OLCHS families. I hope that this message finds you enjoying your last days of summer break. As you know, on July 24th we released our 2020-2021 Reopening Plan, with the intention of opening up the school for in-person student learning while implementing all recommended measures to ensure the safety and health of students, staff, and their families. Based on feedback from parents, students, and staff, we are modifying our reopening plan. You can review the revised plan at the link below. The message below summarizes the changes to the plan. Families can expect further details including confirmation of student schedules and green/gray group status in the coming weeks.
Dr. Michael Riordan, Superintendent
Oak Lawn Community High School District 229
Link to revised 2020-2021 OLCHS Reopening Plan
First Three Weeks of School: Modified Plan
- Teacher In-Service/Work Days on 8/17 – 8/19 (no change)
- New Student Orientation on 8/20 – 8/21 (New students/Freshmen in-person, returning students remotely) (no change)
- Update: Full Remote Learning Instruction for most students 8/24 – 9/4
- Some students will still attend school in-person, such as those with special needs
- Update: Start Blended Learning Instruction on 9/8
Other Key Differences
Here are some bulleted points of interest. See below for rationale for these changes.
- The school will be OPEN, with staff working full-time in the building. This provides the opportunity for some students to attend in-person instruction periodically or regularly. Specific examples are listed later in this email.
- Students who selected the Full Remote model will remain on most teacher rosters even when the Blended Model begins on September 8th. Full Remote students will continue to receive live instruction from their assigned teachers. Additional details and professional development are still being finalized.
- The Remote Learning schedule is modeled on the Blended Learning Schedule, but there are specific differences such as which periods meet on which days and how the afternoon sessions are structured. The schedule is below.
Rationale for Modification
- Based on the feedback received to date, we have a much higher number of families than expected indicating that they wanted their student to NOT attend classes at school and therefore enroll in the Full Remote program. Over 420 students (almost 25%) have opted for a full-remote model. This provides significant logistical challenges for us to plan for these students’ instructional programing. Having these additional two weeks will help our students and staff ensure a smooth transition when we move to the Blended Learning model on September 8th.
- Teachers and support staff need additional time to prepare for our Blended and Remote models. By delaying the implementation of the blended learning model for a couple weeks, we will be able to ensure a successful launch of this plan on September 8th. Additional robust training and development for staff in areas of lesson planning and curriculum adjustments, as well as technical training on virtual instruction and our new instructional content platform will all take place during this period of time. Staff will be able to practice using Webex and live-streaming their lessons during the first two remote learning weeks.
Full Remote Learning – SIGNIFICANT Improvements from Spring 2020
As you know, we learned much from our experience last March, April, and May. Our full-remote learning experience will be MUCH improved for staff, students, and parents this fall.
- Students and teachers will connect via live video conferencing every day.
- The WebEx conferencing app will provide more stability, security, and functionality for staff and students.
- Our new instructional content platform, Canvas, will improve communication and sharing of academic schedules, resources, assignments, etc. for teachers, students, and parents. All teachers will now be using the same platform, helping with consistency for students and parents.
- Students will have a structured daily schedule to connect with their teacher and classmates.
- Students will be held much more accountable for their academic work and their personal responsibilities.
- Attendance and student engagement will be monitored and reported for all students EACH period (as opposed to a quick, single student check-in via Skyward). We will intervene quickly and rigorously with students who are not successfully connecting and engaging in their learning expectations.
- All assignments and assessments will be used to measure the degree of students’ learning and to provide feedback. These academic activities will also be graded and credited toward their semester grade calculation.
- The school will be OPEN, with staff working full-time in the building. This provides the opportunity for some students to attend in-person instruction periodically, or regularly.
- Students with more severe disabilities will likely attend school four or five days per week.
- Students in rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) can periodically attend school for specialized tutorial or preparation sessions.
- Hands-on classes that include product-based assignments (Woods, Automotive, Culinary Arts, etc.) can strategically have students attend school to complete these activities.
- Science classes can schedule laboratory activities where students are able to periodically attend school.
- Drivers Education can have students attend school to complete behind-the-wheel lessons.
- Some students who have poor WIFI connections at home could come to school to complete their work in a safe and supervised area.
- Students who qualify for a free/reduced lunch could come to campus to pick up a meal.