Letter from Dr. Gauthier: Outlining District 401's Steps to Return

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NOTE: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Leah Gauthier sent the following letter to the District 401 community on Oct. 8, 2020. To translate the letter into a language of your choice, go to the top right corner of this page where the Google Translate button ("Select Language") is located, and choose from the menu of available languages. Links to all of District 401's Remote Learning 2.0 communications can be found at our Fall Learning Plan update page.

To: Elmwood Park CUSD 401 Stakeholders
Re: Steps to Return

At the Committee of the Whole meeting yesterday I presented to the Board of Education the EPCUSD401 Steps to Return.

The visual of a ladder was used for our steps to return knowing that we can go up or down a ladder based on the COVID-19 data metrics for Elmwood Park.

The COVID-19 data metrics make the determining factor on what step we are in our return process. The rationale behind this is to minimize community transmission and to stay focused on our priority of the health and safety of our students, staff and community. The presentation can be found on our District website under the Fall Learning Plan page: 

► ​Fall Learning Plan Update: Steps to Return

We are currently in Step 1 of our plan, but we are planning for each step along the way to our eventual full return back to school when it is safe to do so.

The next step in our process is to present to the Board what our Hybrid Learning Plan could look like for D401 students. We will present the plan during the October 21st School Board meeting.

If the plan is approved, we will then host live town halls for our families to ask questions and gather information before making a decision on whether or not to have their student attend the hybrid setting or remain fully remote.

Our goal is to return to the building when we can do so safely. Success in preventing the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in schools is connected to and dependent upon preventing transmission in communities. We are truly in this together to ensure the health metrics meet the established criteria so we can return and remain in the buildings.

Thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate what our learning environment can be as we move forward. I recognize and understand that there are strong feelings on all sides of the issue when it comes to reopening schools. While we have seen tremendous successes and a high quality of student engagement during Remote Learning 2.0, I also recognize and understand how challenging remote learning can be for students, families and staff. All of us want this pandemic to end so we can return to operating schools in our regular manner. Your partnership and flexibility are very much appreciated.

We will continue to share information as well as have everything posted on our Fall Learning Plan page on our website: ​www.epcusd401.org


Dr. Leah Gauthier
Superintendent of Schools

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