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Charleston school board to get reopening update

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CHARLESTON — Information on students who plan to stay with remote learning, sanitizing measures and more will be part of an update on reopening plans the Charleston school board will get on Wednesday.

Superintendent Todd Vilardo said the report will be presented during the board's meeting to inform the board on plans for the return of in-person student attendance.

That's scheduled for Nov. 4 after the district opted in August for remote learning only because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've worked hard to minimize risk," Vilardo said of the efforts to get schools ready for students' return.

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The first quarter of the district's school year, taking place only with remote learning, ends Oct. 30. Shorter attendance schedules and a combination of in-person attendance and remote learning will be the approach starting with the year's second quarter.

There will be a remote learning planning day for teachers on Nov. 2, with no student attendance, and schools will be closed Nov. 3 for Election Day, a state holiday this year.

Vilardo said the report to the board during Wednesday's meeting will include numbers on how many students will stay with remote learning only, which is an option with the reopening plan.

The district is continuing to increase the numbers of students who are now returning to school in small groups in some instances, which Vilardo said "is really being a help" with preparations.

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He also said he will continue to issue reminders that remote learning only could return if needed at a classroom, school or the entire district. Parents should keep their child care options open, he said.

Also during the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Chad Burgett is scheduled to give a report on the district's annual property tax levy, which the board will adopt next month.

Burgett said the levy will request just less than $14.8 million in property taxes, a slight increase from last year's levy request.

The actual amount of property tax revenue the district receives will be determined by final property values and other factors but the levy is needed as a request for the funds.

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Any increase is limited by the consumer price index, currently 2.3%.

Assistant Superintendent Kristen Holly is also scheduled to give a report on the district's annual state report cards, though she said much of the usual information won't be in them this year.

The state test results that typically highlight the reports won't be included because there were no tests administered last spring with schools closed because of the pandemic, Holly explained.

The report cards will still contain information such as student-teacher ratios and other demographics and will be available to the public by Oct. 31, she said. The district will post a link to the report cards on its website, charleston.k12.il.us.

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The board's meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Public access will available remotely by phone at 1-415-655-0001; the access code is 1269311911 and the password is 74475886.


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