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Board of Education Meeting July 14, 2020

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This website is intended to keep the District 205 community informed and engaged as we move through the summer months and look forward to reopening school this fall.

All updates regarding the start of the school year will be posted here. Please bookmark this page as a first resource for accurate and timely information.

We greatly appreciate your support and collaborative efforts to ensure the health and education of D205 students, families, and staff.

Rolling Return of Students to In-Person Learning

District 205 has been working arduously to meet the goal of bringing students back to campus as soon as safely possible and staffing permits. In recent weeks, many students have returned to their respective schools for in-person or hybrid instruction. 

On Wednesday, September 2, the District successfully returned the following students to their attendance centers for in-person or hybrid instruction:

  • Self-Contained Special Education Classes at Madison (5-days/week) 

  • Multi-Needs Classrooms at Edison (Hybrid)

  • Transition Programming (5-days/week)

 On Tuesday, September 8, the following students returned to our campuses: 

  • All Pre-Kindergarten Classes (5-days/week) 

  • All Kindergarten Classes (Hybrid)

  • Cross-Categorical/Self-Contained Classes at Emerson, Jackson, Jefferson, Bryan, Churchville, and Sandburg, (Hybrid) 

  • ABC Classroom at Hawthorne and Sandburg (Hybrid) 

  • Self-contained Math and English Classes at York 

  • Multi-Needs Classrooms at Sandburg (Hybrid)

We are thankful for the hard work of our students, staff, parents, and community members to get us to this point where we have been able to provide in-person instruction for our students.  Our next steps are outlined below:

On Monday, September 14, 2020, we will welcome the following groups of students to campus:

  • All students in grades 1-5 (Hybrid)

  • Multi-Needs students at York (5-Days)

  • All students with IEPs in grades 6-12 (based on the days/program selected, 2, 4, 5 days, etc.) AND select students in EL programming (Hybrid)

We are also pleased to announce the following rolling return schedule for the remaining students:

  • September 21 - 6th and 9th Grade General Education (Hybrid Schedule)

  • September 28 - 7th and 10th Grade General Education (Hybrid Schedule)

  • October 5 - 8th and 11th/12th Grade General Education (Hybrid Schedule)

Special details will come from your respective schools no later than the Thursday of the week prior to the scheduled return date (i.e. 6th grade parents should expect to receive communication on or before 9/17/2020). 

As always, these plans are contingent on the District’s ability to staff our buildings appropriately and are provided to you with the current assumption that DuPage County will remain in the Moderate Risk category for transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  Should DuPage County or Elmhurst see an increase in COVID-19 cases, in positivity rates, in youth cases, or if our Region requires additional mitigation, these plans will be delayed and our current plans for in-person instruction will be revisited.

Open D205 Plan Background

The Open D205 plan was presented to the D205 Board of Education at 7 p.m. on July 14, 2020. A plan summary will be released to parents and staff on July 15, 2020.

  • To read the full plan, click here
  • To view the Board Meeting, click here.

Plan Highlights

Start of School

  • August 24, 2020 school start date for all Pre-K-12 students
  • Teachers Institute Days August 17-18, 2020
  • Remote Learning Planning Days, August 19-21, 2020
  • Parents/guardians may choose to have their child educated remotely
  • Families who are eligible for bus transportation may opt to transport their children to school
  • High priority placed on providing in-person instruction for students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 504 Plans, and/or who receive English language support. Students with disabilities and those students who currently receive EL services will be able to come four days/week at the middle schools and the high school
  • In-person instruction for students under the age of 13 prioritized
  • Focus on rigor and continuity of learning. When remote learning or blended remote learning is utilized the following priorities will be reflected in instruction:
    • Engaging Learning Experiences for Students
    • Professional Learning Experiences for Staff
    • Organized Systems for Students and Parents

Health and Safety

  • Face coverings required in accordance with ISBE and IDPH guidelines

  • Six-foot social distancing requirement to the greatest extent possible per ISBE and IDPH guidelines 

  • Daily self-certification for symptoms and temperature required for all staff and students prior to taking transportation to school, arriving at school, or entering school buildings. 

  • Screening and additional requirements to quarantine following travel based on guidance on local, state and federal health requirements and recommendations.

  • No more than 50 individuals on buses at any one time during Phase 4. Face coverings required during transportation.

  • Sanitization completed daily or between use on all buses and vehicles used for student transportation.

  • D205 cleaning practices priority focused on cleaning for health and sanitization, which includes an emphasis on routine and frequent disinfecting surfaces and high-touch areas.

Commitment to Health, Safety and Rigorous Learning

On June 24, Governor Pritzker announced that school will resume this fall as the state transitions into Phase IV of the Restore Illinois Plan. In tandem, the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year. 

The D205 administrative team remains committed and focused toward planning for the 2020-21 school year. A 78-member, cross-functional planning group of D205 administrators, principals, teachers, support staff employees, school board members, and parents actively worked with start-of-school committees to develop a master plan to open schools this fall. The committee teams are: Instructional Core/SEL; Operations; Resources; and Stakeholder Engagement and Communications.

Along with lessons learned from remote learning during the spring quarantine, parent and teacher feedback also was incorporated into the crafting of the plan.  Families wanted a safe and healthy return to school this fall without compromising the rigor and academic excellence that is expected of public education in Elmhurst.


Open D205 Foundational Beliefs

The work of the Open D205 planning team was guided by four foundational beliefs:

  • Protecting the health and safety of all students and employees to the greatest extent possible is the top priority

  • Ensuring appropriate rigor to promote student growth. Interventions will be strengthened to address skill deficiencies that may have emerged due to the disruption in the educational process

  • Re-establishing relationships and ensuring that the social-emotional needs of students and basic wellness needs of families will be prominent in the learning, resource allocation and decision-making processes

  • Creating a legally sound reopening plan that is in compliance with state and local directives while incorporating the agility and flexibility to adjust for the potential of rapidly changing environments and expectations.

School Schedule

The following scenarios are possible for 2020-21 based on state government and education guidelines:

Schools are opened on a blended schedule of in-person and remote learning which will vary by grade level. Given the current guidance from government and medical officials, blended remote learning  is the most likely scenario in August. Our first priority is always safety, yet we cannot eliminate every risk. We will be working diligently this summer to prepare to implement the health and safety guidelines we receive from the CDC and IDPH.

Schools are opened in a full remote learning environment only (similar to our experience from March 16 to the end of this past school year). Government and medical officials are concerned about the probability of a “second wave” or surge in new coronavirus cases in the fall and winter. Schools will need to be prepared to move “in and out” of a remote learning environment at some point during the coming school year.

Schools are opened on a regular daily schedule with enhanced health and safety measures. While desirable, government and medical officials believe this scenario is an unlikely possibility until the the state reaches Phase 5 of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan.