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Community High School District 99

Guide for 2020-21

District 99 will share information about the 2020-21 school year on this page. We will update the Frequently Asked Questions below with new information as it becomes availabe. If you have a question that does not appear, please submit it here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the plan for the fall of 2020?

The D99 Board of Education unanimously approved the district’s recommended “Modified Hybrid Plan” to start the school year on Monday, August 17. After this first week, we will move to Full Remote Learning. During this time we will prepare our staffing schedules, so that we can resume following a Hybrid Schedule in September, if it is safe to return based on IDPH health metrics. 

Week of August 17 only:

August 24 - September 4 - Remote Learning

Starting September 8 (if conditions allow) - Hybrid Learning: Group A Schedule (last name A-L) and Group B Schedule (last name M-Z).

See District 99's Guide for 2020-21 for details about our approach and protocols.

Supporting two separate schedules allows us to reduce the number of people in the building by half in order to enhance social distancing. In addition, by limiting In-Person Learning to mornings only, we avoid needing food service, which would cause supervision, space, clean-up and allergy concerns. However, we will still be providing meals to those who need them.

Our plan eliminates the greatest risk in contracting COVID-19, by limiting close contact with others.

When is the first day of school?

The first day of school will be Monday, August 17. 

Week of August 17 only:

Why didn’t you divide students by grade, instead of alphabetically?

There are three key reasons we need to divide students alphabetically, instead of by grade:

1. Students in the same grade tend to be in the same classes together; therefore, bringing in a single class of students would reduce the number of students in the school--but not in the classroom. This would prevent us from practicing social distancing in classrooms, and make In-Person Learning unsafe.

2. We want to ensure that family schedules remain the same; the only way to accomplsih this, is through an alphabetical split. (NOTE: Families with different last names will be identiifed and placed with similar learning schedules.)

3. In the case that one or more of our partner elementary districts should need to implement a hybrid schedule, the alphabetical split could be used across districts. 

Why didn’t we survey families to see which will return and which won’t, and then base a schedule from this information?

We wanted to share our plan and new health and safety guidelines with all families, so that they had the information needed to make a decision about their return. Once the Board of Education approves the proposed plan, families will have the option to opt-out of the In-Person Learning component of the Hybrid Schedule; we will share a form, which will be due August 3. The plan may change based on student and staff availability.

Will students practice social distancing on the bus rides to and from school?

Bus routes will be designed with the goal of having one student per seat; it is possible some students might need to share a seat. Students must comply with the rule to wear both a mask and a face shield while riding the bus.

What will a typical Remote Learning day look like?

All Remote Learning periods will begin with a synchronous (i.e., Zoom or Google Meet) meeting. Teachers will take attendance every Remote Learning class period. Students will be expected to arrive on time and to be present (with the video camera on). Teachers may use the full class period for instruction or may provide time for individual work, but will stay online or be available in order to answer student questions. 

What will a typical In-Person Learning day look like?

When following the hybrid schedule, students will experience In-Person Learning: 

  • Before boarding, students who ride the bus must wear their student ID as well as both a mask and a face shield. The student will present their “self-certification pass” to the bus driver, indicating they are fever-free and free of COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Students who do not ride the bus will present their ID and “self-certification pass” at the entrance of the school. All entrances will be monitored.
  • Students without the "self-certification pass" will be symptom checked before boarding the bus or entering the school; random symptom checks may be performed.
  • Students may not enter the building earlier than 7:30 a.m. 
  • After entering the building, students will go directly to their first class and use the hand sanitizer before sitting down in their assigned space, which will be at least six feet apart from others. 
  • In addition to hand sanitizer, tissues will be available in every classroom.
  • Students will not share any items (i.e., equipment, textbooks, paper, etc.) during class without them being sanitized first.
  • As class is dismissed, students will spray an EPA-approved sanitizer on their desk and leave for their next class. 
  • During passing periods, students will proceed directly to their next class, wearing both a face mask and face shield. Stairwells will be marked as one-directional. 
  • Students will not have a locker, and will carry their possessions with them at all times. 
  • Students will enter their next class, wipe down the desk, and use hand sanitizer.
  • If a student needs to use the restroom, they can do so during class time, not passing period, in order to minimize crowding. They must wear both a face shield and face mask.
  • The process of sanitizing desks and hands will be repeated for each class period.
  • No food will be consumed by students while in the building, unless there is a medical reason to do so. 
  • Water bottles are allowed, and may be refilled at the water stations. (Water spouts will be unavailable.)
  • All students must leave the building by 12:20 p.m. 
  • Students will engage in Independent Learning in the afternoon, while their teachers conduct Remote Learning sessions for the other half of the class.

If a student doesn't have a class scheduled (periods 1, 4, 5 or 8), can they arrive late or leave early?

