CICERO DISTRICT 99 BOARD OF EDUCATION AND CICERO COUNCIL REACH AGREEMENT FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING TO RESUME
Newly approved optional hybrid learning model will ensure students, faculty and staff return safely to the classroom under new county-wide COVID-19 health protocols
The Board of Education of Cicero District 99 (Board) and The Cicero Council, West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571, IFT-AFT (Union) announced it has agreed on an optional hybrid learning model for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic school year. Parents will have the option to enroll their child/ren in the hybrid learning model or continue with virtual learning.
“For the past eight months, our Cicero teachers, faculty and staff have worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances to give each one of our students the highest-level of education they deserve,” said Cicero District 99 Superintendent Rodolfo Hernandez. “This optional hybrid learning model is the first step in getting our District back into the classroom. Our primary goal since March 2020 has been to create an environment that is safe and healthy for all staff and students. With the return to in-person instruction the health and safety protocols we have put in place will be monitored. I look forward to maintaining an open dialogue with the Union and parents as we work together to bring our staff and students back into our buildings.”
The optional hybrid learning model and the District’s implementation of COVID-19 safety protocols have been met with excitement from Cicero parents across the county.
“Like many parents, I’m so excited the District and Union reached an agreement that gives us the option to send our children back into the classroom for the remainder of the year,” said Josefina Arenas, whose sixth-grade son attends Goodwin Elementary School. “I have seen first-hand the effects virtual learning has had on my son’s mental health and I know he’ll be very happy to see his teacher and friends in-person again.”
For parents who choose to enroll their child/ren in the optional hybrid learning model, the new school week schedule will be as followed:
Mondays: All students will participate in virtual learning.
Tuesdays: Students assigned to Group A will attend in-person learning. Students assigned to Group B will participate in virtual learning.
Wednesdays: Students assigned to Group A will attend in-person learning. Students assigned to Group B will participate in virtual learning.
Thursdays: Students assigned to Group B will attend in-person learning. Students assigned to Group A will participate in virtual learning.
Friday: Students assigned to Group B will attend in-person learning. Students assigned to Group A will participate in virtual learning.
Additionally, the optional hybrid learning model will begin on the following dates:
March 15: all District employees, unless approved for a medical accommodation, will return onsite to their assigned buildings to perform their job duties. March 16: Designated cohort for special education and early childhood students will return onsite.
March 22: Designated cohort for regular education students will return onsite.
Parents that do not choose to enroll their child/ren in the optional hybrid learning model will continue virtual learning via the District’s e-learning platforms.
The Board’s top priority is ensuring a safe and smooth transition back into the classroom and therefore, have established new health measures that meet the most recent school health standards set by: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH). New safety practices to be rolled out across all Cicero schools and buildings includes:
Class Size: To adhere to social distancing, the District will not assign more than 15 people in total per classroom at any one time.
Rapid COVID-19 Testing: The District will provide rapid COVID-19 testing through the BinaxNOW testing pilot as authorized by ISBE. Testing accessibility for teachers, staff and students is contingent upon testing and staffing availability.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) onsite, which includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant solution. The BOE will also be prepared to provide additional PPE such as face shields, gowns, protective barriers, and cleaning supplies if needed and in accordance with current CDC, CCDPH, IDPH and ISBE guidelines.
HVAC and Ventilation: Increase outside fresh air to 35%, to open outdoor air dampers to reduce or eliminate recirculation, to increase fresh air changes to approximately three and a half (3.5) to four (4) times per hour depending on the building and outside air changes, and to disable demand-controlled ventilation. HVAC system filters will have the highest MERV rating appropriate per manufacturer’s recommendations. Systems will run approximately three (3) hours before and three (3) hours after the majority of staff leaves and portable HEPA filters will be used in all higher risk COVID-19 Assessment Response and Evaluation (CARE”) rooms.
Positivity Rate: The District will adhere to IDPH and CCDPH guidelines and consult with the CCDPH for approval prior to returning staff and students to onsite learning. Furthermore, the District will follow all Governor Executive Orders and ISBE requirements regarding onsite learning.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: The Board and Union will put forth the maximum effort to enable all staff members are vaccinated against COVID-19 once vaccines are readily available.
Become A Classroom Supervisor
As Cicero District 99 is preparing to open in-person learning for students, additional supervision is needed for classroom students who will have remote teachers.
District 99 is looking to hire 30 classroom supervisors at the March 10 Board of Education meeting!
Due to Casimir Pulaski Day on Monday, March 1, the District's meal service pickup dates will be
Tuesday, March 2
and Thursday, March 4
Pickup times for meals are from
7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Parent/Student Tech Support
Having trouble with your Chromebook, hotspot or learning platforms?
District 99's Commitment During Remote Learning
Bringing the ethos of the District to the home
-District 99 understands nothing replaces the value of learning in person
-But, while being mindful about current health circumstances and risks, the District remains committed to its emphasis on personal connections through the dedication of all staff, including administrators, teachers and support staff.
Continuing cultivation of a modern, 21st-century learning experience
-District 99 has prioritized exposing students to learning through digital resources since 2015
-The District has remained dedicated to bridging the digital divide through friendly and consistent incorporation of technology
-Now, this strong history is helping pulling it all together — bringing school home
Ensuring best practices for digital responsibility and digital maintenance
-Students and staff don't have to worry about connectivity; everyone has indicated either having dependable home internet or is provided free internet access via hotspots provided by the District
-The District's Tech Department has established protocols for connection and assistance, promising the District is a 1:1 district with dependable digital practices