Cobden School District announces information for start of new year

The Cobden School District has announced information regarding the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

The following reopening update was posted on social media:

Dear Families, 

Thank you for your support and understanding as we continue responding to the impact of COVID-19, both as a nation and a community. 

Our district is very proud of the way our Cobden students, families, employees, and community leaders have handled the demands we have been faced with thus far. 

Everyone’s effort and cooperation allow us to maximize protection as we continue to educate and feed our students during the most unusual of circumstances. 

As you know, there continues to be concerns and questions related to how schools plan to reopen in August 2020. 

While education is our goal, our first priority is the safety of our students and employees. Be assured we have been working diligently on our reopening plans for the fall. 

We have been gathering input from parents, employees, community stakeholders, administrators, state leaders, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and medical professionals via surveys, meetings, and committees. 

Administrators and staff have been planning for increased safety precautions that can be implemented at every location and various situations. 

We are considering three scenarios that could be used to reopen our schools for the upcoming year. 

Any of the plans may be implemented throughout the school year based on: the current context of Union County health data, including COVID-19 confirmed positive cases, presumptive positive cases, our COVID-19 positivity rate, and any statewide mandates to which the district may be subject. 

This includes any gubernatorial executive orders that may be in place at the time. 

The three scenarios are as follows:

Schools Reopen Fully: Schools are open at full capacity and operating under traditional instructional delivery. 

This will be traditional face-to-face learning in which students will return to the classroom with increased social distancing and other safety measures in place. 

Masks will be required for all students and staff (as mandated by the current executive order of the governor). 

Controlled movement guidelines will be in place where possible. Mass gatherings, assemblies, and field trips will be limited.

Blended Remote Learning Hybrid: Each class will be divided into two groups and will attend school at half capacity in order to ensure social distancing within the school buildings in accordance with guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

One group of students will attend in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other group will attend on Wednesdays and Fridays. Monday will be remote learning for all. 

Multiple students from the same family will attend on the same days. 

While students are attending in person they will be required to follow the current implemented health and safety protocols (as mandated by the current executive order of the governor). 

Remote Learning: If a COVID outbreak occurs within Union County, and we are required to close our buildings for a set amount of time, we will automatically shift to the remote learning option until we can resume in-person learning.

We understand the need for prompt updates of our direction so that you may best plan for the needs of your student(s) in the coming months. 

We will be regularly sharing our plans and updates as they evolve during this very fluid situation. Thank you again for your understanding and cooperation.

Edwin Shoemate, Superintendent

Erin Wiltowski, Elementary Principal

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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