Dear D205 Parents and Staff,
Last Friday, I announced that Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 will transition from hybrid to remote instruction for two weeks beginning October 21-November 4, 2020, implementing an Adaptive Pause in accordance with IDPH guidelines.
The pause to in-person instruction comes because DuPage County has entered into Substantial Community Transmission. COVID-19’s presence in the community has increased to a level that stands to expose our families and staff to health risks. Although most of our students are from Elmhurst, according to the Northwestern University COVID-19 Dashboard, the communities that makeup D205 have experienced a positivity rate of 7.09% and the number of cases per 100,000 people was 209.7. Under these conditions, remote learning is the instructional model outlined by the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) according to the Illinois Department of Public Health Adaptive Pause Guidelines. While school districts are afforded some level of discretion, every indicator - positivity rates, number of cases, number of youth cases - is headed in the wrong direction and that is why we made the decision to pause our in-person instruction for all students.
Throughout the months of this pandemic, D205 has been a leader not only in opening for in-person instruction but also in keeping both our students and staff safe. Given the strong focus on safety and health procedures, District 205 has managed to maintain school operations to the extent possible, despite positive cases of COVID-19 occurring in areas of the community outside of school.
However, lowering the substantial rates of transmission in our community will require more support than in-school mitigation efforts can always provide. Today, in the latest DCHD media release, the health department is calling for our community to adhere to the following measures during this period of “substantial community transmission”:
- wearing a mask whenever outside your home,
- maintaining at least six feet of distance from others,
- regularly washing hands, and
- avoiding in-person gatherings, particularly where all of these practices are not followed.
Furthermore, DCHD states:
“Lowering rates of community transmission is essential to achieving our goal of safely reopening all schools,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director at DuPage County Health Department. “School leaders in DuPage County are working to do everything they can to take all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our schools, but each member of our community must do their part to support them. As the number of cases in DuPage County rises, it becomes more challenging for schools to prevent transmission in school settings.”
I do understand that the idea of an “adaptive pause” for a two-week period is an unfamiliar concept. D205 is likely to draw attention and speculation from both news and social media, as it did for being the first school district in the area to return all general education students to in-person/hybrid learning. The same commitment holds true today as existed at the start of the school year, I will work unwaveringly with my team and health officials to ensure that this pause is solely to allow COVID-19 transmission rates to recede. Students and staff will return to the classroom as soon as it is safely possible to do so.
Dr. David Moyer
Elmhurst Community Unit District 205
As a point of reiteration, the schedule for the next two weeks will be as follows:
- October 19, Group A, YHS Green Schedule, and AB students attend in-person. Madison Early Childhood Center students also will attend in-person.
- October 20, Group B, YHS White Schedule, and AB students attend in-person. Madison Early Childhood Center students also will attend in-person.
- October 21-November 4 remote learning for all students (Note: November 3 is a day of non-attendance due to Election Day. No remote learning).
- Parents who would like their students to stay home on October 19-20 may opt to participate remotely on those days as scheduled by teachers.
- Families should expect to receive communication from their respective schools and teachers concerning remote learning schedules. In addition, families of EL students as well as students with disabilities will receive an update from the D205 Student Services Department concerning services and resources during the remote learning period this week.
- On Friday, October 30, staff and parents will receive additional communications from the District, indicating if a return to hybrid learning is possible (based on health and safety metrics) beginning on Thursday, November 5, 2020.
Fall sports that are still in the state series (Boys and Girls Cross Country and Girls Swimming and Diving) will compete in sectional and regional competitions as scheduled. As of Wednesday, October 21, 2020, all other practices have been suspended until further notice.
SAT Make-Up Day:
York High School’s SAT Make-Up Day will take place on October 27 as scheduled. A notice to those specific students is forthcoming. Families are encouraged to connect with York Assistant Principal for Student Services Meredith Sheriff at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
D205 Meal Services:
D205 Meal Services will continue as currently scheduled. Please click here for more information.
District 205 Administration Center Services:
- The D205 Administration Center, 162 S. York St., will be closed to the public during the remote learning period from October 21-November 4. However, the public may call the D205 main office number to (630) 834-4530 or contact departments and administrators by email with questions and business concerns.
- D205’s COVID-19 dashboard is now live and updated weekly. The dashboard tracks district, county and state information from one central hub.