August 11, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

At tomorrow's special Board of Education meeting, I will present New Trier High School's Reopening and Operational Plan for the 2020-2021 school year . The plan is attached to this letter so you can read it in advance of the meeting.

This school year will be like no other no matter the amount of planning we have done and the precautions we will take. The choices all of us must make are difficult, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for our families or our staff members. However, in our reopening document you will find a recurring theme: We are all in this together . We all have a role in protecting the health of our students, staff, and community, and we all must approach these extraordinary circumstances with empathy, patience and flexibility.

Some highlights of the plan include:

  • An explanation of the complex circumstances that a large high school like New Trier must take into account before reopening
  • A Reopening Ladder with steps the school may move up or down, guided by a Reopening Advisory Committee and clear metrics
  • A target schedule for the first eight weeks of school
  • Specific health and safety procedures, including new attendance and check-in procedures
  • An explanation of instructional models (remote, hybrid) and guidance on issues such as grading and assessment
  • Information on Special Education and student supports

The purpose of the plan is not to provide a definitive answer to the question on everyone's minds: When will students be able to return to school in-person? We certainly have included our best thinking at this point so families and staff are able to prepare, but any dates we put out now are simply targets that will depend on circumstances we cannot yet predict.

Instead, our plan focuses on how we can achieve our goal of returning students to some level of in-person instruction, which we know is important for their learning, growth, connection, and mental health. A robust, very different remote learning model from the spring with specific guidelines and standards of practice will be part of any operating plan until Illinois is able to move to full reopening. However, we must also have a path to in-person instruction that is guided by science, data, and a collaborative process involving parents, students, faculty, staff, medical professionals, and our Board of Education.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the families who have contacted us with ideas, concerns, or just to offer a message of encouragement. There is no such thing as a perfect plan for reopening schools at this time, and our plan is no exception. I expect it will change over time as we adjust to our new procedures and as science and our understanding of the pandemic evolves. We will continue to be Stronger Together as we work through these issues as a community. Thank you, as always, for your support and partnership.


Paul Sally, Superintendent

New Trier's Reopening and Operational Plan for 2020-2021


Dear Parents/Guardians,

Earlier this week, we detailed our potential plan for the opening of the 2020-21 school year in an email to parents and in a webinar for families. This information also is available on our Back to School web page for your reference.

One component of that plan is offering families the opportunity to have students stay home and learn 100% remotely for the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year instead of participating in any in-school learning scenario. Once this option is selected, students must stay in all-remote learning for the entire quarter. If New Trier opens the school year in a hybrid schedule (some students learning in school and others learning at home on a set schedule), students who elect the all-remote option will attend classes remotely while other students will attend those same classes both in-school and remotely.

During the assigned class time, students will participate for all or a portion of the time via Zoom, complete work assigned by the teacher independently, or work in small groups with their peers. All assignments will be submitted via Canvas. For more information about our Trevian Remote Learning Program and commitment to high-quality, robust remote learning, please visit this page . Students who choose remote learning will cover the same curricular content and meet the same learning objectives, and will be prepared for class assessments and AP exams in the same manner as their in-class peers.

For the parents of students who receive Special Education services, you will receive an invitation to a webinar later this month that will address how New Trier plans to serve students with IEPs under different learning scenarios, including remote or hybrid learning. We understand that you may choose to make your decision about remote learning after hearing about the school's plans in that webinar.

If you would like your student(s) to participate in the 100% remote option for the first quarter (August 26 - October 30), please complete this form by July 31, 2020. Please submit a separate form for each child you would like to participate in 100% remote learning. We must have information about the students who are electing to participate remotely so we can finalize student schedules and to make sure our classes are appropriately balanced between remote and hybrid students to allow for social distancing. Families that select the remote option will be given the opportunity each quarter to continue with a remote schedule or select a hybrid option if we have not resumed daily in-person instruction. If you do not fill out the form linked above your student will automatically be placed on a hybrid schedule.

If you have questions, please email or contact your student's campus assistant principal.

Gail Gamrath
Northfield Assistant Principal for Administrative Services

Mike Lee
Winnetka Assistant Principal for Administrative Services