Letter from Dr. Gauthier: Updated Hybrid Learning Plan Information

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NOTE: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Leah Gauthier sent the following letter to the District 401 community on Nov. 19, 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: Updated Hybrid Information

At the Board of Education meeting on Nov. 18, we discussed the large rise in COVID-19 cases and the safety of our students, staff and community.

With the substantial increase of cases in our community, our county and our state, we have made the decision to push back the start of our Step 3 hybrid learning to Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, and our Step 4 hybrid learning to Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.

These dates are the earliest that we will return. We will continue to watch the metrics so we can return when it is safe to do so. To learn more about the school metrics set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), please visit our COVID-19 Dashboard page on our website:

COVID-19 Dashboard

We know this is a difficult time right now, and we are aware of the additional burden that pushing back this start date has on everyone. We are focused on the same two priorities we have had since the beginning of the year, which are the health and safety of our students, staff and community as well as a consistent academic schedule. This pandemic has proven to all of us that it is constantly changing. As a District we are basing our decision on the guidance, and we know we have to change our decisions when the guidance changes.

Governor Pritzker has put into place Tier 3 mitigations to help slow the spread. Our efforts to slow the spread require our schools to continue with Remote Learning 2.0. Most recently we saw a 54 percent increase in youth cases over the last two weeks, an overall increase of 120 percent from four weeks ago. In response to this as well as other indicators we will follow our Steps to Return plan, which has been updated to reflect the new anticipated start date:

Steps to Return

More information will be shared during the Dec. 2 Committee of the Whole meeting, when we will discuss our possible next steps if we have to continue to push our start date back. I will share additional information when it is decided.

As always, thank you for your continued patience and partnership as we navigate these uncharted waters. Tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 20, you will receive an update from each building principal with further details regarding the hybrid learning plan. Additionally, we will continue to share information and 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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