Dear Tonica Grade School Families and Staff:
The Tonica Learning Community has been fortunate that we have been able to provide daily In-Person Learning for students and blend that with Remote Learning requests. We have been very successful with the implementation of our Reopening Plan but also had some issues to resolve along the way. The most talked about concern was the wearing of face coverings at school. This topic has really been a non-issue at TGS.
I wish to recognize our teaching staff for their effort and work basically planning for two types of learning which includes developing lesson plans and learning materials for what amounts to two sessions of school each day. In addition, the custodial staff have added additional cleaning and sanitizing of high touch surfaces and room disinfecting during the school day. The cafeteria has completely changed the format of meal preparation and serving. Office staff added monitoring and managing entry processes and tracking IDPH exclusion protocols as they occur. Each staff member views the health and safety of the students and staff as the top priority and to coalesce that with the best possible educational process we can provide.
Parents have also played a critical role in our success to maintain ‘an open school’ and have made many adjustments due to this current educational process. We all know that at any point we may need to transition in part or whole to all Remote Learning.
Tonica Grade School is able to offer In Person Learning to every student within the guidelines of the Illinois Department of Health and Illinois State Board of Education. Tonica’s plan allowed for students to transition from Remote Learning to In Person Learning at the end of the 1st quarter. Recently there have been requests to transition earlier to In Person Learning for various reasons. These have been granted in order to meet the learning needs of the student. There is now an open invitation for all Remote Learners to consider a transition to In Person Learning starting next week. We are able to meet the IDPH guidance but also know that there could be times students may not always maintain the suggested six (6) feet of distance for various reasons. If your child is struggling with Remote Learning or there is a desire to be at school, please give strong consideration to transition to In Person Learning either now or at the end of the quarter. Teachers may also reach out as a suggestion depending on what they are seeing with the academic progress of their students as well. Please do not take that reach out as requirement to transition, but it may also open up a stronger dialog on what is needed to increase Remote Learning success and academic progress.
Here are a few reminders or adjustments:
- For now students should not bring birthday treats to share with the class nor share their lunch items with other students. These changes will help reduce the risk of C19 transmission within the school.
- Washing cloth masks daily or providing a new/clean disposable mask daily and send your child to school with a couple extra in case it needs replacing during the day
- Remote Learning is to be treated the same as being in school; students should refrain from eating or snacking during the sessions, be in an area that allows them to engage without background noise, interruptions or having additional persons in the session unless a younger student needs assistance with the learning process.
- Teachers may move a student out of a ZOOM or GoogleMeet session if there is a concern regarding a disruption to the learning experience
- Additional engagement times may be added by a teacher during the school hours for Remote Learners which will become part of the attendance process. Missing one remote session is considered a partial absence.
I would like to commend our students, parents and staff for being very flexible and responsive to the protocols and procedures we have put in place. We are committed to providing our community with the safest and healthiest learning environment.
Mr. Chuck Schneider