Letter from Dr. Gauthier: Update on Start of Hybrid Learning

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NOTE: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Leah Gauthier sent the following letter to the District 401 community on Jan. 7, 2021. 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 hybrid and remote learning communications can be found at our Learning Update Center page.

To: Elmwood Park CUSD 401 Stakeholders
Re: Hybrid Start Information

This update is to provide all stakeholders information about our hybrid learning option. We will begin our hybrid learning option for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, bilingual, SPED core, SPED transition and SPED instructional on Jan. 19. Hybrid learning will begin on Jan. 25 for 3rd through 12th grade.

The hybrid option is for families who chose hybrid on the learning survey in November. The hybrid plan is for the third quarter at the high school and the second trimester at the elementary and middle schools.

If you chose remote on the survey but would like your child to be in the hybrid option, there will be another survey sent out in late February as we plan for the third trimester and fourth quarter.

The hybrid plan that we have created is based upon guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH). This plan is based on the number of families who chose the hybrid option. For details about the plan, please see our hybrid handbook for families:

Hybrid Learning Plan Handbook — Families

The Board of Education and District administration closely followed what the metrics have been telling us since September. We have kept our students and staff home to learn remotely. As we receive new guidance from IDPH we are able to make the necessary changes to our learning options to be able to bring our students and staff back.

To do so safely we are focused on the mitigation strategies set forth by the CDC, IDPH and CCDPH. In each of our buildings the mitigation strategies are in place and will be monitored and maintained to adhere to the guidelines.

Our mitigation strategies:

  • Availability and adherence to mask use
  • Availability and adherence to social distancing
  • Clearly visible cues to maintain social distancing
  • Cleaning and disinfection practices
  • Availability of hand hygiene supplies and opportunities for use
  • Ventilation modification
  • Clearly visible signage/messaging about COVID-19

We know that the decision to open our doors is one that some will find relief in and others will not be ready for. We are following the guidance from the health department and will continue to do so as we learn about opportunities we can have in our community.

On Friday, Jan. 8, you will receive additional information from your building principal if your child is starting hybrid learning on Jan. 19, including how to opt out of hybrid learning if you so choose.

On Friday, Jan. 15, you will receive additional information from your building principal if your child is starting hybrid learning on Jan. 25.

We will continue to share information and have everything posted on our Learning Update Center page on our website.


Dr. Leah Gauthier
Superintendent of Schools

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