Message from District 7: 9-25-2020

District 7 Families,

In a time where so much of the news around us is negative, District 7 will work hard in the coming weeks and months to share some of the many positive stories that are going on within our schools.  There are many success stories among the students and staff members that need to be shared.

Middle and High School Hybrid Updates and Clarifications

One goal for our teaching staff is to continually improve hybrid instruction at the middle and high school levels.  It is a team effort that requires hard work from both teachers and students.   We ask for parental support in this area as well.  There are many situations where a percentage of students choose not to engage with instruction on remote days.  For remote instruction to be effective, we need everyone working together.    Please click here to see a list of updates and clarifications to middle/high school hybrid and remote instruction.  

COVID-19 Update 

This week, there was one “outbreak” at Liberty Middle School which consisted of two positive COVID cases within one classroom.  As of this morning, there is one positive case at the elementary school level, three at the middle school level, and one at the high school level.

A reminder that when there is a confirmed COVID positive individual (student or staff member) within a school, the following notifications will occur:

  • All families within a school where there is a positive COVID case will receive an email notification.
  • If a student is a close contact of the COVID positive individual, the parent or guardian will be called by a school administrator or nurse.
  • All District 7 families will receive email notification if any District 7 school suspends in-person instruction due to COVID outbreaks.

In addition, if there is a current positive case within a school, families will receive an update from the building principal with a summary of the number of positive cases and the number of students quarantined as part of a regular weekly communication.   If families do not receive a letter or an update from the building principal, it means there are no positive cases within the school.

Thank you for continuing to follow the practices and procedures that allow us to keep schools open for in-person learning as well as for your continued patience and support.

Dr. Jason Henderson

COVID-19 Testing Locations

Please click the link below to see a letter from the Regional Office of Education regarding COVID-19 Testing Locations:

http://ecusd7.org/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/2020/09/ROE_TestingLetter_toDistricts.pdf

9-18-20 Update from District 7

District 7 Families,

A reminder that next Friday, September 25th is a remote planning day for District 7 staff members.  This means that there will be no student attendance or new instruction for in-person or remote students on this day.

COVID Communication to Families

When there is a confirmed COVID positive individual (student or staff member) within a school, the following notifications will occur:

  • All families within a school where there is a positive COVID case will receive an email notification.
  • If a student is a close contact of the COVID positive individual, the parent or guardian will be called by a school administrator or nurse.
  • All District 7 families will receive email notification if any District 7 school suspends in-person instruction due to COVID outbreaks.

In addition, if there is a current positive case within a school, families will receive an update from the building principal with a summary of the number of positive cases and the number of students quarantined as part of regular weekly communication.   If families do not receive a letter or an update from the building principal, it means there are no positive cases within the school.  As of this morning, there are two COVID positive cases at the elementary school level, two at the middle school level, and one at the high school level.

 

E-Learning Days in lieu of Snow Days

According to Section 10-20.56 of Illinois School Code, school districts may utilize “e-Learning days” in lieu of emergency days (snow days).  In order to do this, one of the requirements is that the district hold a public hearing and have an e-Learning proposal approved by the Board of Education.  In order to meet this requirement, District 7 will hold a public hearing at 5 PM on Monday, September 28th at the Woodland Elementary Cafeteria.  If the plan is approved by the Board of Education and the Regional Office of Education, District 7 will be able to use up to five e-Learning days in lieu of snow days when weather conditions make it dangerous to get students to school.

 

Parent Support for Schoology

District 7 has established  Zoom “office hours” for parents to access support with Schoology or other online platforms on Mondays from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Click the provided link during any of the times scheduled below for live support from a District 7 staff member.

https://ecusd7.zoom.us/j/4047633696?pwd=N2tpVDNqVVJPYkVSUmdnMlRBYTUvdz09

 

Schoology Office Hours for Parents (Mondays)

Sep 21, 2020          8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Sep 28, 2020          8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Oct 5, 2020             8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

 

Schoology Office Hours for Parents (Wednesdays)

Sep 23, 2020          3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Sep 30, 2020          3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Oct 7, 2020             3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

 

Thank you for continuing to follow the practices and procedures that allow us to keep schools open for in-person learning as well as for your continued patience and support.

