Dear Mascoutah Community,
As we began to approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Mascoutah School District 19 started to develop plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. We went into this planning knowing that at the time we did not have guidelines from the Governor’s office or the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) but that guidance would be given as they worked in conjunction to provide plans for moving forward. (ISBE’s “Starting the 2020-21 School Year” guidelines were just released on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.) We also went into our planning understanding that we will not know what Illinois will look like in regards to COVID-19 as we approach the start of the upcoming school year.
As a result, we created multiple committees to address all of the aspects of a school district: Academics, Personnel, and Operations. These committees were then divided into subcommittees to address the myriad tasks and procedures that fall under each umbrella. Our goal is to develop three feasible plans, In-Person, Hybrid, and Remote, that together can address many of the unforeseen obstacles that may lie ahead. Based on our designs, it is possible, depending on future needs, to switch between these plans or perhaps run plans concurrently.
The following information addresses the purpose of each committee and provides a brief summary of the possible plans developed by them.
The Academic Committee is focused on discussing and providing recommendations on how we will provide for and work toward our mission of engaging every student with respect to instructional delivery, wellness, and extracurricular and co-curricular activities. Each of these subcommittees are vetting through a variety of considerations in regards to COVID-19’s impact on our academics, social and emotional learning, and extracurricular experiences, and they are addressing how we can continue to provide the quality experiences you have come to expect from our district.
Our Instructional Delivery Teams are actively involved in discussions regarding our instructional pacing, in-person, hybrid, and remote platforms, and ways to engage students through a variety of learning situations. Our goal is to be able to provide the level of instruction and rigor that we know our students need and our community expects.
Our Wellness Team is focusing on ways we can support our staff, students, and families through these unprecedented times. With the potential fluidity of changes, our team is focused on delivering quality social/emotional support and resources for our staff, students, and families who may have experienced different hardships throughout the pandemic.
Our Extra- and Co-Curricular Team continues to discuss opportunities and guidelines for our student athletes, musicians, and club participants to engage in practices and activities which allow them to be the well-rounded individuals we strive to support in our district.
The Personnel Committee’s main focus is to review and recommend any policy or practice that may need to be put in place when the plans from the Academic and Operations Committees have implications for the District’s workforce. The committee has begun the work of developing considerations on how the three potential modes of learning (in-person, hybrid, and remote) may have an effect on personnel. The expectations of personnel, students, and parents that will exist in any situation of learning will be examined. Looking at essential job functions of the different groups of personnel will be considered as we determine the best ways to provide instruction and other school services to our students.
The Operations Committee’s objective is to be prepared with proper safety measures for all facets of ancillary student and staff services such as transportation, food service, and building/ground maintenance. Members have met to discuss overarching safety considerations that apply to their department’s daily tasks and to their everyday interactions with students and staff. The Operations Committee will continue to work in conjunction with the Personnel and the Academic Committees to provide the support needed to ensure that the health and well-being of our students and staff are a top priority.
We want to assure the Mascoutah Community that Mascoutah School District 19’s goal is always to provide the best learning environment available. To that end, we hope to have In-Person school starting in August; however, we know that guidance from the Governor, ISBE’s guidelines released this week, and the CDC’s recommendations—along with national and state COVID-19 trends—may augment our vision. Mascoutah School District 19 is preparing a survey to elicit your ideas and concerns. As our various plans go through the approval process, we will share more detailed information with the Mascoutah Community. At this time no plan has yet to be submitted for approval to the Board of Education. You can be certain that whatever plans we implement, they will be in regards to engaging every student, every day, in quality learning opportunities.
Craig Fiegel, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Mascoutah School District #19