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Opening Plan for 2020 - 2021 School Year
Opening Plan for 2020 - 2021 School Year
Laura Molitoris
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Clinton Community School District provides a positive, supportive, and safe environment which empowers students to achieve academic, technical and social/emotional growth to their fullest potential, thereby improving students’ lives and strengthening the community.

The Clinton Community School District will be a dynamic community partner dedicated to adding value through learning and student success.

Clinton CUSD 15 School Opening Plan School Year 2020-21

Special thanks to all the members of the CUSD 15 School Opening Strategy Team for their hard work and guidance throughout the planning process.


The Clinton Community School District provides a positive, supportive, and safe environment which empowers students to achieve academic, technical and social/emotional growth to their fullest potential, thereby improving students’ lives and strengthening the community.

In order to meet the mission of the district, a committee was formed to consider all of the aspects involved in opening CUSD 15 this August based upon all of the directives and suggestions from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Governor’s office, the Dewitt/Piatt Bi-county Health Department, and surveys from parents and staff.

The Clinton CUSD 15 School Opening Strategy Team consists of teachers, coaches, nurses, support staff (from facilities, food service, transportation), technology staff, administration, board members, community members, and the Health Department. This team numbered 35 participants in all, and it assembled to help draft a plan to recommend to the Board of Education.

This group of people was divided into subcommittees to address needs in the following areas:

-  Instruction

-  Student Services – health protocols, special circumstances

-  Transportation

-  Food Services

-  Extra and Co-Curricular

-  Personnel/Human Resources

-  Operations and Maintenance

-  Family and Community Engagement

In order for CUSD 15 to provide a safe and healthy environment, changes were made to the traditional schedule and daily operations of the school district. These changes will help the district comply with firm directives given to it by ISBE through the Governor’s office. These changes will also help the district use the recommendations and suggestions to keep students and staff safe.

Some of the changes being implemented will make some happy, while others may be disappointed. However, the district must comply with ISBE directives, and it is the district’s obligation to create a plan that will get the students back to in-person instruction in the safest manner possible.

****Please understand that orders from ISBE and the Governor are fluid, and directives may continue to flow throughout the fall that will require the district to make changes to this plan. This plan as you see it today is subject to change based upon the information the district receives. The intent will be to change or amend the plan if necessary and to communicate all changes in a timely manner so families and staff can prepare. This plan is how the district is starting the year. The hope is that it can be amended with fewer restrictions as health trends move in a positive direction. The district will become less restrictive as the state becomes less restrictive. The district will become more restrictive as the state becomes more restrictive.

ISBE Directives

➢  Face coverings will be worn by all students and staff while indoors with some exceptions (these will be noted later)

➢  Social distancing in all areas of all buildings as much as possible

➢  Limit of 50 people per space including buses

➢  Students and staff must be symptom free before entering buildings or buses

➢  Increased cleaning and disinfection

➢  All students must receive a minimum of 5 clock hours of instruction daily whether in-

person, blended or remote

ISBE Recommendations

➢ In-person instruction following all safety directives ➢ In-person instruction for all students 13 and under daily ➢ Plans in place for blended or remote learning in the event they are needed

CUSD 15 School Opening Plan


➢  In-person instruction will be in place for all students on a daily basis M-F and is highly recommended by ISBE and CUSD 15

➢  School start times will stay the same, but all schools will dismiss at 1:30 pm (this may change at some point during the fall semester or spring semester depending on new guidelines from ISBE)

➢  Teachers’ work hours will be from 7:45 am – 3:45 pm o 1:30 – 3:45 pm will be used for planning, professional development and assisting students with any learning needs

➢  Remote Learning will be an option for those students whose parents are opting not to send them. This will be a choice to mark when on line registration begins July 22nd and the in-person registration takes place on August 6 . CUSD 15 reserves the right to end Remote Learning as an option when the district deems it appropriate based upon directives and guidelines from ISBE/IDPH.