Dr. Jason Henderson

Health Examinations & Immunizations

This is just a friendly reminder regarding the upcoming due dates for health examinations and immunizations.  The link below outlines the specific requirements for each grade level.  Proof of physicals and immunizations must be turned in to your student’s building nurse no later than October 15th.

http://ecusd7.org/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/2020/07/HEALTH-EXAM-FACT-SHEET.pdf

Return to Learn Parent Update-9-4-2020

District 7 Families,

Today marks the end of the third full week of student attendance.  While it is certainly not a normal year, the routines of school are kicking in for the students–whether remote or in-person.  The new procedures and protocols have proven to be effective mitigation strategies in our schools.  Mask-wearing and social distancing throughout the school day have allowed our schools to safely provide in-person instruction.  These efforts, combined with your participation and cooperation, will allow the District to continue to provide opportunities for in-person learning for our students.  Thank you for also completing the daily self- certification checks with your students and keeping students  home when they are showing any COVID symptoms. Your patience and understanding when students and siblings are sent home and quarantined due to the onset of symptoms is greatly appreciated.  The District must have strict protocols in place for in-person learning to be able to continue.

In addition to new protocols, District 7 continues to consult with the Madison County Health Department as well as local pediatricians to discuss the newest data as it relates to the transmission of COVID-19.  Within the last week, a group of over 80 local community pediatricians, pediatric infectious disease specialists, pediatric adolescent specialists, and pediatric nurse practitioners have written a letter to all of our communities advocating for in-person instruction based on the latest data.

Click Here to Read the Pediatrician Letter to the Community

Remote Planning Day with no student attendance – Friday, September 25th 

On Friday, September 25th, District 7 will have a remote planning day.  Remote planning days are used by school districts to help provide professional development and continually prepare for remote instruction.  Remote planning days are non-attendance days for all students Pre-K through 12th grade. The Illinois State Board of Education allows all school districts to have a maximum of five remote planning days throughout the 2020-21 school year as needed. Please make note of this change in the calendar for Friday, September 25th.

 

What sort of notification can families expect if there is a COVID positive case within a school? 

When there is a confirmed COVID positive individual (student or staff member) within a school, the following notifications will occur:

  1. If a student is a close contact of the COVID positive individual, the parent or guardian will be called by a school administrator or nurse.
  2. All families within a school where there is a positive COVID case will receive an email notification.
  3. All District 7 families will receive email notification if any District 7 school suspends in-person instruction in alignment with the metrics outlined below.

What metrics will District 7 use to determine when to suspend in-person learning and move to a remote setting? 

District 7 will suspend in-person instruction and move to a 100% remote setting under the following conditions:

  1. The community as a whole is under a stay-at-home order from the Governor or another local or state agency.
  2. The District does not have enough staff members (due to quarantine) to safely operate.
  3. There are outbreaks within at least three District 7 schools.  An outbreak is defined by the Madison County Health Department as “two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases who are epidemiologically linked to the outbreak setting, have onsets of illness within a 14-day period, do not share a household, and are not listed as a close contact of each other outside of the outbreak setting.”  Individual classrooms and schools will have in-school instruction suspended prior to the entire District moving to a remote setting.  Click here for more details regarding this metric.

After transitioning into an all remote learning setting, District 7 would remain in this setting for at least two weeks.  During this time, the District will work collaboratively with the Madison County Health Department to review COVID-19 data specific to our school district/communities and review current staffing levels to determine a date of return to in-person instruction.

The results from the parent survey that was completed in June 2020 have been posted  on the District’s website.  To review the results by grade level band, click on the link below:

Click Here to view the survey data.

