Evanston Skokie District 65 is surveying parents about how school should open this fall – – back to the old normal, a partially new normal, or continuing with what became normal for three months — remote learning.

In a message with the survey, posted on the district website, Superintendent Devon Horton says, “We are actively planning for the coming school year and would like to know your feelings about students returning to school, so that we can do our best to support our community when we return to instruction.”

Illinois schools all shifted to online learning in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 31-question survey, which takes about ten minutes to fill out, asks such things as “please choose one of the following:”

  • Schools open with no contact limits.
  • Schools open with safety, hygiene, and social distancing in effect, with possible options such as staggered schedules.
  • A hybrid system of some in-person classroom learning and some remote learning.
  • Remote learning only.
  • Implement a new school calendar.

Parents are also asked how they perceive the COVID-19 risk if children and teachers do return to school buildings … low, medium or high.  High risk could include fears of students being exposed to COVID, and bringing the virus home to medically fragile individuals.

While vigorous health, safety, and cleanliness measures will be used for even a hybrid schedule, one question asks if parents believe if “it is very difficult to make schools safe because children can be forgetful (not cover mouth or [practice] social distancing.)”

Parents and caregivers are asked to fill out the survey by July 13.  District 65 leaders will use the results to help guide their reopening plan.

Both District 65 and Evanston Township High School are expected to release their reopening plans some time later this month.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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