ST. CHARLES – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, St. Charles Unit School District 303 on Tuesday released more details on what a school day will look like when students return from summer break on Aug. 13.
The guide for reopening schools is posted on the district's website, district.d303.org. The guide is designed to help families as they choose whether their children will receive in-person or remote learning. Parents have until Friday to make a decision.
To accommodate families who believe that an online option is best for their child, full remote learning will be offered on a semester by semester basis. The district is also offering in-person learning and a hybrid of the two.
Elementary school students will receive in-person learning while middle school and high school students will receive a blend of in-person and remote learning when they return to school next month.
"Common to both in-person and remote learning are regular attendance, assignments, grading and feedback," school district officials said. "Students in both settings will receive a meaningful educational experience focused on their academic knowledge, skills and competencies."
The guide also details the daily schedule for each grade and what health protocols the district will take. The Illinois State Board of Education is requiring districts to make sure students and staff are wearing face coverings as well as to limit the number of individuals gathering in one space to 50, require physical distancing to be observed as much as possible, require symptom screenings before entering school buildings and require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfecting.
The first day of student attendance will be Aug. 13 for in-person, blended and/or remote learning. Students and staff members will be required to use an online tool to certify daily before coming to school for any in-person learning experience that they are free from COVID-19 symptoms, district officials said.
Visitors will not be allowed in school buildings and field trips currently are prohibited. To accomplish physical distancing in the classroom, non-essential furniture will be removed in order to increase space; desks and/or tables will be arranged so that students and teachers can maintain a six-foot distance from one another; floor markers or wall signage will be used to help students maintain physical distancing in the classroom and lockers and cubbies will not be used.
In addition, when they arrive at their school, students will go directly to their classrooms. Bathroom breaks will be structured and bathroom capacities will be followed, according to the guide.
Bus capacity will be limited to 50 people. Assigned seating will be two children per seat (siblings will sit together), the guide states. The seat immediately behind the bus driver will not be occupied.
Windows and/or roof hatches on buses will be open as weather permits to improve air circulation, according to the guide, and bus sanitizing will take place between the a.m. and p.m. routes and upon completion of the p.m. routes on each student attendance day.