What will the 2020-21 school year be like amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
That's the issue Yorkville School District 115 officials continue to grapple with heading into the summer months.
In an email message sent to parents June 1, the district noted the continued uncertainty concerning the school format for the coming school year and announced that "multiple committees are being organized to determine how to give students and staff the most optimal educational experience, while maintaining an unwavering commitment to safety. Within these discussions will be how to address educational interruptions due to a resurgence of COVID-19 and if there are staff members and/or students who contract the virus."
The message continues: "Plan development over the summer will be very thorough, complex, and fluid based upon the ever-changing orders from the governor and the future guidelines shared by the Illinois State Board of Education.
"At this time, the three most likely scenarios for the next school year are as follows:
*In-Person/Traditional Schooling: Guidance established by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education would determine the specific health safeguards.
*Virtual E-learning: This would be similar to the format used during the fourth quarter, but with revisions based on input from the stakeholder surveys to refine/improve e-learning in the district.
*Hybrid Schooling Approach: This would include a blend of in-person schooling and virtual e-learning.
"Each scenario will also include contingency plans to adapt to intermittent changes throughout the school year that could force the district to switch directions based upon the health conditions of the state/region.
“I know without reservation that nothing can replace the live interaction between students and adults, and that the quality of learning is the greatest when kids and staff are in our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Tim Shimp. “We will spend our summer months ensuring that we use the feedback from our employees, administrators, and community members to improve all aspects of our schooling options; to support the health and social/emotional well-being of our students and employees; and to ensure any 2020-21 e-learning experience will be effective for teaching and learning in District 115.”