Illinois won’t have to make up coronavirus days, teachers encouraged to ‘engage’ students

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

At least one state has issued guidelines about the extended school cancellations due to coronavirus.

The Illinois State Board of Education notes that the governor has declared March 17 to March 30 as “act of God” days — meaning they won’t have to be made up and most school employees will continue to get paid.

Keep in mind the guidelines mentioned here apply only to Illinois and other states that have canceled school may have different rules.

While ISBE is encouraging districts to provide “continuity” for students, districts are not required to conduct online learning experiences — nor are students required to complete them.

Following a pilot program, many Illinois school districts opted to prepare for so called “e-learning days” in the event of inclement weather this school year, where students would complete assignments from home and the day would “count” as a school day (and not have to be made up) — but this is technically different from “Acts of god” days.

ISBE also advises that any assignments that schools do issue during these weeks should not be graded nor should students be penalized for not completing them.

One of the state’s largest suburban districts, Indian Prairie School District 204, wrote in an internal memo that educators should focus on providing “activities and discussions that engage students in thinking about the content of your classes” but that they should not attempt to replicate two weeks of classroom instruction.

IPSD was one of the districts that had an e-learning program in place for inclement weather and students in grades 3 to 12 have are given Chromebooks that they can take home. Preschool through Grade 2 have tablets to use in the classroom but generally do not take the devices home.