The New “Normal”
Posted on May 7, 2020
Illinois schools have been struggling with figuring out how to accommodate the IDPH safety guidelines once they are able to reopen. At CGS we face the same challenges but our small size enables us in many respects to be better equipped to manage the new normal.
Social distancing will be with us for some time. This will be easier for Chicago Grammar School to manage than other schools as we are able to limit class size to 10-12 students, thereby allowing the social distancing necessary to accommodate all our students on a full-time basis rather than resorting to the “blended learning” that some schools are planning. This “blended learning” mixes the virtual schooling we are experiencing now with a part-time return to the classroom. This could happen in a variety of ways, including alternating groups of kids into “A” and “B” days to attend classes, dividing into half days, or extending the school day to accommodate more shifts. This will be hard on parents who need to return to their pre-COVID-19 work schedule.
Movement, be it during gym, art, recess, lunch, bathroom breaks, hallway passing, can be managed carefully and safely due to our size. Parents will be able to return to work secure in the knowledge that their children will continue to learn and socialize in a safe environment.
Illinois State Board of Education has also asked schools to review/improve their current remote learning. The expectation is that schools may have to close again if there is another wave of COVID-19 this winter. Once again, CGS is in a good place with a robust remote learning protocol to continue student learning and socializing.
One of the biggest lessons we are learning now is “Resilience”. Resilience is the most important thing our kids can learn in a moment when the greater, overarching message to us all is one that most adults work on for our entire lives: we can’t control what cards we’re dealt. We can only control how we play them.
We look forward to Phase 4 of Reopen Illinois. Stay Safe.