First day of school remains August 24 for all students
Urbana schools will keep its 4,400-plus students in remote learning status through Oct. 16.
The Urbana School District Board of Education voted Tuesday night to approve Superintendent Jennifer Ivory-Tatum’s revised reopening plan, with a recommendation to open in remote learning and remain remote through the entire first quarter.
The plan comes a week after Dr. Ivory-Tatum proposed that the district open with all students in remote learning until Sept. 8, at which time many would have transitioned to a hybrid format. That is on hold for now, with plans for in-person learning to be re-evaluated starting in mid-September.
“This is going to be a year like no other,” Ivory-Tatum said, appearing at the meeting from her office via Zoom. “We’re Urbana Better Together for a reason, and we’ll get through this.”
The move echoes plans by Champaign Unit 4 Schools to open and remain in remote learning through the first quarter, according to a plan approved by its board on Monday night.
School will start the same day as planned – August 24 – for all students.
There was some discussion among board members about how to keep student engagement high during synchronous online learning, and what policies and procedures the district would follow.
Ivory-Tatum stressed adapting policies that make students more comfortable, and therefore would keep them learning and participating.
“It’s important that we get as many kids to these sessions as possible,” said board vice president Tori Exum. ” … Kids wear pajamas to school all the time.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Some things just really don’t matter right now.”
Off-campus community learning sites, which had previously been arranged with the Urbana Park District and other organizations to help families needing childcare, will not be implemented at this time, Ivory-Tatum confirmed, saying if it’s not safe to be in school, it’s not safe to be there. However, they could be utilized if/when there is a return a hybrid learning.
School supply lists are now available via the district website. The district will distribute supplies during meal distributions the first week of school (Aug. 26-28), and will continue into the school year, Ivory-Tatum said.
“As long as we’re remote, we are going to make sure we get supplies in the hands of families who need them,” she said.
More details about schedules, devices, and supports for staff and students are available in the plan.
Read our back to school series:
Part 1 — Back to School: School Physicals Required for Illinois Schoolchildren
Part 2 — Back to School: Immunizations Required for Illinois Schoolchildren
Part 3 — Back to School: Champaign-Urbana Area School Registration Information
Part 4 — Back to School: Champaign-Urbana Area School Start Dates
Part 5 — Back to School: Dental, Vision Exams Required for Illinois Schoolchildren
Part 6 — Back to School: Top Nine Tips to Prepare for a Return to School Routine
Post 7 — Back to School: Eight Things You Didn’t Know You Needed