Update on e-learning

Dear OPRF Students and Families,

Thank you for your patience as our plans for e-learning have continued to develop. Late Friday, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued comprehensive new guidance for K-12 schools. This is a robust document developed by more than 60 educators throughout the state. It addresses the significant issues with which schools have been grappling, and should eliminate the day-to-day changes we have sometimes experienced during this unprecedented time. Click here for the complete 62-page document.

Below is an overview of the information that directly affects our students. We’ve tried to make it as digestible as possible; please read through it carefully.

Remote Learning Days begin Tuesday, March 31 

  • The state superintendent has declared that Remote Learning Days will begin for all Illinois schools on Tuesday, March 31, and will continue until in-person instruction can resume.
  • In-person instruction is suspended through at least Tuesday, April 7, and may be extended beyond this date.
  • We are planning as if that deadline will be extended, potentially for several weeks.
  • Only the governor, in consultation with public health officials, has the authority to determine when on-site learning may resume.
  • Districts may use up to five Remote Learning Days as Remote Learning Planning Days for teachers and staff, without providing student instruction those days. Please see the Important Dates section below for the two planning days we have scheduled in April if needed. 

Structure of the day

  • OPRF Remote Learning Days will run on the same schedule we’ve been following: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Teachers will be available during this time to answer questions via email or Google Classroom.

Attendance counts

  • Per the state, Remote Learning Days count as actual student attendance days. 
  • In a change from previous guidance, the state says Act of God Days also count as attendance days.
  • By 10:00 a.m. each day, students must document their attendance for each class by going to each teacher’s e-learning platform (Google Classroom, OneNote, Skyward, etc.).
  • Teachers will update attendance for each class in Skyward.
  • The 12-day absence limit will not be enforced for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Video-conferencing

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 31, teachers do have the option of video-conferencing with their classes using Google Hangouts Meet. This is the only video-conferencing platform we are supporting at this time. 
  • Additionally, please take a moment to read OPRF’s Video Conferencing Guidelines.

Grading

  • Per ISBE, grading for students under Remote Learning Days should be based on the principle of “no educational harm to any child.” 
  • Instruction should focus on the continuation of learning and provide flexibility in the way that students are able to demonstrate progress. 
  • ISBE also strongly recommends that student work be evaluated on a “pass or incomplete” basis, with opportunities provided to complete make-up work as needed.
  • OPRF will be working this week to develop additional guidelines relative to how we will implement these provisions, so please be on the lookout for additional communication in the coming days. 

Technology support

  • We have implemented a formal procedure for students and our staff to follow when distributing or retrieving tech at OPRFHS.  
  • This procedure includes sanitizing devices while wearing gloves, then dispensing technology in new Ziplock bags.
  • If you are in need of technical assistance, please use your OPRFHS email address to contact Helpdesk@oprfhs.org or call 708-434-3275 opt. 2. A technician will reach out with assistance and will guide them through the process.

Social-emotional support 

  • From 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., OPRF counselors, social workers, psychologists will be available to answer student or parent questions via email or Google Classroom.
  • The Support4U app is available to our students 24 hours a day. Text the word CARE to 844-670-5838 to be connected with a mental health expert about any emotional issues, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, abuse, bullying, etc.
  • In addition, the Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township has published a comprehensive listing of local resources. Click here to see the listing. 

Important dates

  • All school events for April are either postponed or canceled; more detailed communications about rescheduled events will be forthcoming.
  • April 10 is a scheduled school holiday, and there will be no e-learning that day.
  • The District has scheduled two Remote Learning Planning Days for faculty and staff. Therefore there will be no e-learning on the following planning days:
    • Thursday, April 9.
    • Friday, April 24.

Survey to come
We will be sending a survey to students and parents by the end of the week, to gather your feedback on the quality of students’ learning experiences during these Remote Learning Days.

College visits

  • Many students were unable to visit potential college choices or attend admitted student events due to the current COVID19 crisis.
  • We’ve created a Google form for alumni who are willing to be a resource for our current seniors, sharing information about their college or technical school. 
  • Please ask alumni you know to take a few minutes to click here to complete the Google form. 

No state assessments this spring

  • All state assessments for spring 2020 have been suspended. This includes the SAT, the Illinois Science Assessment, and the Constitution test.
  • Recognizing that the free SAT provided by the state is the only opportunity many students get to take a college entrance exam, ISBE is working with the College Board on developing options to allow current 11th grade students to take the SAT in the fall.  

AP testing

  • This year, the College Board is eliminating multiple choice questions from AP exams.
  • Students will be able take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home, via computer, tablet, or phone.
  • The online exam will cover material that has been covered in class by early March. More information about what will be covered on the exam can be found here.
  • On April 3, College Board will announce the two exam dates from which students may choose as their testing dates.
  • In the meantime, the College Board has provided several remote learning resources to help students prepare for upcoming tests. You can find those resources here.  
  • We will have an FAQ about AP testing available soon.

Thank you again for your continued patience as we navigate the new normal. As always, our goal is to keep you as updated and informed throughout this process.

Take care and be well,

Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams
Superintendent