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Updates for Week Ending Dec. 4; Plans for Third Quarter

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:

 

With only a couple of weeks remaining for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, ETHS is sharing an update about plans for the third quarter and some steps to prepare for the second semester. 

 

  • As ETHS continues to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff, Enhanced E-Learning will continue into the third quarter. Third quarter will begin with remote learning after winter break, on January 4, 2021.
  • While ETHS is planning for remote learning and work at this point, we continue to monitor the guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health and other infectious disease experts. This guidance is considered in particular as it relates to teen populations and our high school of more than 4,000 students and staff.
  • If conditions permit, ETHS plans to transition to a hybrid model by the fourth quarter. While metrics are a factor, there is not a specific “formula” for making a transition during second semester. The mitigation efforts in the state/region and the guidance of the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health are also among the factors.
  • The goal, as always, is to return to ETHS in-person with a regular, predictable schedule while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. ETHS evaluates on a regular basis how and when to bring back students and staff in a hybrid environment that aligns with our guiding principles.
  • The fluid nature of the pandemic, especially during the winter months, requires continued flexibility with planning at ETHS. Planning is not contingent on an ideal set of circumstances, but rather is adapted to the current conditions.
  • Any plans for a transition to a hybrid model during second semester will be communicated at least 30 days in advance. ETHS is committed to preparing students and staff for what to expect in a hybrid environment. A shorter timeline may apply to updates or changes to extracurricular activities.

 

Looking ahead and preparing for second semester

  • Health experts emphasize the importance of low spread of COVID-19 to keep students safe in schools. If ETHS is able to move to a hybrid model during the second semester, the actions we take today and during winter break (December 19-January 3) will be critical in order to sustain the model.
  • NorthShore Health Center, an ETHS partner, is sharing a resource that provides suggestions about how to help keep our communities safe. Please see their COVID Safety Promise for more information.
  • In November, ETHS reminded students and families about Academic Support programs and how to stay connected through the first semester, which ends December 18. With third quarter starting remotely on January 4, It is also important to use the tools and resources available. Students are encouraged to reach out early and often to get the best possible start.
  • Continue to seek balance and monitor your wellbeing. These are challenging times and we know that this is not easy. ETHS will continue to offer resources such as the ETHS Virtual Mindfulness Studio Wednesdays & Fridays, 6th & 7th period, ETHS mindfulness coach request, Rebel Human website, ETHS Virtual Calming Room, social work referral, social emotional learning check-ins, and more to support students, families, and staff.

 

E-Town Live December 4

  • Dr. Campbell and I will be discussing the second semester plans during this week’s E-Town LIVE on Friday, December 4. Tune in at 8:00am for the latest updates.

 

Thank you again for your continued support during these extraordinary times. 

 

Sincerely,

Eric Witherspoon, Ph.D.
Superintendent