Like all Illinois schools, District 90’s school buildings will remain closed to in-person learning for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year, but in video messages to families and the community, Superintendent Ed Condon announced a number of digital learning related updates, stressing patience and positivity as teachers and families adjust to a new normal.
River Forest District 90 schools are working with Oak Park and River Forest High School on plans to remediate gaps in learning caused by the transition to online schooling, said Condon.
Acknowledging the limitations of online teaching, Condon described the mitigation of gaps in learning as “mission critical” looking forward, with the district already in contact with OPRF to collaborate on a plan to address the issue as well as preparing students in all grades to have the necessary information and learning necessary to progress and succeed.
Condon said the priorities of the district are extended safety, health and welfare for students and families and the community, communicating clearly to stakeholders, and providing continuity of learning for students.
This includes inclusivity and accessibility of online material, according to Condon. All students have district issued iPads and internet access at home. Students typically have access to recorded classes that can be viewed at any time to allow for a range in availability.
“We need to do everything in our power to remove barriers to learning,” said Condon.
According to Condon, teachers are participating in remote learning days, receiving additional training in running online classes.
Condon thanked staff members and families for their patience and positivity in the face of the difficult learning environment, and he acknowledged that at-home learning experiences are very different from family to family. Students and families are encouraged to reach out to school social workers, teachers and principals to ease the mental burden of the situation or with any issues with academics.
Condon also said announcements will be forthcoming regarding graduation for 8th graders, summer school, and how to return items left at school to students.
Students and families with questions about online learning can reference the entire District 90 remote learning plan on the district’s website and get updates at district90.org.