Porta Community Unit School District #202

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UPDATE!! Return To Learn Plans for PORTA Are Evolving.

Did you Know?  The American Academy of Pediatrics recently stated, "the academic, physical and mental upsides associated with returning children to schools outweigh the risks (of contracting the virus)!

We would like to take this opportunity to offer some information in regards to the beginning of the new school year as our planning continues.  We will be offering in-person teaching as we have traditionally in our buildings at the start of the New Year.  The State of Illinois requires the wearing of face-masks, social distancing and enhanced disinfecting.  We know the wearing of face-masks is a very controversial issue among residents across all school districts, but we also know that face-masks do make a difference and our goal is to delay or halt any and all closures due to a large outbreak of Covid in our district.  These three simple steps of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing will be instrumental in staying in school this fall.  As such, we also understand that wearing masks will be difficult for some, so please know that we will do everything we can to give students breaks from the use of masks, through outside social distancing opportunities.
Our plan to return will include real time on-line learning opportunities using Google Classroom for Grades 3-12, and likely to some extent in grades K-2.  In Grades 3-12, we will ask parents to choose the learning style prior to the beginning of the school year and if a family chooses on-line learning they will be required to continue the practice until the end of the Quarter in grades 3-6 and Semester in grades 7-12. Students will telecommute into the classroom in real-time, attendance will be taken and those students will be held responsible for work as if they were in-person learning.  We understand some may not have access to computers and internet, as such we will assign a Chromebook to each student in the upcoming school year and help families with no access to find access points.  If students are ill or quarantined due to Covid they will be allowed to utilize on-line learning during the time of sickness/Quarantine and then return to face-to face learning.  In these instances, if students are in attendance via on-line they will be counted as present.
We are continuing to work on plans for self-certification of student health. We will require each family to self-certify students are fever free.  We are considering an app to help with reporting self-certification.  We have contemplated taking temps on buses but Health officials indicate that temperatures can be the least effective method of determining illness simply because a student could be hot from exercise prior to entering the bus and then would not be allowed to enter.  This creates an unacceptable situation of leaving a minor student at the stop without parents knowing the student was not on the way to school.
We will ask parents, at registration, to transport their students on a daily basis if they are capable to do so. This action will alleviate social distancing issues on our buses.
We will utilize additional spaces to provide for a safe space for lunch on a daily basis and may consider starting the school year with a box lunch plan to make the transition easier.
One note we would like to stress at this time.  When considering educating our K-2 students especially, we cannot express how important it is to have the opportunity to learn in the classroom.  These students are most vulnerable to issues related to distance learning and it will take vast amounts of effort on the part of parents to ensure they are receiving the educational opportunities we offer in our classrooms. As such, please think about importance of in person attendance for your young ones, if this is not an option for you I would contact your teacher to seek advice on manipulatives and materials you will need to offer a valuable experience to your children.
Things are changing daily and information I shared today may be different next week so please begin to take steps for the return of your students to in person learning by purchasing masks and reinforcing social distancing and hand washing.
Important information:
Registration for K-6 will take place at “Roots” on July 30 from noon to 7PM and on July 31 7AM to 11 AM. Registration packets will be mailed or arranged for pickup at the end the July 13th week or early in the week of the July 20th.
Families may pickup registration packets at PORTA Central beginning on Monday, July 20th from 9:00-11:00, Tuesday, July 21st from 4:00-6:00p.m. and Wednesday, July 22 from 9:00-11:00.  Parents will take packets home to fill out and then return them with fee payment on July 30 from Noon-7:00p.m. at Roots and also Friday, July 31 from 7:00-11:00a.m. at Roots.

Jr/Sr High registration packets will be mailed between July 17th and 24th and registration will be held at the Jr/Sr high on July 30 (noon to 7pm) and 31st (7am-11AM) for new students.
Please Remember we will be continuing the Summer Lunch program with meal pickup on Monday and Wednesday from 9-11.