Please see the Hybrid Learning page for resources, including bus transportation, self-certification forms and more.
Dear Warrior Family,
I hope this message finds you and your family well as we prepare to transition to a Hybrid Learning Model on Wednesday, January 20, which is also the beginning of our second semester. We successfully served multiple students and programs in our buildings throughout the first semester and our goal has always been to safely expand our in-person learning opportunities for all students when conditions allow.
District 156 has worked closely with the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) throughout this pandemic to ensure we can provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. McHenry County school districts also worked with MCDH regarding revisions/updates for county schools before winter break. The McHenry County School Metrics Dashboard and the recommended school guidance page has been revised with updated information for schools to incorporate CDC mitigation strategies, which is similar to the Lake County Department of Health, our regional partner.
Public health officials’ understanding and assessments concerning the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in schools has evolved. Recently the CDC along with other health organizations have announced that the risk of virus transmission in schools is low if they can consistently implement key mitigation strategies (outlined by the CDC):
Consistent and correct use of masks
Social distancing to the largest extent possible
Cleaning and disinfection
Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department
We are confident while in the hybrid model we can implement the above strategies with fidelity and comply with all MCDH, IDPH, and ISBE guidance. We are equally encouraged to see public health metrics begin to stabilize in our area as vaccines begin to roll out in McHenry County. The district will continue to monitor our internal and public health metrics and make decisions regarding our learning mode based on recommendations from local, state, and federal health experts. Please remember that staffing within all district departments is also a vital component of our ability to serve students in any in-person learning model. The MCDH along with the CDC indicate that even if COVID case numbers rise in the community schools may remain open if they follow proper mitigation requirements. The MCDH will inform schools on an individual basis if further action is needed or adaptive pause becomes necessary.
We are excited to welcome our students back to school in the Hybrid Learning Model. I’m confident that we will continue to provide a quality academic experience and social-emotional support for our students and their families regardless of whether it is digital or in-person. Nothing is more important than the safety and health of our school community. We will continue to prepare our schools while reviewing our logistical operations to ensure we comply with the ISBE, IDPH, CDC, and MCDH requirements in order to mitigate potential risks associated with returning to school on Wednesday, January 20 in our Hybrid Learning Model. Thank you for your support, and I’m wishing you and your family the very best as we enter the second semester of the school year.
We are Warriors and We are One!
Ryan McTague, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools