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Devon Horton, Superintendent of School District 65, formally announced on March 15 that the District is actively planning to bring back all students for in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. He had briefly alluded to that goal at the District’s Finance Committee on March 8.

In a letter to the school community, Dr. Horton said, “Our goal has always been to return all of our students and staff but only when it’s safe to do so. I can confidently say that we are well on our way. We are actively planning for next school year and will continue to engage various internal and external stakeholders. I would like to provide some clarity and set the stage for several goals for next school year. 

  • “All students will have the opportunity to return on-site for live instruction and full days of learning. We are working towards a full return which would include five days per week for every child. We are currently reviewing the updated state guidance around social distancing and capacities in order to fully maximize our buildings. Mitigation measures, including mask wearing, will continue through next year.
  • “Knowing that children may not be vaccinated prior to the start of the new school year, we will look to continue offering a 5-day per week remote learning option. This may be through a district-wide remote learning academy. 
  • “We are expanding summer learning opportunities for students and will look to provide increased targeted intervention and support to students who are not yet at grade level through the coming school year.”

Dr. Horton made reference to the revised guidelines issued by the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health on March 16, which allow social distancing of between three and six feet for students and fully vaccinated staff. See article here.

“We are currently reviewing our building capacities and are in discussion with the District 65 Educators’ Council as we look to bring more children back after spring break. We will share an update as soon as we are able.”