RPS 205 announces plans for fall 2020 classes

School district says there will be options for families to choose from.
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 1:59 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford Public School District 205 announced its plans Thursday for returning to school in the fall. School begins September 1, but will look different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Families will have options to choose to return to in-person instruction, or full-time remote learning. However, district leaders recommend students who are in transition periods (kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade) and all English Language Learners or students with IEPs choose in-person instruction. “Having face-to-face, personal connection will help ensure a solid transition and additional support during this difficult school year,” Superintendent Ehren Jarrett says in a release letter.

Here are the options:

Early Childhood (ages 3-4): Can attend in-person classes five days a week. Students with medical exemptions can choose remote learning. Transportation will be provided for in-person instruction.

Elementary (K-5): Families can choose between full-time remote learning five days a week, or in-person instruction five days a week at the student’s zoned school or special program site. Transportation will be included for in-person classes. If the school closes for any length of time students will shift to remote learning. (See below for information regarding the differences in remote learning compared to Spring 2020)

Middle and High school: Can choose between full-time remote learning five days a week, or in-person instruction two days each week with remote learning the remaining three. Transportation will be included for in-person instruction. Students will be split in to two groups (listed below) to determine which days they would report to in-person instruction if they choose that option. (This included special programs at Auburn, gifted and CAPA, and Thurgood Marshall, gifted 6-8).

Group A: Will meet at school for in-person instruction Mondays and Thursdays each week.

Group B: Will meet at school for in-person instruction Tuesdays and Fridays each week.

The district will provide meals for all students both at school for students participating in-person, and through a grab-and-go drive up for those students learning remotely.

Here is how the district plans to change remote learning:

 Attendance will be tracked, and students must engage in 5 hours of daily learning. That includes instruction and any independent student activity.

 Teachers will introduce new content, and students’ work will be measured through progress monitoring and assessments. Student progress will be reported on a trimester report card.

 Elementary students will be assigned to teachers who are teaching remotely – that means students will be in a virtual classroom with students across the district, not necessarily students in their zone school. Students will likely be assigned a teacher who doesn’t teach at their zone school.

 We plan to accommodate students who are enrolled in special programs at their special program school – both for remote and in-person instruction. This could change, however, depending on how many students choose remote learning instead of in-person instruction. There is no guarantee that special programs will be available in full for remote learning. This applies to the STEAM Academy at Haskell, Two-Way Language Immersion at Barbour, Gifted Academy (elementary grades 1-5) and Maria Montessori at Marsh. We will share more information in the coming weeks.

 Students will be assigned an electronic device to use at home. Students in kindergarten, first and second grades will be assigned an iPad, and students in third grades and higher will be assigned a Chromebook.

 Students will use specific applications online to assist with connecting with teachers and learning materials, such as Google Classroom, Seesaw and Nearpod.

 It’s possible some courses will not be offered remotely, depending on the materials required. Counselors will work with families to ensure academic schedules meet students’ needs.

Per the Illinois State Board of Education, Winnebago County Health Department, IDPH and CDC guidelines students will adhere to social distancing and wear masks whenever possible.

Information on how to choose remote or in-person learning options will be announced later in July. For anyone with additional questions, Jarrett suggests submitting them online via Let’s Talk!

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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