Yes. If a parent provides permission and students have their own transportation, they may arrive late or leave early. Students may not exit and then reenter the building at a later time.

Are there more parking spots available during Hybrid Learning? 

For this school year only, additional parking will be made available for students driving to school. There will be no cost to families for parking during Hybrid Learning.

Are all classes still being offered (i.e., Drivers Education, PE, Choir, Band, Orchestra)? 

Plans are being developed for specific curricular areas including Drivers Education, Physical Education, Band, Orchestra, Choir, Dual Credit offerings, Internship, and Technology Center of DuPage. We will share plans once available with those who are impacted.

What support will be available from the counseling department?

Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists will be available for students as in the past. However, social distancing must be maintained when meeting and may result in meetings being moved to larger rooms or to virtual settings.

If the state moves back to an earlier phase of Restore Illinois, what will happen?

If health guidelines change and become more restrictive, we will return to full Remote Learning and discontinue In-Person Learning for most or all students. 

Are there any other conditions for returning to Full Remote Learning?

We may also need to revert to full Remote Learning if:

  • We receive new guidance from the IDPH or DCHD that we would be unable to comply with;
  • Reach the threshold where the health departments recommend that discontinue In-Person Learning; or, 
  • We reach a point where we do not have enough adults available to support In-Person Learning.

Will Remote Learning this fall differ from last spring?

Yes. Teachers will take attendance during every class period for both Remote Learning and In-Person Learning periods. This will help build relationships, create a synchronous connection between teachers and students every day that a class is scheduled to meet, and allow students to ask questions and/or for teachers to provide additional instructions. Both students and parents requested more regular synchronous meetings in the feedback gathered from Remote Learning last spring.  In addition, District 99 will return to its standard grading practices, and a student’s grade can go up or down.

How will grades be handled?

District 99 will return to its standard grading practices, and a student’s grade can go up or down during Hybrid Learning. Families can check on a student’s progress in Home Access Center and see the status of assignments.

What is required of students during Independent Learning?

Each week, students will be expected to engage in Independent Learning, which will be activities assigned by their teachers to help supplement instruction occuring during In-Person Learning and Remote Learning. This could include graded work, research, reading, small group work, or other activities deemed necessary by the teacher for learning to occur.

Can a parent choose for a student not to participate in the In-Person Learning periods?

Yes. Each family must make the decision about whether or not to participate in the In-Person Learning component of the Hybrid Schedule. 

Families who choose to opt-out of In-Person Learning must complete this form by August 7; if selected, families agree to opt-out of In-Person Learning for nine weeks, so that we may create balanced schedules.

If my student starts the year fully remote, can I return to following the Hybrid Schedule?

If you opt-out of In-Person Learning, you must wait until October 12 to resume following the Hybrid Schedule. Note that you may not be assigned the attendance day that correlates with the alphabet breakdown at that time. We will add students to the schedule that most supports their successful return and provides balance in the classes in order to meet social distancing regulations.     

If my student begins the year following the Hybrid Schedule, can I return to Full Remote Learning?

Yes, you may opt to move into the fully remote learning format at any time.

Are we allowed to opt out of the first week of In-Person learning? 

No. If you opt-out of In-Person Learning, you must wait until October 12 to resume following the Hybrid Schedule. If your student is absent from In-Person Learning, you must call the school to report the absence.

How will instruction be offered to students who cannot return to school for in-person classes due to documented medical reasons?

Students will participate in Remote Learning and will receive instructional supports based on individual student needs.

What about for those who choose not to return unrelated to a documented medical reason?

Students will participate in a Remote Learning experience and will receive the same materials as those selecting the in-person option.

What is the current status of the in-school SAT?

All senior students are required to take the state-issued SAT in order to graduate from high school. The test is currently scheduled for Wednesday, October 14. As in the past, PSAT for National Merit Scholarship purposes will be offered in the fall. Spring testing for juniors is yet to be determined.

What social or emotional support is available for my student? 

Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists will be available for students as in the past. However, social distancing must be maintained when meeting and may result in meetings being moved to larger rooms or to virtual settings. 

 

What if my student needs more one-on-one support? Or additional time in school?

There will be student resource centers available, teacher office hours, and other traditional supports for all students. Students who need more help should start by reaching out to individual teachers or their counselor so that concerns or needs can be addressed based on their specific needs.

 

Will college representatives be visiting students in person this fall?

We have suspended all in-person visits this fall, and are working to support these visits in an online format.

 

Will there be any food service?

Although students will not be consuming food while at school, District 99 will continue to offer “grab ‘n go” meals to students. We are developing a plan to ensure that all students who depend on us for meals continue to receive nourishment regardless of our school schedule.

 

What are water drinking protocols?

