Update from the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team
Posted on 11/30/2020
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

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

Metrics Team Update:
Our District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team conducts a weekly meeting 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. This morning, the Team reviewed the most recent D39 Metrics Dashboard and full report, and discussed the ongoing efforts to its subcommittees.

Below are some of the important topics discussed by the Metrics Team on Friday.

  1. Subcommittees provided an update to their work. Of note, access to PCR COVID-19 Testing for students in being launched this week with a bulk testing event. Parents are invited to register their child to participate in this optional PCR COVID-19 testing event on December 3rd. Please see the email sent to parents at approximately 2:30 for additional information and details on how to register.
  2. The Metrics Team continues to see community COVID-19 transmission metrics in the substantial red zone. Increased awareness, monitoring and mitigation steps dictated by the Governor’s office and the Cook County Department of Public Health have begun to flatten the curve of exponential growth; however, positivity and new cases continue to be significant, indicating a substantial risk of ongoing spread.
  3. The Metrics Team spent a substantial amount of time discussing the challenges associated with the growing number of quarantines, absences due to illness and/or exposure, limited substitute staff availability, and the operational challenges associated with predictably staffing in-person instruction in light of these challenges. The substantial rates of COVID-19 throughout our community and increasing quarantine restrictions lead the district to anticipate ongoing concerns regarding our ability to staff and operate our schools with the level of consistency and predictability required to provide effective in-person instruction. As was noted last week, external and internal metrics lead us to anticipate increased, unavoidable absences and challenges to our internal operations. Current and anticipated quarantines compound these challenges in significant ways. Therefore, if we are to continue in-person instruction, we must prioritize for our neediest of learners as well as those who struggle most significantly in a remote environment.


Therefore, the Metrics Team recommends a continued adaptive pause to in-person instruction for the weeks of December 7th and December 14th 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. Factors related to COVID-19 positivity rates, cases, district staffing and quarantines as well as guidance regarding stay-at-home orders, travel guidance and quarantine restrictions have informed the district’s evaluation of its ability to continue in-person instruction.

This evening at a Special Board of Education Meeting, the Board will be provided with a summary of the Metrics Team discussion regarding staffing and the ongoing challenges associated with community spread and required quarantine orders. The Board will be asked to approve continuation of in-person instruction for targeted student populations, with an understanding that targeted classroom quarantines and/or remote instruction may be required. In addition, the Board will be asked to consider an additional week of remote learning for all students for the week of January 4th to allow for a safe transition back to in-person schooling, predictable instruction for students, adequate time for family planning, and the coordination of COVID-19 testing for students and staff upon return from break. The Special Meeting of the Board of Education will be livestreamed and viewable here.

Please stay safe and know how much we appreciate your ongoing support throughout these incredibly challenging and unpredictable times.

For more information regarding our ongoing COVID-19 metrics review, please visit our D39 Metrics Dashboard page.