D219 Students Back to In-Person Learning

-- UPDATED INFORMATION  (April 15, 2021) --


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District 219 sent the following letter to students and families on April 15:

Dear D219 Students and Families,

To follow up our communication of April 7, this note is to update you about our plans for expanded learning hours for our students. Beginning Monday, April 26, we will begin using a revised daily schedule that we believe will better serve our students, both those returning in person, and those students who continue to learn remotely.  This schedule will be in effect from April 26 through the rest of this school year. 

Each class period will be five minutes longer than the schedule we have been using. We are also embedding an academic support period that will allow our teachers and paraprofessionals to offer students additional assistance, focusing especially on those students who have incomplete grades or who need support to master their learning targets. This academic support will be available both in-person and virtually.

Wednesdays will continue to be asynchronous learning days for all students. 

We will offer free grab-and-go lunches for our students in the schools and will carefully monitor the designated areas where students may eat lunch to make sure they maintain proper distancing. 

Those students attending hybrid learning in person must:

  1. Wear a mask at all times while in the building. (The one exception is when the student eats lunch. Each school will have designated areas to eat, and, while eating, students must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.)
  2. Before they arrive at school, complete and submit a COVID-19 self-certification questionnaire linked to Infinite Campus certifying that the student is not experiencing COVID symptoms.
  3. Scan their ID card when they enter the building to ensure that they are eligible for hybrid learning.
  4. Submit to a temperature check that is uploaded into Infinite Campus.
  5. Each school will have stations set up in the event that a student forgets to self-certify, is deemed ineligible for hybrid learning, or forgets their ID.
  6. In the event that a student exhibits symptoms or has a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be guided to an isolation room where our health office will notify parents to pick them up.

For those students using school bus transportation, we will be adding bus route times to accommodate the expanded learning hours. Beginning Monday, April 26, this will be the updated bus route information.  Here is a link to the Niles West bus route schedule and the Niles North bus route schedule

All of our plans remain contingent on COVID metrics in our community. (We update the dashboard on our school website every week.) Our COVID Metrics Committee continues to meet each week with the Skokie Health Department. In the event that we see another surge of COVID in our community, we will defer to the guidance of their public health experts if we have to return to all-remote learning. 

We will provide students and families with updated information as necessary, including details about end-of-year activities. Our teachers, support staff members and administrators are working closely together to make these last few weeks of the school year as enriching for students as we can. Thank you for your continuing support of our schools!


Tom Kim
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
(Acting Superintendent)

Karen Ritter
Niles West Principal

James Edwards
Niles North Principal



-- UPDATED INFORMATION  (April 7, 2021) --


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Dear D219 Students and Families, 

We hope you had a restful and relaxing Spring Break. This note is to provide you with updates on several important matters about the last few months of this school year.  

Results of recent survey of students and families.
In mid-March, we gave students and their families one last chance to state if they wanted to continue their current learning model (all-remote versus hybrid learning) or switch from one model to the other for the last part of the 2020-21 school year. Below are the results of the survey:

  • At Niles West, approximately 35% of students opted to end the year with the hybrid model.
  • At Niles North, approximately 33% chose hybrid learning.

We are pushing back the dates for expanded learning in the school buildings.
We had originally planned to expand in-person learning hours on April 19 for students in hybrid learning. However, as you are probably aware, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Cook County has been rising, and more transmissions are taking place among young people. 

Our COVID Metrics Committee has been meeting weekly with the Skokie Health Department. In our most recent discussions with them, Skokie Health officials expressed concern about the strong possibility that we might see higher positivity rates two weeks after Spring Break, when many people were traveling, and when many people participated in holiday gatherings. 

The metrics currently are still trending in a favorable direction; however, out of an abundance of caution, we will begin having in-person class for hybrid students in both the mornings and early afternoons on Monday, April 26, rather than the 19th.

Class schedule.
We plan to continue using a block schedule model for the rest of this year. We are currently considering a few modifications that might offer additional class time for students and that will also help us limit the number of students during lunch periods for those attending class in person.

Posting COVID-19 Dashboard on website.
This week we will be launching a dashboard on our school website that regularly reports the number of positive COVID cases diagnosed among D219 students and staff, along with the numbers of people in quarantine or who have undergone contact tracing. The dashboard will also track the 7-day rolling positivity rates of COVID in the zip codes that make up Niles Township.

Here is the significance of the positivity metrics for our planning purposes:

  • If the 7-day positivity rate remains below 5%, we will continue our efforts to bring more students back to school for in-person learning, social and emotional support, and extracurricular activities.
  • If the positivity rate reaches 5%, we may need to bring some limits back to in-person learning activities (for example, going back to a cohort model with only two days per week in person, going back to in-person learning only in the mornings).
  • If the positivity rate reaches 8%, the Skokie Health Department advises us that we should return to all-remote learning.

We will keep families apprised of any updates or changes. Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and our schools. 


Tom Kim
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
(Temporary Acting Superintendent)

Karen Ritter
Niles West Principal

James Edwards
Niles North Principal



Posted March 8, 2021





Posted February 23, 2021

The following links have updated information with the hybrid learning communication to families, bus info, and a video link to help our students, parents, and guardians better understand the safety procedures for our schools for hybrid learning beginning Monday, March 1st:

Hybrid Learning Communication to Families and Students- Staff (pdf)
Niles North Bus Route Info (pdf)
Niles West Bus Route Info (pdf)
Student Hybrid Return to School Info (video)



Posted January 29, 2021

Niles Township High School District 219 will begin bringing students back to our schools for some in-person learning beginning Monday, March 1.

The district previously sent families a survey asking them if their students wish to return to school for in-person learning, or to continue learning remotely from home. On January 29, the district is sending one of three notes to families: one for students who wish to return in person; one for students who chose to continue remote learning from home; and one for students whose families did not respond to the survey, and therefore chose remote learning by default.

Here is a copy of each of the three versions of the letters sent home.