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Reopen ICSD Team

The Reopen ICSD Team is a diverse group of collaborators from across our organization and community tasked with helping the district reopen our school buildings for in-person teaching and learning on October 5. Specifically, the team's purpose is to:
  • recommend an in-person teaching and learning, staffing/scheduling model based on student and staff needs;
  • gather input from additional stakeholders in our community; and
  • support communication of the plan with the wider community.
The current Reopen ICSD Team includes nine caregivers, seven students, seven elementary teachers and service providers, seven secondary teachers and service providers, five education support professionals (aides and TAs), five EA members (nurses, bus drivers, custodians, library clerks, senior typists), one substitute teacher, two Board of Education members, and six administrators.

Reopen ICSD Team Updates

An overview of each Reopen ICSD Team meeting can be found below. Click here for more detailed updates>>

September 2

The Reopen ICSD Team began its first meeting with a review of the three reopening options for October 5, as outlined by Dr. Brown during a recent Board of Education meeting:

  • Option 1: All students who selected in-person learning return; choice for teachers is prioritized (ADA, FMLA, EFMLA exemptions continue)
  • Option 2: Elementary students who selected in-person learning return on A-day/B-day schedule with current teachers who selected in-person; secondary students and teachers continue distance learning
  • Option 3: All students and teachers continue distance learning
The team then split up into four smaller groups to review norms/working agreements and to discuss:
  • real and perceived barriers to reopening;
  • possible solutions to/ways to mitigate the barriers; and
  • communication strategies necessary to accomplish these solutions.
September 4

During its second meeting, the Reopen ICSD Team further discussed the resolved and unresolved barriers to reopening outlined below. Members were then invited to either help work through an unresolved barrier or to outline communication strategies for a resolved barrier; many chose to work on the unresolved barriers related to staffing and quality of distance learning. 

Resolved Barriers
  • The district has consulted with the ICG and Cornell MPH program to identify and maximize existing outdoor spaces and resources
  • There are enough buses to provide transportation to all students who need it while adhering to physical distancing requirements
  • The district is providing school meals, available for pickup at each building
  • With over one million square feet, the ICSD has sufficient building capacity for in-person teaching and learning with physical distancing requirements
  • The district's new health and safety practices are aligned with state and local guidance and include a layered approach to mitigation (including screening, compulsory mask-wearing, and investments to support hand hygiene and HVAC upgrades)
Unresolved Barriers
  • Staffing issues
  • The lack of trust in the district's ability to keep staff and students safe and fear that the community will violate new norms
  • The district's presumption of competence and commitment among students to wear masks and comply with health and safety practices
  • The lack of student voice in the ICSD's reopening planning/processes
  • The fluidity of caregiver choice and prevalence of COVID-19 in the community has caused uncertainty and ambiguity
  • The lack of communication about the resolved barriers with the community
  • Concerns about the quality of distance and in-person learning with respect to educator competency with distance learning tools and resources, the departure from long-standing models of in-person instruction, and the impact of new norms on in-person instruction, engagement, and culture
  • Anxiety/fear about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children; public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and increase stress and anxiety