Oswego School District 308 Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Faith Dahlquist told the district’s Board of Education July 12 that a recent shift in state requirements for remote learning - or temporary distance learning as it is now called - eliminated 25 district students and their families from consideration.
“All students will need to attend school in the fall,” Dahlquist reminded the board.
The district with its more than 17,000 students will begin the new school year Aug. 23 with full in-person instruction five days a week with time for lunch.
The 25 families had applied for fully-remote learning through the district prior to the state of Illinois’ most recent change to its remote learning guidance for the prevention of COVID-19.
Under the state’s updated guidance, temporary distance learning “only need to be available to students who are both ineligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and are on quarantine.
“As we thought about what is the right thing to do on that, we wanted to provide that remote learning...for any students that are in quarantine so we’re not having to ask families whether you chose to be vaccinated or not, or whether you were eligible for that or not,” Dahlquist said.
“We want to provide that opportunity to all of our students if they have the unfortunate event of being on quarantine.”
According to Dahlquist’s, elementary students in temporary distance learning will be provided with a combination of “at least” two hours of daily instruction time from a remote teacher, along with other learning activities students can accomplish on their own.
Quarantined students in junior high and high school will participate in temporary distance learning provided by their classroom teacher or teachers in Google Meets.
An alternate form of remote learning does exist in OSD 308, but is also limited in its usage.
Home/hospital learning, as defined by the Illinois State Board of Education, “are provided to a student when a physician license to practice medicine in all of its branches, a licensed physician assistant (PA), or a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) determines that the student will, or is anticipated to be, absent from school for a minimum of 10 days during the school year due to a medical condition.
“The goal of home/hospital instruction is to afford the student experiences equivalent to those afforded to other students at the same grade level. It is designed to enable the student to return to the classroom without having fallen behind...the substance or content of the instruction, generally academic, is to enable the student to remain on pace with the other students in his or her class.”
ISBE recommends that a student receiving home or hospital instruction without an IEP, “receive at least one hour of instruction each school day or five hours in each school week unless the student’s medical statement indicates that the child should not receive that many hours in a week or school day.”
“We are really looking forward to returning to five full days in the fall,” Dahlquist said.