In-person Instruction All classes will meet daily, Monday – Friday, at the regular start times for each building:

-  Lincoln and Douglas at 8:30 am

-  CES at 8:20 am

-  CJHS at 8:25 am

-  CHS at 8:05 am

➢  Teachers at all grade levels will focus on the most important standards to teach and stress those with review and new material

➢  Students in grades K – 5 will be assessed/benchmarked very early to determine what if any learning gaps have occurred

➢  Teachers will communicate between grade levels to determine what was covered or needs more attention

Other logistics for in-person instruction include but are not limited to the following:

-  Limited student movement from room to room as possible

-  Limiting hallway traffic as much as possible

-  Limiting locker use as much as possible

-  Keeping physical distance between students as much as possible while being masked

-  Keeping physical distance between students at times when not masked, such as eating breakfast and lunch, outside for PE class or breaks outdoors

-  50 people maximum in one space, such as cafeterias, gyms spaces, outdoor spaces

Remote Learning/At Home Learning for Students Choosing not to Attend Remote Learning will be used only for those students whose parents request it at the time of registration. Remote Learning is not recommended by CUSD 15, but it is being offered for an undetermined period of time for those that choose not to send their students to start the school year. Please remember that CUSD 15 reserves the right to end Remote Learning when it deems it to be appropriate based on health trends and other safety measures in place. However, families that make this choice should plan to be on remote learning for the entire first semester. The district will communicate directly with the families that choose remote learning.

Remote Learning will be much different from the experience of last spring when the district was only maintaining continuity of education and did not have strict expectations on grading and participation (CUSD 15 followed the directives from ISBE in that matter during the final quarter of 2019-20).

The following criteria and expectations will be in place for Remote Learning but are not limited to:

➢  Any parent opting to use Remote Learning must mark that at registration time whether using online registration or in person registration

➢  Depending on the building or grade level span CUSD 15 reserves the right to use the following options for learners at home

        o A 3rd party vendor to provide a virtual learning experience

        o Curriculum provided by CUSD15 teachers uploaded to a digital platform and shared with students

        o Other strategies that teachers and administration find to be effective o All students choosing the at home learning/remote learning will be expected to engage daily, turn in assignments on time and expect to be graded according to the effort expended

**Since teachers will be finished with in-person instruction at 1:30 pm, there will be time in the afternoon for an assigned teacher to answer questions or consult with at home learners. Please understand that CUSD 15 reserves the right to assign any qualified teacher(s) to oversee the at home learning. The remote/at home learning plans will be communicated with those families that have made that choice as soon as they are available. They are not available at the time of this draft.

➢  Remote Learning will be based on homes having wifi/internet access. Families that have concerns about that need to contact their building principal as soon as possible by email or a phone call to the school office

➢  CUSD 15 will work with any families to assist in the remote/at home learning

➢  Parents that use the Remote Learning option will be given instructions on how to join classes, submit work, communicate with the teacher, and communicate any technology issues

➢  Students on Remote Learning will have the ability to communicate with their teachers per the instructions given to them to get assistance with work

**In the event health issues trend negatively and the district must close down by order of the State or IDPH, a remote learning plan will be implemented for all CUSD 15 students. It is the district’s intent to provide instruction that will promote growth in the students to the best of the district’s ability. Rest assured that this plan will be more robust than last spring. Students will be required to participate and turn in work to be graded per teachers’ instructions. Once in person instruction begins, students will be trained on how that will work. Obviously, the hope is that students will be in session all year, but the district will be prepared for that possibility.

Health Protocols

All students and staff must be fever free and symptom free to enter district buildings and transportation.

All staff will certify that they are fever free and symptom free on a daily basis. All parents/guardians will certify that their students are symptom free on a daily basis.

Staff and students must be free of the following symptoms, or they must stay home:

  • Temperature of 100.0 Fahrenheit or greater 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • New loss of taste of smell

**Staff will self-certify that they are symptom free. Reporting to work is the indication that the staff member has screened herself/himself and was found to be free of any of the symptoms listed above.

**Parents/guardians will certify that their students are symptom free with the exception of the temperature check. Reporting to school is the indication that the student has been screened at home for symptoms listed above other than a fever. Parents should feel free to check their student’s temperature, but all students’ temperatures will be checked by school personnel when they arrive to school on a daily basis.

CUSD 15 reserves the right to check students or staff for symptoms if there is a reasonable suspicion that symptoms are present.

General Health Guidelines Communicable Diseases/Illness/Wellness Policies Communicable Disease - The school will observe recommendations of the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding communicable diseases. Parents are required to notify the school nurse if they suspect their child has a communicable disease. In certain cases, students with a communicable disease may be excluded from school or sent home from school, following notification of the parent or guardian. The school will provide written instructions to the parent/guardian regarding appropriate treatment for the communicable disease. A student excluded because of a communicable disease will be permitted to return to school only when the parent/guardian brings to the school a letter from the student’s doctor stating that the student is no longer contagious or at risk of spreading the disease.

