District 58 resuming in-person hybrid learning after Thanksgiving break

DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove Grade School District 58 will resume in-person learning in a hybrid instructional model after the Thanksgiving break, the district announced Monday.

The district made a temporary two-week shift to remote instruction Nov. 16. The shift took place because of the high number of absences for students and staff due to the pandemic, but Superintendent Kevin Russell said that during the last two weeks the impacted individuals completed the required quarantine periods, the district secured more substitute teachers and the district's internal numbers improved.

"Once again, I would like to thank the entire District 58 community for everyone’s patience, grace and flexibility during the pandemic," Russell wrote in a message on the district website. "These are certainly stressful times and no matter what takes place inside or outside of schools there will be strong opinions and feelings on all sides. I am grateful that no matter the differences individuals may have regarding decisions made due to the pandemic, the students remain the highest priority for everyone."

In next week's schedule, the district's special education specialized program will be in hybrid all week. Elementary students in grades K-6 will be in remote learning Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and in hybrid starting Dec. 2. Middle school students in grades 7-8 will be in remote Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, with seventh grade onsite and eighth grade remote Dec. 2 and hybrid learning continuing Dec. 3.

The district further announced that it is encouraging families to complete a survey on the instructional models to date by 5 p.m. Nov. 30. The data will be shared with the community at the Dec. 14 board meeting. At that time, an update will be provided on the process the district is undertaking to evaluate, review and strengthen its learning models.

"District 58 is committed to providing onsite instruction in a safe manner that adheres to the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health," Russell wrote. "In order to provide such a model, everyone must do their part by taking this virus extremely seriously. We cannot provide onsite instruction if our absences return to unmanageable levels. This is truly a community effort and we need your help. Please avoid gatherings, stay home as much as possible, and be safe."