Proposed New Direction

Proposed New Direction

Sent to D99 staff, students and families on July 31, 2020 at 4:15 p.m.

Hello District 99 Community,

On July 20, District 99 proposed opening the 2020-21 school year following a Hybrid Schedule. In this proposal, we explained that one of the conditions of adopting this schedule was having enough staff members to support In-Person Learning. Staff requests for documented medical accommodations and leaves were due today. Due to the high number we have received, we are in a situation where we are unable to fully staff an immediate return to school under the full hybrid schedule.

As a result, District 99 administration is recommending that we start the school year on Monday, August 17 by following a modified hybrid schedule so that all students can meet their instructors and receive materials at the start of the school year. 

  • By supplementing with internal substitutes and administrators, we are able to cover for staff shortages and run this schedule for this one week; however, it is unsustainable in the longer term until we resolve our staffing needs. 
  • Students who have elected to opt-out of In-Person Learning will receive details on their schedule for the week. If students need to elect to opt-out  of In-Person Learning and have not yet done so, please complete this form.

After this modified hybrid schedule week, we recommend following a Full Remote Learning schedule for two weeks, after which we will then look to resume the Hybrid Schedule, if we are able to do so. 

We will recommend this plan to the Board of Education at its meeting on Monday, August 3.

The Board of Education has received an advance notice of this new direction. Board President Dr. Nancy Kupka shared her thoughts: 

“The education of our students and the health and safety of our students, staff, and community are our top priorities. I appreciate the complexity and constraints that the district’s administration is facing with how to return to school. This new direction seems to provide a balance for allowing students to have an initial meeting with their teachers in person, while then providing time for both the district to create a long-term staffing plan and for all of us to continue to monitor health data, including transmission rates. I look forward to refining this new direction with the full Board on Monday and value the continued input from the community.”

We will provide details, including the schedule for the week of August 17 and the Fully Remote Learning Schedule, following the Board of Education meeting on Monday, August 3. The Board must approve a plan in order for us to move forward. 

  • The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place in person at South High, in the cafetorium. 
  • The number of in-person visitors is limited to 40 people. 
  • The meeting will be livestreamed at
  • There will be a reception of visitors at the start and end of the meeting. 
  • Attendees may address the Board in person.
  • Remote attendees may submit a comment on this form, which opens at 8 a.m. on Monday and will remain open through the end of the meeting.
  • The Board will listen to attendees for a maximum of 3 minutes per person, for up to 60 minutes in total on this topic. All comments submitted online will become part of the Board record.

Please know that you are always welcome to email me at or the Board at with your questions or concerns at any time. We will provide an update on Tuesday, August 4.

We know this has been a confusing and difficult time; we are doing our best to ensure that everyone is safe and prepared to learn.

Thank you,

Dr. Hank Thiele

District 99 Superintendent