July 30, 2020
Belleville Township High School District #201 Community:
On July 10, 2020 our district shared our plan with the community regarding our blended remote and full remote instructional options for the fall of 2020. Prior to that date, much work went into the development of our plan and parent survey.
When we began remote learning in the spring of 2020 our Teacher’s Local IFT 434 assisted in the development of a plan for the remainder of the year. Notably, beginning Friday night, March 13th and through the entire weekend, we developed the plan that was successfully implemented on the following Monday morning! This work paved the way for our plan development this summer.
Since late May, we have been meeting regularly with members of IFT 434 to develop our fall 2020 plan. This work has not been easy. We appreciate our teachers for their willingness to come together and work towards a plan we all believe is in the best interest of our staff and students. They were influential in the development of the major facets of our plan: personal protective equipment for students and staff, social distancing, a full remote learning option, and reducing the number of students on campus each day. Their work deserves recognition.
Most importantly, our flexible plan allows us to best serve our school community during these very difficult times. Our focus on the health and safety of its members and the collective desire to provide our community with the best possible learning options is something we should all be proud of. Our administrative team, building leadership, and support staff are preparing to make this year a successful one.
Please join me as I show my appreciation to the members of IFT 434, our administrative team, building leaders, food service employees, teacher assistants, technology staff, custodial and maintenance staff, administrative assistants, and transportation staff for their collective efforts! Thank you for your dedication and service to this community!
July 30, 2020
To the Parents, Students, and Community served by Belleville High School District #201
The Teacher’s Council of IFT Local 434, the Belleville Federation of Teachers, has been productively working with the District 201 Administration and Dr. Mentzer, the superintendent, since Illinois schools were closed in March 2020 on plans to safely reopen the Belleville High Schools this coming Fall semester.
A plan was developed that includes an option for parents to have their students learn remotely all semester while other students and their parents can opt for in person instruction in the classroom. The in person portion of the plan, through mutual discussion, incorporates several key safety features such as reducing the percentage of students in a classroom to about 35% of normal. This permits for successful social distancing. A requirement that all students and staff wear masks adds an additional layer of safety on top of social distancing.
The teachers’ Union for District 201 has been at the table discussing each and every parameter of how the opening of school plan would function. This allowed for the experience, viewpoints, and understanding of the District’s classroom teachers and staff to inform the decision making process so a safe and workable in person instruction model could be implemented. Final touches are now being added to the District’s plan, with significant union participation, for remote instruction for all students should that become needed. The teacher’s union for District 201 wishes to thank the School Board and its Administration for providing a seat at the table to ensure a viable, safe, and well crafted plan is in place for the Belleville High Schools to open in August 2020.
President, IFT Local 434 Teachers’ Council