State Superintendent of Education Carmen I. Ayala declared on Friday that remote learning days will begin for schools statewide on March 31 and continue until in-person instruction can resume.
As of now, the state’s stay-at-home order runs through April 7, although expectations are that schools will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The state has not lifted the mandate for 176 days of student attendance in a school year, nor the 185-day count on the school calendar.
During remote learning days, schools may implement either an e-learning plan or a remote learning day plan that provides students with instruction and access to educators through whatever means possible.
“I am deeply grateful to the 63 members of the Remote Learning Advisory Group for giving their time and their expertise to help ISBE and schools across the state navigate a new way of teaching, learning and caring for our students,” Ayala said. “We continue to be awed by the phenomenal creativity, resilience, empathy, and problem-solving prowess of Illinois’ educators, administrators and students. The stories we see every day on social media, in the news and in our email show us just how focused our educators are on supporting our children in this time of crisis.”
Remote learning day, remote learning planning days, and act of God days count as actual student attendance days. All of these days count toward the minimum length of the school year and do not need to be made up. View ISBE’s emergency rules for remote learning days.
The ISBE recommendations to support educators, students and families during remote learning days provide overarching best practices for instruction, grading, communication, social-emotional needs, content selection and delivery, family engagement and other important concerns. View the remote learning recommendations here.
The Remote Learning Recommendations strongly encourage that school districts’ local grading policies during Remote Learning Days embrace the principle of “no educational harm to any child” and that school districts adopt grading models of pass or incomplete.
The recommendations state that “grading should focus on the continuation of learning and prioritize the connectedness and care for students and staff. All students should have the opportunity to redo, make up or try again to complete, show progress or attempt to complete work assigned prior to the remote learning period in that time frame. A focus on keeping children emotionally and physically safe, fed and engaged in learning should be our first priority during this unprecedented time.”
More information at www.isbe.net/covid19.