Anticipating a return to full-time, in-person learning in the next school year, District 71 officials have committed to the hybrid model for the balance of the current year.
In a letter to parents sent March 18, Supt. John Kosirog and the school board explained that, regardless of whether increased vaccinations may have slowed the spread of COVID-19, they cannot yet justify a full return to school. In the letter, they noted, “After careful consideration, we determined that the benefits of extending the day are not worth the resulting upheaval for students and staff.”
The existing daily schedule for hybrid and remote students will remain in place for the rest of the year for students in grades 1-8. More than half of Culver School students have exercised the hybrid option to date, Supt. Kosirog said.
District officials point out that there is still space in most grades in the hybrid learning program, and families are encouraged to return their students to in-person learning if they are comfortable doing so. Parents who wish to move their students from fully remote to hybrid learning must notify the district by April 12, for a return on April 19. Space is limited, and students will be accepted for hybrid learning on a first-come, first-served basis.
Students in grades 1-8 who choose the hybrid plan come to school between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. daily, and attend remotely for the balance of the day. Kindergarten students can attend in person from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Officials say in-person learning will be extended to 12:30 p.m. for those students beginning May 3.
Enhancements planned for the remainder of the school year include a series of daily events such as “spirit days” and extended recess or playground time to encourage students to socialize. In addition, regular morning bus service will be restarted on April 19.
The district is surveying parents now about plans for the 2021-22 school year. Supt. Kosirog said school officials expect Culver to be open full time next year with continued COVID-19 precautions such as mask wearing, etc.