Finally, even though confirmed cases in the schools remain low, the District is concerned about Madison County’s rise in positive Covid cases.  A continued increase in positive cases in our local communities has the potential to impact whether or not students can continue in-person learning.  We need everyone’s help to keep the virus out of our communities and schools.  We are hopeful that students will continue to follow good hygiene practices and strategies that keep them healthy – wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing social distancing.  Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jason Henderson

Parent Orientation to Schoology

Parents,

Once you have created your parent account within Schoology (using the access code information emailed on Monday, August 24th), you may want to join the “Parent Orientation to Schoology” course on Schoology to learn more about how to use your parent account.   Below is a list of some of the topics you will find on this course:

  • Getting Started – Parent View Video
  • Viewing Your Child’s Courses
  • Communicating with Teachers

Please click the link below for information on how to join this course.

http://ecusd7.org/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/2020/08/How-to-Access-the-Parent-Orientation-on-Schoology.pdf

Thank you.

Important Message Regarding Schedule from District 7

District 7 Families,

The purpose of this message is to share an important change in what has been previously communicated. 

At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, the Board gave direction to continue to work with the Madison County Health Department to develop metrics more specific to District 7 to determine when to suspend in-person learning rather than relying on the previously communicated county-wide metrics. The health department has informed the District that there is no evidence of any school-based transmission at this time. In addition, it was shared at the Board meeting last night that many local pediatricians continue to advocate for in-person instruction to occur to the greatest extent possible.  

As a result, District 7 schools will remain open for in-person learning even if Madison County continues to be designated in the orange “Warning” status this Friday. This week’s schedule will be unchanged with all students K-12 following the hybrid schedule.  Friday, August 28th will remain a remote day.  For the high school and middle school, this will be a typical Friday in the hybrid schedule with instruction as originally planned.  For elementary families, we will use a portion of this day as a test of our newly installed Wi Fi connectivity and will have teachers connecting with students and families virtually. This test run will help us work out technical difficulties if/when we are required to transition all students to 100% remote instruction.  

Beginning on Monday, August 31st, all students in grades 6-12 will continue following the current hybrid schedule and K-5 students will return to attending in-person five days a week. Students who are already on a 100% remote schedule will see no changes. 

While we are able to continue to provide in-person learning for now, it is important for families to be prepared for the possibility of a shift to remote learning at any time.  As of today, there are a small number of both students and staff members quarantined due to being in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, being symptomatic, or receiving a COVID-19 positive result.  Rest assured that parents will always be notified if their student was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.  Even though our number of quarantined staff and students remains small, if this were to change, the District would be forced to suspend in-person learning and shift to a remote setting for a period of time. 

In the meantime, the way our communities can demonstrate that they value in-person instruction is by being vigilant about wearing masks and practicing social distancing. These simple steps should be practiced not just at school, but outside our school buildings as well.  Please remember that exposures outside of school will ultimately impact the District’s ability to provide in-person learning.  As the final metrics are determined in conjunction with the Madison County Health Department, these will be shared with the community. 

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this pandemic.

Important Message from District 7

District 7 Families,

District 7 has been informed by the health department that Madison County will move into the orange “Warning” designation on Friday, August 21st.  Due to this, District 7 will move into the hybrid (A/B Day) schedule for all K-12 students on Monday, August 24th.  This does not represent a change for students in grades 6-12 who are already in a hybrid schedule. Parents of K-5 students are reminded of the following changes for the week of August 24th:

  • Students with the last name beginning with A-L will attend on Monday and Wednesday.
  • Students with the last name beginning with M-Z will attend on Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Kid Zone will be available only on days when students are in attendance.

Parents of students with IEPs should have received an email today from the District 7 Department of Special Education regarding attendance during a hybrid schedule.

K-5 students will NOT be expected to be online during the two “off” days during this one week of hybrid instruction.  Elementary teachers will provide assignments for the students to complete and bring back to school.  Building principals or teachers will provide additional information by Wednesday, August 26th regarding the Friday, August 28th remote day.

We understand that neither hybrid nor remote learning are ideal learning environments for the majority of our students.  Particularly at the K-5 level, every effort will be made to get back to five day a week instruction as soon as possible. Our goal is to offer in-person learning as long as it does not threaten the safety of our students, staff, and community.  Our hope is that the metrics in Madison County will improve so that we will be able to continue to offer in-person instruction at all grade levels.  Elementary building principals will be following up via email with parents tomorrow regarding the hybrid schedule for next week.

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this pandemic.