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Back to School: Invitation to Return to Full-Day Instruction

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Back to School in-person spring

 

Read answers to frequently asked questions

View the Back to School Handbook

 

RPS 205 families,

We’re offering all K-12 students the opportunity to finish the school year with full-time in-person instruction, starting Monday, April 19. While you’ll still have the choice to connect remotely full time, we want to offer a full-time in-person option for the final weeks of this school year.

Here’s why we’re encouraging more students to return in-person:

This has been a challenging year with non-stop change, and connecting remotely isn’t working for all students. We want to give our students a better level of consistency with as much in-person connection and engagement as possible. We hope finishing the year with additional in-person instruction will help improve students’ grades, help students complete graduation requirements, and lay the groundwork for a successful summer school program to continue engaging students and assist with credit recovery. 

New state health guidelines:

Joint guidance released this week from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health “supports the return to in-person instruction as soon as practicable in each community.” We’re working with local health professionals to develop our plans. Right now, our county’s positivity rate for COVID-19 cases remains low. Transitioning next month also allows all RPS 205 staff the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. 

What it will look like:

  • At all schools, health and safety protocols and masks will be required. School bus routes will be limited to 48 passengers. At school, students will remain in cohorts, or small groups, whenever possible. New health guidelines allow us to invite more students back into our classrooms.
  • At middle and high schools, students can attend a full day, in-person, four days each week. We will likely keep a shortened schedule on Wednesdays. Remote-only middle and high school students will follow a full-day regular bell schedule remotely. We’ll announce more details when we have them. 
  • At elementary schools, students will either continue to connect remotely full time or continue to attend school in-person.
  • At Early Childhood centers, we have no plans to change our current schedule this school year. Students will continue to connect remotely or in-person, depending on their enrollment choice.

K-12 families who want to change their student's instruction status – remote-only to in-person – must notify their school’s main office staff of their choice by the end of the day Monday, April 5.

Administrators will use the time from April 5-19 to finalize plans and adjust transportation, meal services and staffing. This timeline also allows us to consider staff and family concerns and ensure we can safely welcome students back. 

What’s next:

This is an ambitious plan. We know our families have questions and concerns.

Please share your feedback via the Back-to-School Let’s Talk form below. 

We’ll make sure all questions, concerns and ideas are considered as we develop our plans to welcome more students back next month.

Sincerely,

Ehren Jarrett
Superintendent
Rockford Public Schools

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  • Back to School Spring 2021