Drinking fountains are available for refilling bottles only. The faucet portion has been disconnected. Students and staff will be able to briefly take off their mask for a quick drink of water. 

 

Can students eat at school?

No. Students may not consume food while at school, unless they have a medical reason to do so. 

Is there a different plan for students with special needs?

See the Special Education Parent Resource Document detailing information regarding special education services and supports.

At this time, the special education populations at Downers Grove North and South will follow the D99 Hybrid and Remote schedules in the same fashion as their peers.  T99 students will follow a different schedule outlined in the Resource Document above. In previous communication we had planned to bring specialized populations of our special education students into the buildings more often than in the regular Hybrid schedule. This is still our goal; however, it will not be within the first three weeks of school. We now require time to process the new Board approved Hybrid and Remote schedules with our special education staff and organize appropriate staffing to meet our students needs. 

What about students with 504 Plans?

Increased support and communication will be provided to teachers around providing accommodations in the hybrid model. Interventions will be made available as deemed appropriate by the team and supported by data. 504 Case Managers will contact families and teachers to review any special considerations regarding approved accommodations.

What about students who are English Language Learners?

Families of students enrolled in EL English classes will be contacted on an individual basis to determine how best to meet the needs of their students.

What about high-risk students?

We’re identifying those students who are medically fragile. Students who are immunocompromised will participate in Remote Learning and will be provided individualized supports based on student need.

What new safety and health measures are in place at the schools?

We will be following the guidelines set forth by ISBE and the IDPH in order to conduct In-Person Learning while following the Hybrid Schedule:

  • While in the school building, everyone must wear a face mask (cloth or medical). While on a bus, during a passing period or anytime people are within six feet of others, everyone must wear both a face mask (cloth or medical) and a face shield. 
  • No more than 50 people will occupy any one space. Large areas, such as the gymnasiums and field houses, may be divided into learning spaces where groups are separated by more than 30 feet. 
  • We will create as much social distancing as possible. There may be brief times throughout the day, such as passing periods, where students will come into closer contact.
  • We will conduct daily symptom screens and temperature checks before people are allowed to enter the building if they do not have a self-certification pass. We will also perform random symptom checks upon arrival to school. 
  • Will will increase our schoolwide cleaning and disinfection procedures.
  • Outside air brought into the building will be increased to 20 percent, double the amount previously. Air filters will be changed twice as frequently as they were in the past.

Will District 99 provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to students and staff?

Yes. District 99 will issue two cloth masks to all staff and students as well as two face shields. The masks are two layers; the outside layer is polyester and the inside layer is cotton. Any masks provided by the state will be used as a back-up supply. 

We are currently developing plans to distribute PPE.

Why is it necessary to wear both a face mask and face shield when riding the bus, during passing periods and any time within six feet of others?

Health guidelines encourage the use of plastic dividers whenever six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. A face shield provides this extra protective barrier, as we cannot install plastic dividers where this could occur. 

Will wearing of PPE be required?

Yes. Everyone who is inside the school building must wear a mask at all times, and when within six feet of others, a face shield as well. This is an expectation, like other school rules, that is outlined in the student handbook addendum. Failure for a student to comply with these requirements will result in a transition to full Remote Learning. 

District 99 will provide additional types of PPE for high-risk staff members and students.

Can I wear my own mask?

Yes. The mask must be worn properly, and cover your nose and mouth. In addition to a mask, everyone must also wear a face shield while in the school building. The face shield is a replacement for plastic dividers in various situations and locations in our buildings. The schools will be providing training to students about how to use PPE properly.

Will guests be allowed into the school buildings?

To minimize the number of people in our buildings, guests will not be permitted past the entrances of our buildings during In-Person Learning hours.

Do we need to wear PPE during PE? Physical activities?

If people are outside and can maintain six feet between one another, they do not need to wear PPE. Fitness activities may be limited during PE, and locker rooms will be closed.

What is District 99 doing to increase sanitary conditions of the schools?

We have increased our sanitation protocols since the stay-at-home order was issued, and we will continue with these stringent measures. Each night, all areas, in particular high-touch items (i.e., desks, chairs, doors, handrails, pencil sharpeners, bathrooms and hand sanitizer dispensers) are cleaned and disinfected with EPA-approved disinfectant. We also follow all CDC and IDPH guidelines for cleaning. Classroom doors will be left open to allow for more air flow and eliminate additional touching of door handles.

Every classroom will be equipped with hand sanitizer, which all students must use when entering the class. In addition, students will spray every desk after the class period ends before leaving. Then, after the disinfectant has time to activate, students from the next class period will wipe the desks using paper towels before using the desks. 

Restrooms breaks will be allowed only during class periods, and all restrooms will be cleaned more frequently on a rotating basis during morning class periods.

Will there be extra hand-sanitizer at the schools?

