Despite all of the changes to the calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this week is still Spring Break.
There is undoubtedly a temptation for you to work this week. Many of you will feel the need to prepare for the different educational environment we will be working in — and our students will be learning in — for at least several days following break.
But, it is break. And you’re encouraged to use these days to try to relax, rest, and renew!
The past several days have been challenging. They’ve been full of anxiety and uncertainty, and full of rapidly changing realities.
Your UFEA leadership is doing our best to stay up to date.
We are following regular updates from IEA, ISBE, and Governor Pritzker.
Prior to the Governor’s Executive Order which suspends in-person instruction and shut down schools throughout the state, UFEA leadership worked with Unit 5 to develop e-learning plans and to bargain a Letter of Understanding which attempts to address concerns and clarify the expectations of members during e-learning days.
According to the State Superintendent, every day through March 30 will count as an Act of God Day. That means the days last week do not need to be made up, and while they count as student attendance days, they are not instructional days. Members were encouraged to provide activities to support continuity of learning during those days.
Later this week, ISBE will issue guidance regarding March 31, and beyond (at least through April 7 currently). We assume at some point the guidance will be that we transition to Remote Instructional Days or e-learning days, at which point our e-learning plan and Letter of Understanding would be implemented. The ISBE has assembled an advisory group composed of teachers, administrators, and stakeholders to make recommendations about what Remote Instructional Days would look like. This advisory group will explore what is possible and what is reasonable under these unprecedented circumstances.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
Continue to check your email and/or this website periodically for updates.
Do some work to prepare, if you must, and can’t resist.
But, mostly, take a few days while you are staying home to try to relax, rest, and renew.