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Return to Learn

Return to Learn Plan 2020-21


A Message from Supt. Dr. Douglas Wood


In looking forward to the 2020-2021 school year, I present to you this plan for reopening the Ball-Chatham School District, which prioritizes the health and safety of our students and employees. 


As you may recall, on March 17, 2020 school districts throughout Illinois were required to close buildings due to the impending threat of COVID-19.  Since that time, the State of Illinois has released the Restore Illinois Plan, which gradually returns all industries to normalcy.  We are currently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which allows for schools to reopen with no more than 50 individuals in one space.  By blending the learning models of our schools, utilizing consistent learning platforms, and providing adequate resources and professional learning opportunities to staff members, we will continue to provide academic support and continuity to our students. 


Illinois State Board of Education Guidance

On June 23, 2020, the ISBE released guidance for schools to use in planning for returning to in-person learning.  Requirements from the ISBE are:

  • Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;

  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;

  • Require social distancing to be observed (at least 6 feet between individuals);

  • Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals
    to self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and,

  • Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.


It is important to note that these requirements and guidelines are subject to change pursuant to updated public health guidance, changing public health conditions, and further directives from the ISBE. Should Illinois move from Phase 4 back to Phase 1, 2, or 3 due to a resurgence of the virus, it is possible that the governor will direct all Illinois schools to move to remote learning for all students for a period of time. All updates will be posted online at and shared with our families and employees. 


At this time, Ball-Chatham is offering the following two options for the 2020-21 school year. (Pre-K will be largely remote learning, with restricted in-person learning as needs arise. More details on this to come.) 

  • Option 1: Blended Learning: Half-Day In-Person & Remote Instruction - With this option, students will be assigned morning or afternoon in-person sessions, Mondays through Thursdays, and learn remotely the other half of the day, and on Fridays. This Return to Learn plan outlines the protocols we are putting in place to resume in-person instruction based on guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Board of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control. 

  • Option 2: Virtual Learning - We know that in-person instruction is not an option for some of our students with elevated health risks, or who have family members with elevated health risks. Any families who do not feel comfortable having their children attend school in-person are not required to do so. Your students will be provided with online instruction. 


I ask that you take the time to review Ball-Chatham’s reopening plan presented in this guide to help you make the choice that is best for your children.


--Supt. Dr. Douglas Wood