In-person return to classes at Wilmington 209-U: What to expect

By: 
Marney Simon
Editor

The Wilmington School District 209-U issued its updated back to school plan on Wednesday, July 29, following new guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education.

The 14-page document outlines plans for both in-person and remote learning options, both of which are now slated to begin on Aug. 26.

The district is urging parents to fill out the in-person and remote learning selection form no later than Wednesday, Aug. 5, to choose which option their student(s) will participate in for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. That form can be found at https://forms.gle/QbRFvJ7pCZ8BxaW99 .

Students who enroll in remote learning will remain remote through the first trimester for K-8 students, and the first semester for high school students. The remote learning option will only be available until such time as the school district's region reaches Phase 5 of the “Restore Illinois Plan.”

The document includes mandates and safety guidance that the district must adhere to for in-person learning.

This includes:

  • Mandatory face coverings for all persons over the age of 2
  • Capacity limits of 50 people per space
  • Social distancing to be observed as much as possible
  • Temperature checks and/or self certification that students are symptom free
  • Increase in cleaning and disinfecting

Each of the district’s four schools will limit the number of outside visitors.

The district has also created safety measures and guidance for each of its four school buildings. Some of those measures include:

Bruning Elementary

Student arrival will be at 8 a.m. Buses will unload one bus at a time at the front while car riders will be dropped off at the back. Students will receive temperature checks. Coat hooks will be assigned one per child. Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom, with first grade lunch at 10:50 a.m. and kindergarten lunch at 11:20 a.m. Supplies will not be shared. Classrooms will be assigned bathroom break times. Students will be allowed to remove their masks for recess and PE classes as long as social distancing can be maintained. Masks will be required for indoor PE, however, those activities will be considered “non-strenuous.”

Stevens Intermediate

Walkers and car riders should arrive no later than 7:45 a.m., and will enter through the second grade hallway, and bus riders will enter through the game entrance. All students will go straight to their classrooms, where they will then be dismissed in smaller groups of 3-4 to their lockers. All students will have their temperatures taken each day. Recess will take place in smaller groups, and PE will take place outside as weather permits. Masks will be required for indoor PE, however, those activities will be considered “non-strenuous.” Children will be allowed to remove masks for outdoor recess with social distancing maintained, however, playground equipment will not be available. Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in classrooms. Supplies will not be shared. Restroom breaks will be subject to capacity limits. 

Wilmington Middle School

Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast students only, and all other students will be allowed in no earlier than 7:45 a.m. Students will report directly to their first hour class, where they will have their temperature taken. Lockers will not be utilized, but rather students will carry their book bags from class to class. Students will be assigned to a cohort, and passing periods and dismissals will be staggered. Entrances and exits will be assigned by grade level. Students will be assigned a chromebook which they will use throughout the day. Capacity limits will be observed in restrooms. PE will be conducted outside as weather permits, and no contact activities will be allowed. PE lockers will not be used, and students should dress in comfortable clothing each day suitable for PE. The library will have a capacity limit of 25 students.

Wilmington High School

Doors will open at 7:25 a.m. for breakfast, adn all students should report to their first hour class after entry/breakfast. First hour begins at 7:55 a.m. Temperature checks will take place daily. Lockers will not be utilized, and students will carry their book bags from class to class. PE will be conducted outside as weather permits, and no contact activities will be allowed. PE lockers will not be used, and students should dress in comfortable clothing each day suitable for PE. Students will be issued a chromebook on their first day of school which will be kept by the student and brought home each day. Passing periods will be staggered and hallways will be marked for appropriate traffic flow. Lunch will be offered in four periods inside either the cafetorium or the main gymnasium, wiht a limit of two students per table. Teachers will periodically offer outdoor time to students, weather permitting, where masks can be removed if social distancing is maintained.

At all school buildings, a separate nurse’s station will be established for students who are identified with a fever or potential COVID-19 symptoms.

These lists are not comprehensive. The full guidance can be viewed and downloaded at https://connectdocs.blackboard.com/xythoswfs/webui/_xy-1342972_1-t_zDAvyR7N .