Back-to-School

Updated 8/13/2020

Given the changing nature of state and federal health guidance for schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Trier High School has been developing plans for a number of learning scenarios in the 2020-2021 school year. On August 12, Superintendent Paul Sally presented his Comprehensive Reopening and Operational Plan for 2020-2021 , which includes a Reopening Ladder with steps for different learning scenarios the District may move up or down throughout the year.

New Trier's goal is to have students learning in school as often as possible while providing a safe environment for students and staff.

This page will be updated frequently throughout the summer with the latest information on topics including our new block schedule, health and safety protocols, extracurricular activities, and other important topics. Please note that our planning is fluid, and some plans may change if circumstances change. We also will email families and staff and reach out to students on Canvas with important information during the summer. The Frequently Asked Questions page also will be updated regularly as new questions arise. If you need to update your email address on file, please contact  registrar@nths.net

MESSAGES TO NEW TRIER FAMILES REGARDING BACK-TO-SCHOOL PLANNING

August 13, 2020

Dear New Trier Families, 

Last night, the Board of Education approved New Trier High School's Reopening and Operational Plan for the 2020-2021 school year . Dr. Paul Sally sent this plan to all families as a PDF on Tuesday night so you could review it in advance of the Board meeting. 

Since that time, we have updated the plan to correct some broken web links and a chart regarding the potential return-to-school scenarios for students receiving certain Special Education services. We expect that our plan will continue to require some modifications, so we will make all updates to our website rather than sending you additional PDF documents. Please check the website for the most updated version.  

Parent Webinar on Wednesday, August 19

Principals Denise Dubravec of the Winnetka Campus and Paul Waechtler of the Northfield Campus, along with Superintendent Paul Sally, will host a live webinar to discuss New Trier's Reopening Plan on Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. This webinar will give an overview of the reopening plan followed by a Q & A session. Please register in advance by visiting our Reopening Plan Webinar registration page .The session also will be recorded and posted on our website.  

100 Percent Remote Learning Form Due Saturday, August 15

If you want your student(s) to participate in 100 remote percent learning for the first quarter of the year (August 26 - October 30), please complete the 100% Remote Learning Opt-In form below by this Saturday, August 15. Families who 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.

Thank you to all families who have written with your ideas, questions, and concerns about our plan. No reopening plan will give us the kind of school year our students deserve, but you can be assured that we will continue to work toward the best possible solutions to help our students connect, grow, and thrive throughout this school year.

Sincerely,

Niki Dizon

Director of Communications and Alumni Relations

_____________________

August 11, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

At tomorrow's special Board of Education meeting, The plan can be found here so you can read it in advance of the meeting. 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. 

Thanks,

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 adminservices@nths.net or contact your student's campus assistant principal.

Gail Gamrath
Northfield Assistant Principal for Administrative Services 
gamrathg@newtrier.k12.il.us

Mike Lee
Winnetka Assistant Principal for Administrative Services
leemi@newtrier.k12.il.us

_______________________

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. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Sally
Superintendent 

WINNETKA TREVIAN BLOCK SCHEDULE FOR 2020-2021

Trevian Block Schedule Winnetka

NORTHFIELD TREVIAN BLOCK SCHEDULE FOR 2020-2021

Trevian Block Schedule Northfield

PRIOR COMMUNICATIONS TO FAMILIES FOR 2020-2021