2022 - 2023 Final Fall Opening Plan
Seneca Township High School 2022-23 "Return to Learn" Plan:
"Plan for Continued and Improved In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Educational Programming & Services"
In the 2022-23 school year, Seneca High School, will again, be fully open with exclusive in-person learning without restrictions following the same guidelines that we ended the 2021-22 school year with. This item will be on the August Board of Education agenda and will vote upon on August 17, 2022.
Last school year the administration wrote to you about uncertainty with hope for a return to normalcy. Seneca Township High School District 160 was one of the few districts to operate the last two school years WITHOUT interruption due to COVID-19 as the district was open for regular educational programming each day, with great success. There were trying times and moments where it felt like we were learning to fly the plane mid-air, but to everyone’s credit, we did it. Our first year we learned quickly what most did not, that remote learning does not work for most students. Like many districts, our hands were tied by mandates, but we kept our nose down and pushed forward.
Initially, to open schools for in-person instruction required strict health and safety protocols which created barriers and limitations to teaching and learning. Recognizing that students across remote and in-person settings faced significant academic, social, emotional, and mental health challenges because of the continued interrupted education and the trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Congress made emergency funds available to local school districts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. In the past two years, funds were made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act require that school districts develop a Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. As such, this plan has been developed in accordance with the ARP Act and numerous Illinois State Superintendent of Education and gubernatorial declarations.
Taking the Seneca High School community’s input into account, this plan was also developed through meaningful consultation with a collaborative of students, parents, school and district administrators (including special education administrators), teachers, school staff, food service staff, transportation service staff, labor association leaders, and county health department officials. Upon request, this plan will be provided in an alternative format accessible to parents who are individuals with a disability as defined by the ADA. This plan will also be made publicly available on the district’s website. School strategies in this plan may be removed based upon local conditions, levels of community transmission (i.e., low, moderate, substantial, or high), local vaccine coverage, use of screening testing to detect cases in K-12 schools, and consultation with local public health officials to determine the prevention strategies needed.
Seneca High School has been able to demonstrate over the COVID-19 pandemic its ability to: (1) keep its doors open for full in-person instruction for two consecutive years WITHOUT interruption (which we are incredibly proud of), (2) run successful graduation ceremonies, athletic events, and other major events with appropriate mitigations, (3) monitor and inform its community of COVID related measures, and (4) continue to progress monitor the safety and success of the district for all
stakeholders. School officials will communicate any changes in plans to staff members, students, and
parents through the district’s regular communication platforms.
The administration appreciates your support. If you have any questions or concerns about our plan,
please feel free to contact us at 815-357-5000.
Yours in education,
Dan Stecken Mike Coughlin Mark Giertz
Superintendent Principal Dean of Students