Reopening Plan Modified | A Message from Dr. Riordan

August 21, 2020 01:16 PM

Greetings OLCHS families.  I hope that this message finds you well. I am writing today, with great regret, to inform you that another revision has been made to our OLCHS 2020-2021 Reopening Plan.  In light of the updated guidance that was released last week by the Illinois Department of Public Health, we have determined that we are unable to safely implement our Blended Remote Learning Model at this time.  


We are very disappointed that most students will not be able to come to campus for an in-person learning experience.  However, we have always maintained that the safety of our students, our staff, and our families must be paramount with any decision made regarding the reopening of the school.  We simply cannot implement, with fidelity, all of the safety protocols that are called for in this new guidance.  


We are hopeful that we will be able to implement our blended remote learning model at some point later in the school year, but we cannot say when this will occur.  We will monitor community conditions and any future updated IDPH guidance on a regular basis, but we anticipate continuing in the full-remote model for all students until at least the end of the first quarter, which is October 20th.  If we need to continue with full remote learning beyond the first quarter, then we will reassess those conditions again at the end of the first semester.


Finally, I want to reiterate that the OLCHS full-remote learning experience for students and staff will be much improved over our experiences during Spring of 2020.  The full remote weekly schedule is below, as well as an explanation of how our full remote learning instruction has been improved. Additionally, staff are preparing textbooks and other necessary learning materials for pick-up on August 31st. More details will be provided before that date.



Dr. Michael Riordan, Superintendent

Oak Lawn Community High School District 229


Link to revised 2020-2021 OLCHS Reopening Plan


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.  If we are able to transition to our Blended Learning Model later in the school year, it will be a smooth transition for students and staff.


Full Remote Learning – SIGNIFICANT Improvements from Spring 2020

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 learning management system, 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 most staff working full-time in the building. This provides the opportunity for a limited number of students to attend in-person instruction periodically, or regularly.  More information will be provided to students and parents about these opportunities in the coming weeks.

    • Students with disabilities who need more supportive accommodations.

    • 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 a limited number of students attend school to complete these learning 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.

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