Illness/Wellness - A student that is ill or injured should remain at home until fully recovered. Conditions requiring exclusion from school include: Temperature over 100° F, vomiting or having vomited during the night, diarrhea, undiagnosed rash or skin infection, contagious diseases, including but not limited to: scabies, impetigo, conjunctivitis, and varicella. To return to school, a student must be fever free for 72 hours without medication, vomiting/diarrhea free for 72 hours without medication or released by a physician. In cases of prolonged illness or injury, a doctor’s release is required before a student returns to school. Please consult with your child’s school nurse before your child returns to school after a prolonged illness or injury that has required medical care.

A child returning to school after an injury (i.e. surgery, hospitalization, wheelchair, or casts) must have a doctor's note to return to school. This note must be given to the school nurse before the child can resume regular classroom instruction. If there are any restrictions or activity limitations (i.e. exclusion from participating in physical education or recess) or precautions, the doctor's note must include this information. Complex situations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the parent, school administrator, school nurse, and student’s health care provider.


It is essential for the school community to work together to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID 19 in the school environment and in the community while still providing a quality education program.

State statute gives public school districts the authority to exclude students who have a contagious disease such as COVID 19 or are liable to transmit it after exposure. In addition, the Dewitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department has the authority to exclude students from school and may order students and others to isolate or quarantine.


Students and employees will be excluded from school if they test positive for COVID 19 and may be excluded when exhibiting one or more of the following COVID 19 symptoms:

Fever of 100.0 Fahrenheit or greater 


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Muscle Pain


Sore throat

Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea

New loss of taste of smell

School nurses will work with the health department and physicians when determining if a student or staff member needs to be excluded.


Once a student or employee is excluded from the school environment, they may return if they satisfy the recommendations of the CDC. Currently those guidelines are:

UNTESTED: Persons who have not received a test proving or disproving the presence of COVID 19 but experience symptoms may return if the following three conditions are met:

-  They have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medication that reduces fever); AND

-  Other symptoms have improved (For example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved); AND

-  At least 14 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared

TESTED POSITIVE: Persons who have tested positive for COVID 19 may return to school if the following conditions are met:

-  Individual no longer has a fever (without use of fever reducing medicine); AND

-  Other symptoms have improved (For example, when your cough or shortness of breath have Improved); AND

-  At least 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared; OR

-  Individual has received 2 negative tests at least 24 hours apart

For the most current health information, please refer to the Clinton Unit School District #15 website:

Before a student or staff member returns to school, a physician’s communication will be reviewed by the school health office to determine if a student or staff member may return. The Dewitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department will be contacted to assist with necessary protocols for informing only those that need be informed. The privacy of our students, their families and the staff will be protected as much as possible.

Other Health Protocols

To prevent the possible spread of illnesses, CUSD 15 will incorporate these measures or similar measures but are not limited to the following:

-  Transparent barriers in each school office and health office

-  Signage reinforcing health and safety protocols

-  Lessons for younger students reinforcing health and safety protocols

-  Cleaning and disinfecting of all high traffic areas during the day and more thorough cleaning at the end of each day with approved disinfectant

-  Attention to cleaning areas during the day as requested by building administration

-  Removal of furniture or room décor that is difficult to clean or might transmit germs more easily

-  Different classroom arrangements for student desks to reduce grouping

-  Social distancing between students and staff in all areas at all times when masked or unmasked (only when eating or outside)

-  Replacement of in-person events with virtual events when possible

-  More use of personal water bottles

-  Limiting and/or eliminating non-essential visitors to the schools – parents/guardians will be provided with instructions on when and how to visit school offices page8image40134592

Students who have a compromised immune system, live with an individual with a compromised immune system, or have a medical condition that may impact their ability to attend school during a pandemic or other public health emergency should contact school officials.


CUSD 15 is committed to transporting students to and from school and activities safely and responsibly. The district will follow all guidelines and directives from ISBE/IDPH to ensure the safe travel to and from home each day.

**Please remember that as parents/guardians if you put your student(s) on the bus in the morning, you are certifying that they are symptom free. Please review the guidelines under the section titled Health Protocols. ISBE/IDPH has issued directives that allow no more than 50 people on a bus at one time. This is the same rule for during the school day, which allows only a maximum of 50 people per one space.

