On July 20, the Lockport Township High School District 205 Board of Education unanimously voted to reopen the high school on August 17, 2020, using a combination of in-person and remote learning.
The district’s hybrid model aligns with the Illinois State Board of Education guidelines with an emphasis on a return to in-person learning. With almost 3,000 students at East Campus and 1,000 students at Central, the plan’s remote learning days will reduce the number of students on campus to meet the safety parameters of state guidelines.
Under the proposed framework, students at both campuses will be divided into two cohorts alphabetically, keeping students from the same households on the same daily schedule. Students will receive two days weekly of in-person learning and three days of remote learning.
Remote learning will differ significantly from the format in the spring during the COVID-19 school closure. The administration collected feedback from teachers, students, and parents to identify issues and address concerns. Instruction in the fall will support in-person learning, with strengthened accountability and participation expectations. Incorporating a robust remote learning component also allows the district to more effectively pivot to a full remote schedule in the event COVID-19 conditions once again warrant school closures.
In constructing its reopening plan, the administration held several virtual town hall meetings with parents and staff. The board approved the plan, recognizing that conditions may change over the next month and flexibility is essential. In speaking about the challenges the district faces, LTHS Superintendent Robert McBride stated, “It is apparent that COVID-19 is here and will be among us for quite some time. Schools, like other organizations, will have to be leaders in terms of how to live, learn, and grow despite the challenges this disease presents. Our goal is to put a high priority on safety so that we can put an equally high priority on learning.”
In anticipation of the need for more staff, the district is seeking to hire additional substitute teachers and support employees.
Lockport Township High School District 205 has published its plan on its website, www.lths.org. Families are encouraged to visit the website frequently for the most up-to-date information.