Thanks to the more than 335 parents and community members who have joined OpenNewTrier and the 116 who have indicated their willingness to become substitute teachers. We will keep reaching out to the community to expand our membership and to garner more support for an in-class option at New Trier.
Here’s what’s next.
According to the New Trier Administration’s latest email [Emphasis ours]:
“New Trier is preparing for a potential move to 25 percent hybrid learning beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 6. While that decision will not be finalized until Friday (Sep. 25) after the Reopening Advisory Board, administration, and Board and Education have reviewed the COVID-19 dashboard…”
The key word is “potential,” meaning the risk is there that the school does not implement its proposed hybrid model on Oct. 6. And of course, even if the board does implement the hybrid as planned, there is still the risk that it reverts back to fully online after a short period of time.
Today, OpenNewTrier will let the board know that 335-plus parents and community members support an in-class option. Importantly, we will let them know that 116 have shown interest in becoming substitute teachers.
The substitute teacher role is also important because if there aren’t enough adults to assist in classrooms, then remote learning will likely remain as the only option for our kids. There are approximately 400 New Trier teachers and nearly 100 of them, according to the board, have been given accommodations to stay at home for health and/or family reasons.
That means at any one time the school will need some 80-plus substitute teachers on a daily basis, ready to go.
It’s important to note that parents and community members who provide support as substitute teachers are only asked to help in a supervisory function. There is no need to do lesson plans or teach, but rather just support students in the classroom while an online teacher leads the class. Also, the supervisory role is not an all day commitment. Parents can perform the function on a per-class basis (70 minutes).
The key for us is to let the administration and the board know that parents back an in-class reopening. With so many parents showing their willingness to come into the classrooms, we’re helping remove the excuse that the school can’t reopen because of a lack of resources.
Those of you who’ve shown your willingness to substitute teach, please click here to apply. If you need help, the school's Human Resources department can offer support.
As for other next steps, if the school does not reopen as planned on Oct. 6, we’re already planning steps to make our voice heard.
Some have asked how OpenNewTrier came about. A couple of weeks ago, several parents in the area felt like nothing was getting done to get our kids back in class, even as parents in other school districts across the state were rallying to demand in-class options. So working together, a few of us including Wilmette residents Eric Hungness and Ted Dabrowski, came up with an initial letter and a website to garner support. Other Wilmette residents, like Mary Lyman and Anne Haser, have also engaged in the effort. Many others have offered their advice and ideas. We are simply a group of parents and community members concerned about the well-being of our children.