MAHOMET -- Students and educators in the Mahomet-Seymour school district begin Remote Learning Days on Tuesday, March 31, due to continued social distancing in the fight to curb spread of the COVID-19.

It won't be until Thursday, however, that students begin receiving instruction as part of Remote Learning Days.

Below is the letter sent Saturday to M-S parents from Superintendent Lindsey Hall:

Hello Bulldog Families,

I am happy to let you know that, last evening, we received a guidance document from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding Remote Learning Days.

As you are aware, March 23-30 were designated as Act of God Days by Governor Pritzker. Starting March 31, 2020, moving forward into April while schools are closed, our school days will be known as Remote Learning Days.

Illinois State Board of Ecucation (ISBE) Remote Learning Recommendations During COVID-19

The recommendations from ISBE for Remote Learning Days offer flexibility, local control and autonomy. Our administration and teaching staff will be working hard for the next few days in planning what these days will look like.

The recommendations also stress the health and well-being of our students and staff, that no student will be harmed by Remote Learning Days, and also considers the many situations students find themselves in during school closure time that could inhibit or help with their learning. In short, the Remote Learning Day recommendations are broad enough to provide the needed flexibility that 852 school districts in our state need because they are so vastly different, yet provides “guard rails” in which we all should travel—the number one priority, again, being the health and well-being of students and staff. Part of the Remote Learning Day Recommendations is that we have been given FIVE Remote Learning Planning Days to use in preparation for our during Remote Learning Days.

The Remote Learning Days and Remote Learning Planning Days do NOT NEED TO BE MADE UP AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

Our plans moving ahead:

• Monday, March 30, 2020: Act of God day, proceed with plans similar to last week

• Tuesday, March 31, 2020: REMOTE LEARNING PLANNING DAY—NO INSTRUCTION

• Wednesday, April 1, 2020: REMOTE LEARNING PLANNING DAY—NO INSTRUCTION

***PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO INSTRUCTION ON THESE PLANNING DAYS***

• Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3, 2020: REMOTE LEARNING DAYS

• Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 7: REMOTE LEARNING DAYS

As of the sending of this email, schools are scheduled to re-open on Wednesday, April 8, however, that is tentative and the governor will review that decision very soon.

In closing, while the IL State Board of Education has offered recommendations and guidance, not every question has been answered, nor has every circumstance been addressed. Much of this will be left up to our district personnel, and we’ll be working on our local plan as we start the week. There will be some “building the airplane while flying it” moments. It is expected, and stated in the recommendations, that districts are expected to have a need to refine the plan to fit local contexts. It’s OK not to have all of the answers now---as always, you have our commitment that we will do our best while serving all students.

Here is one of the most telling paragraphs of the recommendations from ISBE, which underscores the importance of flexibility, patience and considering the health and welfare of our students as paramount:

As educators work to implement these recommendations, we call upon everyone to assume flexibility and grace for all. At this moment, we will all need to model resilience, critical and creative thinking, thoughtful responsiveness, and empathy to ensure that students continue to grow personally, academically, and linguistically.

I realize that, as parents, you still have many questions after reading this email—about a variety of topics, such as grades, content, time of instruction each day, attendance and more. More specific information will be shared with you this coming week. We are always happy to communicate and stay engaged with parents and students during the time schools are closed—there is an administrator in the building each day. We’re available by email and phone, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

The complete document, Remote Learning Recommendations, (over 60 pages) can be found at:

https://www.isbe.net/Documents/RL-Recommendations-3-27-20.pdf

In closing, I once again offer my sincerest gratitude for your support and patience. We are breaking new ground with everything we’re doing in schools right now, and please know that everyone’s health is the top priority.

Thank you!

Dr. Lindsey A. Hall

Superintendent of Schools