The following are rules for transportation and considerations of other circumstances that may arise:

-  All riders and district personnel will be masked

-  Maximum of 50 people per bus including the driver and any adult bus monitors

-  Possible employment of more bus monitors to ensure proper behavior and distancing

-  No more than 2 students to a seat with siblings seated next to each other whenever possible and always staying masked

-  Possible extra route to reduce distancing and capacity issues on any city routes

-  Transporting of athletes for contests will be held to the same standards as daily student transportation

-  Additional buses for athletes and coaches and equipment as necessary to reduce risk

-  Personnel will be provided proper equipment for the safest possible transporting of students including but not limited to masks and cleaning supplies

-  Transportation of students with special needs will be considered case by case so that they are transported as safely as possible

-  Upon arrival at school and for departure at the end of the school day, staff will ensure students are masked when leaving the bus and entering the building and vice versa

Food Service

CUSD 15 will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for all district students and staff that desire to have a breakfast or lunch on a daily basis. CUSD 15 will continue its participation in the ISBE and federal breakfast and lunch programs as always. The district will follow all guidelines and directives issued by ISBE/IDPH as well as consult with the local health department.

The following are the plans and considerations for our daily food service in each school:

- All personnel will be masked and follow normal health protocols

-  Students will be masked until seated then masks may be removed for eating

-  Masks will be placed back on once finished eating

-  No more than 50 students in one space with proper distancing per ISBE/IDPH guidelines

-  Disposable trays and individually wrapped plastic utensils will be used

-  No self service of any kind, including salad bars

-  Condiments will be pre-packaged or served in disposable cups

-  All items normally grabbed by students will be served

-  Appropriate areas will be used for additional space to accommodate serving students so as not to exceed the rule of 50 maximum in one space

-  Fans will not be used for ventilation

-  Staff will input student ID numbers

-  Lunch areas will be sanitized between lunch shifts

-  Where appropriate markers will be placed to keep distancing

-  Hand sanitizing stations will be provided for students prior to eating

-  Total time for serving lunch may be shortened due to a need for staggered lunch times

Extra and Cocurricular Activities

CUSD 15 will follow all regulations put forth by ISBE/IDPH, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) and the local health department. The rules and guidelines are fluid so this plan will be amended as the district continues to get guidance from these organizations throughout the school year.

The following are plans and considerations that will allow us to have activities and meet the requirements. Please understand that guidance will most likely change as we go so these are the plans for starting the year:

-  CUSD 15 will observe all required safety protocols for athletes, coaches, sponsors, participants and spectators

-  Requirements and changes to requirements will be communicated to coaches, athletes, sponsors and the community as we get them

-  All coaches, sponsors and student participants will follow all safety requirements for participation put forth by ISBE/IDPH

-  Standard use of the facilities by CUSD 15 teams and visiting teams will be different and not used in the traditional sense while under restrictions and guidelines

-  Use of locker rooms may be altered as well as other spaces in the building from the traditional sense

-  CUSD 15 will follow all restrictions in regard to limits on spectators for events

-  Information on how spectators can be involved for any allowable activities will be

disseminated to the students and the community

-  Since restrictions on spectators and capacity limitations may change, we will reserve the

right to publish those details as they become available rather than publish them in this document

-  Parent meetings will take place with coaches prior to seasons in smaller settings so that all health and safety protocols can be maintained

-  If under the proper safety requirements our students can participate in sports activities and club activities, CUSD 15 will create protocols for those students to participate

-  It is possible that certain sports seasons may be cancelled or postponed, but CUSD 15 will allow students to continue training with coaches only if allowed under ISBE, IHSA, and IESA guidelines

CUSD 15 Board of Education, administration, teachers and support staff are committed to performing at such a level as to accomplish the mission and vision below. It will take cooperation and communication between school and home for this new chapter in our district’s history to be successful. Please stay in touch with your student’s teacher(s), and let your teachers or building administration know if there is anything with which they can assist you.

The Clinton Community School District provides a positive, supportive, and safe environment which empowers students to achieve academic, technical and social/emotional growth to their fullest potential, thereby improving students’ lives and strengthening the community.

The Clinton Community School District will be a dynamic community partner dedicated to adding value through learning and student success.

Printable Copy of Clinton School District Opening Plan 2020-2021