Board Update 12/01/20

District 39 Board Meeting Update Regarding In-Person Instruction
Posted on 12/01/2020
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091

Dear D39 Families,

The Board of Education of the Wilmette Public Schools hosted a special meeting last night, Monday, November 30th. At this meeting, the Board received an update regarding the D39 Metrics Advisory Team discussion and recommendations regarding continuation of in-person instruction at the district’s six schools.

The District and its Metrics Team has continued to study important school-relevant metrics of COVID-19 and the District’s Reopening Plan in order to guide adjustments to reopening efforts and improvements in health and safety protocol. The District has closely monitored COVID-19 positivity rates, cases, district staffing and quarantines, and has continued to closely monitor guidance from the Governor’s Office and the Cook County Department of Public Health regarding stay-at-home orders, travel guidance and quarantine restrictions. These factors were considered in the district’s evaluation of its ability to provide in-person instruction during the weeks of December 7th and 14th.

The District continues to see community COVID-19 transmission metrics in the substantial red zone. External and internal metrics lead the District to anticipate increased, unavoidable absences and challenges to effective internal operations of in-person schooling. Current and anticipated quarantines compound these challenges in significant ways. Challenges associated with absences due to illness and/or exposure, the growing number of quarantines, limited substitute staff availability, and the challenges associated with predictably staffing in-person instruction in light of these challenges have led to concerns about the District’s ability to continue to effectively operate in-person schooling. Therefore, the Metrics Team recommended a continued adaptive pause to in-person instruction for students in grades 3-8 with prioritization of in-person instruction for our neediest and youngest students, including students in our special education comprehensive needs programs and students in our early childhood through 2nd grade classrooms.

The Board of Education thoughtfully considered options for in-person instruction during the weeks of December. Following in-depth and lengthy deliberation, the Board voted to approve the following.

  • For the week of December 7th:
    • In-Person Instruction will be provided for the District’s neediest and youngest learners, including students participating in
      • The District’s Special Education Comprehensive Needs Programs, and
      • Students in Early Childhood, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grades.
    • A continued adaptive pause to in-person instruction with fully remote programming will be provided for students in grades 3-8.
  • For the week of December 14th, the Board will review external and internal metrics during its Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, December 7th, and will make a decision at that time regarding a continuation of in-person instruction for the week of December 14th.


This was a very difficult decision. We know this news of a short-term adaptive pause for 3rd through 8th grade is disappointing to students, families and staff involved in our in-person instructional programs. District 39 values and recognizes the tremendous benefits of in-person instruction and remains committed to providing these opportunities. Whether in-person or remote, effective instructional programming in light of the significant health and safety restrictions we are navigating is a priority. These are exceptionally challenging times and we continue to appreciate our community’s collective support for the work of our students, teachers, staff and administrators.

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