After suspending in-person learning nearly four weeks ago, the New Trier High School District 203 Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, to discuss potential steps for getting students back in the classroom, according to an email from Superintendent Dr. Paul Sally sent on Oct. 29.
The meeting will be live streamed on the district’s website and will be available using this link. Locals can also view the meeting on Comcast Channel 18 in Glencoe, Winnetka and Kenilworth and Channel 16 in Northfield and Wilmette.
The meeting’s agenda can be found here.
At the meeting, the board will consider the impact of New Trier’s pending COVID-19 screening program and access to new data and information that may allow it to alter its current metrics and practices, Sally said in his email to parents.
“Over the past several weeks, we have seen some area high schools join our sender districts in safely offering in-person instruction,” Sally said in the email. “In addition, more research has been published indicating that schools that follow CDC guidelines are not increasing COVID-19 transmission in their communities.
“Given those factors and the great benefit of our new screening program in assessing the risk of COVID-19 at New Trier, the Board of Education has requested a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 to discuss steps for resuming in-person instruction.”
The special board meeting comes as the district is preparing to begin its optional saliva-based COVID-19 screening. Board members unanimously approved a plan on Oct. 13 to offer students and staff members weekly COVID-19 tests that return same-day results.
According to Sally, the program could begin as soon as the week of Nov. 9.
Officials also recently announced that participation in the screening program is required for all students taking part in on-campus athletics or extracurricular programs.
Stage 4 of the district’s reopening ladder, which began on Oct. 6, included in-person learning for 25 percent of students. Just four days later, a surge in COVID-19 cases in both the township and the state halted the process, the district said. The fourth week of remote-only learning started Monday, Nov. 2.
Members of the public interested in publicly commenting at the Nov. 4 meeting are welcomed to do so. The district’s guidelines for public comment can be found here.
District officials also sent out on Oct. 29 a survey for parents about their experience with remote and hybrid learning thus far. The district is seeking input from parents/guardians prior to the special board meeting. The deadline to fill out the survey is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.