District 7 Families,
Due to the rising COVID-positive numbers within our school communities, the District made the difficult decision to pause in-person instruction for all students beginning on Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 18, 2020. In making this decision, the District factored in the following:
- Within the past two weeks, it has become increasingly more difficult to secure substitute teachers and maintain appropriate staffing levels throughout the District due to the number of staff quarantined. There are currently 48 staff members under quarantine throughout the District including teachers, administrators, nurses, maintenance workers, custodians, secretarial staff, etc.–all of whom are vital to keeping our schools operating safely.
- The District consulted with the Madison County Health Department. The health department informed District 7 that due to the surge and backlog of positive cases within our community, for at least the next few weeks the agency would be unable to assist with contact tracing or provide documentation when students were cleared to come back to school.
- The State of Illinois is under new Tier 3 Mitigation restrictions put in place by the Governor, and the City of Edwardsville is under an emergency order.
We recognize that a remote setting is not ideal for all students-especially younger students. Remote instruction requires assistance from families in order to be successful, and because of this, the decision to pause in-person learning at that grade level was not taken lightly. Next week, families will be sent a list of guidelines and suggestions that will assist them in helping to make the remote learning experience a positive one for their students.
Monday, November 30, 2020 will be a remote planning day for staff members to prepare for remote instruction. Students will not receive any direct instruction on this day. On Tuesday, December 1, remote instruction will resume across the District. District 7 teachers are ready to provide a positive remote learning experience during this pause of in-person instruction. While there will certainly be glitches and bumps along the road, we ask for you to extend grace to the staff and demonstrate flexibility and understanding as we shift our instructional practices during this difficult time.
Accessing Technology/Internet During Remote Learning
During our period of remote learning, District 7 will have additional technology and internet access available for students at the following three schools:
- Edwardsville High School between the hours of 7:00 AM and 2:00 PM
- Liberty Middle School between the hours of 7:30 AM and 2:00 PM
- Worden Elementary School between the hours of 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Elementary and middle school students will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian while accessing technology/internet at any District 7 school during the times listed above.
In addition, District 7 has partnered with other community entities who are willing to provide free wi-fi access. Please click here for a list of locations within our communities where free wi-fi is available.
Parents with additional questions involving accessing technology should call their child’s principal for assistance.
Picking Up Breakfast and Lunches During Remote Learning
During remote learning, families will still be able to access free breakfast and lunches every day Monday through Friday for their students.
The procedure for receiving meals is as follows:
- Meal pickup hours will take place from 7:30am until 1:30pm (Monday through Friday) at all school locations.
- We will offer a full week of Breakfast and Lunch meals in grab and go format.
- We will have curb-side service at all locations so there will be no need to exit your vehicle.
To better plan for meal preparation required for the first week of service, a form will be sent home/emailed to all students. Please return the form with student(s) no later than Tuesday, November 24, 2020 or email the completed form to Shira Patterson at email@example.com.
The surge of positive COVID cases within our communities and schools has had an effect on our students and staff. In addition to the positive cases listed in the dashboard, District 7 currently has 48 staff members and 538 students that are quarantined. Upon return to in-person instruction, the COVID dashboard will include the number of quarantined staff and students as well as the number of positive cases.
You can view the District 7 COVID dashboard by visiting our website or by clicking here:
As a final reminder, all students will continue on their current schedule for Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th. All of the changes outlined in this communication will begin on Monday, November 30th.
Dr. Jason Henderson