COVID-19 Update 10-27-2020

COVID-19 Update 10-27-2020
Posted on 10/27/2020

Dear East Prairie Community,

On October 27, our Board Parent Subcommittee met with teachers union leadership and members of our administration. We reflected on our current in-person and remote model and evaluated the health metrics in Skokie, suburban Cook County, and the region. We also factored workplace considerations, successes and challenges at East Prairie and in surrounding areas, and the availability of COVID-19 testing. Our goal was to determine the next steps for in-person learning for fourth and fifth grade and middle school. 

Our subcommittee discussed the increases in cases in our area. We also reflected on successful in-person learning here at East Prairie and in our region, along with nationwide data summarized by staff at Brown University. We acknowledged the complexity of the situation around us and considered many factors that make decisions about in-person and remote learning difficult. Ultimately, we used the totality of the information before us to determine our next steps. Our team found consensus around two major areas that will guide us over the next several months.

We will convene our Board-Parent Subcommittee in November to review additional metrics relevant to in-person learning.

2. Into the week of November 2, we will continue to monitor all of our in-person learning factors to make a decision about providing an in-person or remote learning choice to our families for our fourth and fifth grade students which could begin in mid-November. It was decided that an in-person learning option for middle school would be reevaluated in January by the Board-Parent subcommittee. 

As we shared previously, there remain potential scenarios that could cause us to revert to full remote learning for a period of time:

Local, regional, or state metrics could, at any time, require that we revert to a full remote platform for a period of time.
surge in metrics could require that we pause our phase-in process and delay a start date.
Positive cases that are deemed a “cluster” could result in school having to revert to full remote for anywhere from 1–10 days.
A positive case in a classroom–based on the results of contact tracing–could result in a classroom reverting to full remote for a period of time.
Lack of access to teachers, paraprofessionals, and/or substitute teachers due to illness or absence could require that a classroom or the school revert to a full remote platform for a period of time.

We would also revert to full remote learning if the Cook County or Skokie Health Departments recommend or if our region moved to phase three of the Restore Illinois plan. 

We continue to recognize the profound challenge this pandemic presents our students, staff, and community. If there is anything we can do to support you, please let us know.




Paul Goldberg