UPDATE SEPT. 18, 2020:
Decatur Public Schools students will continue with 100% virtual learning for at least the first half of the Second Quarter, from October 13 through November 13.
DPS administration continues to work with principals, teachers, and staff to explore all available options in determining what the remainder of the Second Quarter will look like for students and staff. Another announcement will be made on Friday, October 30, to let DPS families know what to expect for the second half of the Second Quarter, running November 16 through December 18.
DPS intends to roll out a form in Skyward Family Access soon so that families can tell us if they would choose a hybrid option that may include both in-person and virtual learning, if it were made available for their students. This selection will help inform the planning process for the remainder of the Second Quarter and beyond into 2021.
You are encouraged to check this website frequently. At Decatur Public Schools, we are striving to deliver excellent customer service and communication. We want to be able to answer any questions about the Fall 2020 learning plan or other District-related topics. Please check out the FAQs and email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit any questions you may have. We will make sure your questions get answered.
Click on the links below to read more about 61 Live: DPS Virtual Learning plan. These documents provide details and expectations for staff and students during virtual learning.
By making the decision to begin the school year with virtual learning only, we are prioritizing the health and safety of students, staff and their families first and foremost. While school will look very different this fall from what our families are used to, our mission remains the same: ensure that each and every DPS student receives a high-quality and meaningful education.
DPS is pushing the first day for student instruction back to Monday, August 17, 2020, to allow more time for teachers to prepare for virtual learning. August 12, 13, and 14 will be designated as Remote Learning Planning Days for teachers and staff to ensure they’re ready for students to begin virtual learning on August 17. DPS will also offer assistance on these days for families who need to get internet access in their homes or iPads updated so that students are prepared for virtual learning.
At this time, DPS has designated the first quarter of the school year as virtual learning only. As we approach the end of the first quarter on October 9, district leaders will consult with health experts to determine if a return to some form of in-person instruction is advisable. We know that the COVID-19 positivity rate in our region changes daily, so planning for the future of instruction for DPS students must remain fluid as well.
DPS will deliver meals to students’ homes during the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year, while students are participating in virtual learning. However, only students who are registered for school will be eligible to receive free meal delivery.
Students will automatically receive meal delivery once the student is registered. Parents MUST opt-out if they do not want meals delivered by logging into Skyward Family Access and completing the Meal Opt-Out online form. A Meal Opt-Out form must be completed for each individual student.
Due to USDA guidance on the National School Lunch Program, Grab and Go meal pick-up that was offered last Spring will not be offered during Fall 2020 virtual learning. Instead, five days’ worth of meals will be delivered to students’ home addresses once per week, starting the week of August 17, 2020.
Even though students will be learning virtually from home, they will still be required to check in with teachers for daily attendance and will still receive grades for classwork. Grading for the 2020-21 school year returns to normal expectations.
In order to address the digitial divide that impacts many families, DPS is offering assistance to ensure those families have internet access. Families who need assistance getting internet access in their homes to support students in virtual learning should reach out to their students's school.
We know there can be a learning curve for parents and guardians to support students in virtual learning. DPS experts are planning a series of "professional development" virtual webinars, aimed specifically at ensuring you and your student are set up for success in virtual learning. These parent professional development sessions will be held in early August. Look for more information on these sessions to be posted here on this webpage, on the DPS Facebook page and on Twitter.
On Thursday, August 13, at 5:30 p.m., DPS leaders will host a virtual parent Q&A webinar. Register now for this virtual question and answer session at www.dps61.org/parentqa. The webinar will also be live streamed on the DPS Facebook page for those who would like to listen in.
Innovation Learning will provide full-day services for DPS students and will be extended to DPS staff with children who attend other school districts. The location for full-day Innovation Learning services will be at the Children's Museum of Illinois in Decatur. Interested families can register now for just a $5 enrollment fee at www.innovationlearning.com. Additionally, other community organizations may offer full-day services for DPS students and students of DPS staff.