August 15, 2020
Dear District 161 Students and Families,
I am disappointed to tell you that, after careful consideration and discussion, District 161 will now begin the school year on Monday, August 24th, with all students learning remotely from home.
A couple of days ago, school districts received updated health and safety guidance pertaining to reopening schools from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Specifically, the new guidelines regarding the use of N95 fit-tested masks will require additional planning and preparation, therefore we will begin with all students in the remote program on Monday, August 24th.
Next week, we will redo all of our remote and hybrid class lists, to create classes that are equitable in size and distribution. By Thursday, August 20th, parents will receive updated information about their child[ren]’s teacher / schedule for Monday, August 24th.
We understand that moving to a remote only option will be hardship for our families and for that, we truly apologize. Unfortunately, the late release of the new rules means that we need additional time to ensure that we can provide a safe and effective learning environment for our students and staff members.
We are disappointed that we won’t get to see our students in person next week, but we are looking forward to beginning the school year on Monday, August 24th remotely. We will continue to monitor the guidelines and will reassess at the appropriate time to determine if and when we could implement a hybrid model. At this time, we are confident that we can provide an excellent education to all students remotely. Please be on the lookout for additional information next week.
Mrs. Michelle Hoereth, District 161 Board of Education President
Dr. Dana Smith, Superintendent