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WARREN–The Warren School Board officially approved the district’s return to school plan at its Wednesday, July 15 meeting.
Dr. Shawn Teske, district superintendent, said the plan came from a transition team of members across grade levels, administration, teachers, paraprofessionals and non-certified staff.
“The team developed a thorough plan, and I think in talking to other school districts that we did a phenomenal job, arguably the best in the area when it came to collecting feedback from staff and families before making our plan,” said Teske. “I feel really good about this plan.”
Warren’s plan provides the option to families on whether children attend remotely or in-person. The district has set up the plan so both can be achieved and grading will be as if the student was in class pre-COVID.
The plan also calls for Warren to reduce its normal school day.
The district will have a 1:05 p.m. dismissal and lunch will be served as grab-and-go for students to take home when the school day is over.
The plan allows for flexibility and an ease in transition if the district had to switch back to remote learning for all students.
Teske also informed the board that the state will allow five remote learning planning days, but he intends to only use one at the start of the year. The other four will be kept in case the district needs to resort to remote learning for all and will allow for a two-day buffer for the switch.
Students will need to complete a self-certification form at the beginning of each school day.
Some classes will see changes as a result of coronavirus regulations issued by the state. For example, music should be outdoors as much as possible.
Also, gym class will have less strenuous activities due to the mask requirement.
Preschool was also discussed.
Teske is hoping the state will provide more guidance for this age group. Teske is anticipating 3-year-old enrollment will be down due to the restrictions. The district will ensure that toys are washed and sanitized daily.
Junior high football cooperative
The board’s athletic committee met with members of the Black Hawk, Wis., School Board recently and discussed the potential for a co-op between the two schools for junior high football. The co-op would be operated similar to the high school co-op through the schools. Currently, Black Hawk’s junior high program operates through the South Wayne Park District.
Teske reported that the two board members who were present from Black Hawk were receptive to the idea. Black Hawk will have the item on the district’s July 29 board agenda.
Teske said roles would be reversed for the junior high program as Warren would take the lead on that program, as Black Hawk is the lead school for the high school program.
The only change that Teske sees for junior high football is later practices.
The board also:
•changed the August board meeting date to Monday, Aug. 17.
•approved membership for the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Principals’ Association.
•approved the school calendar changes. The first day of student attendance was moved from Wednesday, Aug. 19 to Thursday, Aug. 20 to allow for a remote learning planning day. The last day of school was also changed from May 19 to May 20.
•hired Rebecca Mundy as music teacher.
•hired Crystal Euler as cheer coach.
•accepted the resignation of Randy Busch as junior high basketball coach.