ALTON - Alton School District 11 will adapt its present remote situation to a Hybrid or In-Person Learning Plan for the start of the second quarter on Monday, Oct. 19, Superintendent Kristie Baumgartner announced today. The in-person learning while be adopted for a portion of each school week.

"Additional information regarding remote formats will be shared later this week," Baumgartner said. "Families previously selecting remote instruction for their child earlier this summer will still need to designate in-person or remote-only instruction under the updated reopening plan for October 19. After all selections are complete, students attending in-person instruction will be assigned a Red or Grey Schedule for attendance. All efforts will be made to have siblings in the same family attend in-person learning under the same schedule.

"While we continue to monitor our local and regional metrics related to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also released updated guidance (September 15, 2020) for the reopening of schools. The updated guidance includes mitigation strategies to assist schools in reopening as safely and quickly as possible. This continues to include: consistent use of masks, social distancing to the largest extent possible, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, and contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department (see the updated CDC School Reopening Guidance here).

"Adherence to these measures will be critical for our schools to reopen and remain open for in-person learning opportunities. Please know we will continue to work directly with the Madison County Health Department and under the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines as we prepare for our transition to the Hybrid Learning Plan."

Baumgartner explained the new system in more detail with the following statement: "Under the Hybrid (or Blended) Learning Plan, students will attend in person two days per week using a Red and Grey Schedule. Students on the Red Schedule will attend school in-person on Mondays and Wednesdays each week with remote learning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students on the Grey Schedule will attend in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays with remote learning on Mondays and Wednesdays. All students will then participate in remote instruction and learning on Fridays each week. Compacted and shortened school schedules will still be utilized when the hybrid plan begins on October 19. Families may also choose a remote-only option for their child(ren) for the remainder of the first semester.

"In order to plan for the return to in-person learning under our hybrid plan, all families will be required to use Skyward Family Access and select either in-person/hybrid learning OR remote-only instruction for the second quarter. This selection should be made by Monday, October 5."

The purpose of the Alton Hybrid Learning Plan is to provide in-person learning opportunities while reducing the number of students at school each day to allow for greater social distancing in classrooms and hallways. All previously shared health and safety measures will be required for students attending in-person instruction. Students will be required to wear masks each day while on the bus and at school. Parents/school guardians must self-certify each morning that, prior to school attendance, their child(ren) is free of COVID-like symptoms. Also, student temperatures will be taken each day upon arrival at school. Hand hygiene, increased sanitizing of contact surfaces and other safety and precautionary measures will also be utilized.

Baumgartner closed by saying thank you to parents and families for their continued patience and understanding during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

"We know what a stressful and difficult time this is for families," she said. "However, we look so very forward to the return of our students under the Hybrid Learning Plan. Thank you again and we hope both you and your family are well."

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