Yes. There will be hand sanitizer in every classroom and in common areas throughout the school buildings. Before every In-Person Learning class period, students must use hand sanitizer before entering the classroom. We will also be encouraging frequent and proper handwashing and will have tissues available in each classroom as well.

What is the ventilation like in the buildings?

The quality of the air is important to maintaining a healthful environment, and District 99 uses an outside contractor to assess the quality of air in all of our buildings throughout the year. In addition, we are increasing the air flow to bring in 20% more outside air as well changing air filters more frequently. Fewer people in the building also helps promote air quality.

What are you doing about items that students share during school (i.e., textbooks, lab equipment, cooking equipment, etc.?)

If students must share physical items, we will sanitize the items before and after use. Items may include equipment or textbooks.

What is the procedure to conduct daily symptom screens and temperature checks before people are allowed to enter the building?

All District 99 students and employees must self-certify that they are free of a fever and COVID-19 symptoms before reporting to our buildings. If they do not self-certify, they will be symptom checked upon arrival. Random symptom checks will take place as people arrive to school.

Will COVID-19 testing be required of staff or students?

District 99 will be testing symptoms, not testing for COVID-19 disease. Currently, results of testing are not immediate and therefore would be impractical to conduct on a routine basis.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, what is the plan?

Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days and alert their health care provider. In addition, students and staff members must check in with school officials before returning to our school buildings.

If we learn that someone at D99 has tested positive for COVID-19, will I be notified?

Our plan to reopen In-Person Learning minimizes the chance for people to come into close contact with one another. School officials will interview those individuals with known cases to determine any close contacts they may have had while at school. If there is a circumstance where individuals are closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, we will document that encounter and notify those involved. 

What if my student shows symptoms of COVID-19 while at school? 

Each school will maintain an area outside of the Health Office for triage of sick students and will have a separate area to serve as a quarantine room. This room will be staffed by a third-party contracted nurse. A separate restroom for students/staff who exhibit COVID symptoms will also be identified. Anyone with symptoms will be required to leave the school building and cannot return until approved by school officials.

Will you perform contact tracing if someone gets sick?

Yes. We will perform contact tracing if we learn that someone tests positive and they were within 6 feet of another person for more than 15 minutes, while at school.

During Remote Learning, how will the teacher communicate with students and families?

All teachers will be using Google Classroom for Remote Learning, and will communicate to students through that platform. Families may use Home Access Center to check on grades, and can email teachers through HAC.

Staff will respond to family/student questions within 24 hours on weekdays. Requests that come in over the weekend will be responded to on Mondays.

I’m not receiving district and school emails. Who should I contact?

District and school emails are sent automatically to all guardian emails listed in Home Access Center. If you are not receiving messages, please contact us at communications@csd99.org.

I’m receiving emails in a different language.  How do I change this?

District 99 has the ability to send some messages in languages other than English. If a family indicates they prefer to receive communications in a language other than English during the enrollment process, they will receive messages in that language. To change your preference, please contact us at communications@csd99.org.

How will 9th graders and new students receive a Chromebook?

The specific schedule is being developed. Families also will be contacted about the process for receiving their Chromebooks.

Who do I contact if I need internet access?

If a student does not have access to Wi-Fi or a smart device with data, the student or family should contact the counselor or the main office.

Who do I contact if I have technical troubles?

Students needing technology support should stop by the tech center while at school or email (northcb@csd99.org or call 630-795-2720 at DGN or southcb@csd99.org or call 630-795-8556 at DGS) for assistance. If you do not have access to Wi-Fi or a smart device with data, contact your counselor or the main office. If your internet service is down (i.e., power outage), contact your teacher as soon as you can to make up your work.

What are the protocols for activities?

Activities will be held in remote formats as much as possible. We will be communicating details on activities and events in advance of the school year starting.

What do the athletic programs look like in the fall? 

Athletic programs are developing plans to return under IHSA guidelines, which are changing frequently. Check North High's athletic page here and South High's athletic page here for information about fall sports and the latest information.

Need technical support? Students needing technology support should stop by the tech center while at school or email (northcb@csd99.org or call 630-795-2720 at DGN or southcb@csd99.org or call 630-795-8556 at DGS) for assistance. If you do not have access to Wi-Fi or a smart device with data, contact your counselor or the main office. If your internet service is down (i.e., power outage), contact your teacher to make up your work.

District 99 is here to support you. If you cannot find what you need, please email us at communications@csd99.org

Need to Report an Absence?

Attendance will be taken for every class period, in-person and remote. Parents/guardians should report the absence by calling the attendance line (DGN at (630) 795-8450 or DGS at (630) 795-8550. If an absence is unexcused, parents/guardians will receive an automated phone message at 5 p.m. the day of the reported absence.