July 14, 2020

Dear New Trier families,

Last night at our Board of Education meeting, I presented our plans for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. We have conducted all of our planning with two overarching goals in mind:

  • Protecting the health and well-being of our students and staff and
  • Providing the highest quality teaching and learning possible whether that learning takes place remotely, in person, or in a hybrid environment.

The rest of this letter will provide some details of our schedule for the first weeks of school and an anticipated hybrid on-campus/remote learning scenario for this fall. We plan to "start smart" with a gradual return to school for teachers and students to get used to new safety protocols and a new way of teaching and learning. As much as we would like to bring back all students every day, we have determined that at this time there is no way to do that safely with the size of our student population. We are also offering all families an opportunity at the beginning of each quarter to opt out of any in-school learning scenario and to learn remotely. We will be sending families a form with this option later this week.

A more detailed look at this schedule and questions and answers about specific situations can be found in my Board memo . Winnetka Campus Principal Denise Dubravec and I will also present a webinar tomorrow, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. where we will discuss much of this information and answer your questions. Please register in advance for that webinar here . Finally, we will be posting all of this information and a series of FAQs on our Back to School website , which will be updated regularly throughout the summer.

Hybrid Learning and First Weeks of School

We are planning for a hybrid learning model, which allows New Trier to implement social distancing and other health and safety protocols by having some students learning in school and some students learning at home, switching between the two on a regular schedule. When the hybrid schedule is fully implemented, students will be assigned to either Attendance Group 1 (in school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) or Attendance Group 2 (in school on Thursdays and Fridays). Some students with IEPs and specialized learning needs will be placed in both groups to maximize in-school instruction. Families will be informed of their student's Attendance Group by August 15. Students in the same family will have the same attendance group. Trevian Days (most Mondays) will be all-remote to start.

Assuming that we can start school using the hybrid learning model, the first four weeks of school will run this way:

First four weeks of school schedule

Trevian Block Schedule

As we previously shared with families, we will be operating under a new Trevian Block Schedule . Under that schedule, the school day at both campuses will start 5 minutes earlier than in previous years and end 10 minutes later. Below is the Winnetka Campus schedule; the Northfield Campus will start all periods 20 minutes earlier. There is no Early Bird option on the Northfield Campus. Schedules for each campus will be posted on the New Trier website.

Trevian Block Schedule Winnetka

Other Back-to-School Information

We are committed to offering our students extracurricular activities in athletics, performing arts, and student activities to the greatest extent possible. The guidelines for use of masks and social distancing are the same as during the school day for activities in the building or outside the building. Some activities may meet virtually for all or part of their time. We will have more information on extracurricular activities later this summer.

Information about issues such as healthy and safety precautions, transportation, the new block schedule, grading, kinetic wellness, lunch, and other topics can be found on the Back to School website and in my Board memo . We are still developing plans in some areas and will update you as we finalize plans.

We will continue to study the current status of COVID-19 cases in our state, community, and school, state health and safety guidelines, and our ability to run our school safely as we make decisions throughout the upcoming school year. We have developed a plan that is flexible and responsive to changing conditions and information, and we appreciate your patience and partnership as we refine and adjust our plans based on that information.

Like you, I wish we could start this year with all of our students in school, engaging in classrooms, socializing in common areas, and participating on fields, courts, and stages. We also know that we must balance those important activities with the health and safety of our whole community. It is my hope that we can achieve a gradual return to normalcy during the year, but in any scenario, you can be confident that New Trier has prepared to offer a robust curriculum and opportunities for students to explore and grow.


Dr. Paul Sally


Trevian Block Schedule Winnetka


Trevian Block Schedule Northfield