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Statement on Remote Learning

  • Date Posted
    March 28, 2020
  • Category
    COVID-19
On March 27 Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-15. The order was followed by ISBE's release of emergency rules, a joint statement, and Remote Learning recommendations.
 
The Executive Order gives ISBE broad authority to mandate that school districts engage in Remote Learning Days to fulfill attendance and calendar requirements for the duration of the disaster declaration in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Districts would be well served to prepare to complete the school calendar with Remote Learning Days.
 
Following the Executive Order, ISBE issued emergency rules pertaining to Remote Learning Days and Emergency Child Care Centers. ISBE also released a joint statement that included guidance pertaining to a range of items including the transition to remote learning days (instead of E-Learning Days), the evaluation of staff, and the salary and benefits of affected employees.
 
ISBE also released Remote Learning Recommendations. On page 7 ISBE seems to acknowledge the diversity of Illinois' Schools, citing a Commitment to Local Control. The statement notes that instructional remote learning will differ from statutory e-learning plans. Some districts have the capacity and infrastructure to sustain and adapt e-learning opportunities into instructional remote learning, while others may need to use more traditional practices such as the preparation of learning packets for students to complete at home.
 
It is important to note that nothing in the statement released Friday changes or waives state statutes. Employers are required to bargain with the affected employee groups in order to implement any changes involving the performance of work. Consult your board attorneys regarding the inherent management rights of the board relating to this unprecedented situation.
 
Yesterday, field services directors conducted virtual meetings with board members from various IASB divisions. It was a great opportunity for our members to connect and to share. It was also inspiring to hear of how school leadership teams across the state are serving their school communities.
 
Feel free to reach out to IASB staff by email to let us know how the Association can assist you in the days and weeks ahead.