ST. CHARLES – Pointing to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the state and nation, St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 has decided to use a staggered, phase-in approach to in-person learning when the new school year is set to start on Aug. 19.
"We are hearing stories about school districts across the country that are opening and then being forced to close soon after because they cannot make it work operationally," School Board President Nick Mannheim and Superintendent Jason Pearson said in a letter to Dist. 303 families on Monday. "Most districts across Northern Illinois and the Chicago suburbs have already decided to open fully remote. We want to make sure that when we do open our doors, every precaution has been taken to protect the health of our students and staff members."
All high school students will begin the school year with remote learning. Beginning Sept. 8, St. Charles North and St. Charles East high schools will consider bringing in small groups of students by course or program.
High school clubs, athletics, and activities will be offered based on guidance from the Illinois High School Association and other state agencies with building administrator approval.
Early childhood through preschool students will begin in-person learning on Aug. 24. Kindergarten students will begin in-person learning Aug. 19-21 in a shortened day. In-person learning on the regular schedule will take place beginning Aug. 24.
First and second-grade students will begin in-person learning Aug. 19 in a shortened day.
Students will also participate in an afternoon remote learning activity provided by their teacher.
In-person learning on the regular schedule will begin Aug. 24, with lunch being served at school. Third through fifth-grade students will start the school year with remote learning, beginning on Aug. 19 and continuing through Aug. 25.
During the first week of remote learning, they will be invited in small groups to a meet and greet by the classroom teacher. In-person learning will begin on the regular schedule on Aug. 26, with lunch being served at school.
Middle school students will start the school year with remote learning on Aug. 19 and will come to school in small groups for the first six days of school on their assigned days. After the staggered entry, beginning Aug. 27, middle school students will continue in-person learning following the A/B schedule.
To accommodate families who believe that an online option is best for their child, full remote learning will also be offered on a semester by semester basis.