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

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.

Return To Learn Update – 8-18-2020

District 7 Families,

Thank you to students, staff members, and parents for helping to get this school year off to a successful start.  Staff has shared that our in-person students are excited to be back and are doing an excellent job following our new procedures and protocols. Our remote learners are adjusting well to the “new” way to access school, and we appreciate the efforts our teachers have made in adjusting to alternate teaching methods.

Unfortunately, our region is now the first in the state to have restrictive mitigations triggered by a recent surge of COVID-19 cases. Although these restrictions do not apply to school districts, area district administrators continue to collaborate with the Madison County Health Department and review the recently released Illinois Department of Public Health metrics that provide information about levels of community transmission of COVID-19 within specific counties of Illinois.

Illinois Department of Public Health now shares specific county metrics and labels counties using the colors blue and orange.  The color blue indicates  the county is experiencing overall stable COVID-19 metrics.  The color orange indicates there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county. At this time, Madison County remains “Blue”, however, over the last few weeks, the positivity rate and the number of cases per 100,000 of the county’s population have continued to rise.   If the rates rise to certain levels, Madison County would receive an orange “Warning” designation.  The next update is scheduled to occur this Friday, August 21.  You can view the IDPH metrics and other information about the designations at the following website:

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics?county=Madison

In the event that the Madison County metrics rise to levels that result in the county being issued an orange “Warning” designation this Friday, August 21, all students K-5 would move into Option 2—the hybrid blended model beginning on Monday, August 24.

    • Students with a last name beginning with A-L attend “A” days and students with last name M-Z attend “B” days.
    • Kid Zone will be available for students in grades K-5 only on the days that they attend.

6th through 12th grade students would continue to adhere to the hybrid schedule in this scenario.  Parents will receive an automated phone call and an email on Friday, August 21 from the District if this occurs; additional information to follow from the building principals.   With any schedule option change throughout this school year parents will be notified via email and automated phone call.

If Madison County stays with an orange “Warning” designation for two consecutive weeks, this would cause District 7 to transition to remote learning for all students.   This means that if the metrics continue to worsen and do not stay within targeted levels, District 7 will transition to full remote learning as early as Monday, August 31, as a result of being in “Warning” status for two consecutive weeks.

If District 7 shifts to all remote learning, it will stay there until Madison County moves out of “Warning” (back to “Blue”) for two consecutive weeks.

We understand that this decision will create hardships for our parents and students, but we must continue to operate throughout this pandemic with the safety of our students and staff as our first priority.  Please help to stop the spread in our county and do your part to improve our metrics by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

Thank you for your help in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and for your continued patience as we navigate this pandemic.

Dr. Jason Henderson

First Day of School Information

Tomorrow students will be able to enter classrooms for the first time since abruptly leaving almost five months ago.  On Thursday, all K-5 students and 6-12 students whose last names begin with A-L will have their first day. 6-12 students whose last names begin with M-Z will have their first day on Friday. With a focus on health, wellness, and safety this year, we wanted to remind parents and students of the following guidelines:

  1. Wear a mask–remember that masks are mandatory inside our schools and on buses.
  2. Only come to school if you are healthy, symptom free and have not been in close contact with sick family or friends.  Self certification is a key to creating a healthy and safe learning environment.  Remember that students who display COVID symptoms at school will not be able to return to school for up to 10 days.
  3. Bring a water bottle to school with you.  Bottles of water will be available at every school for students, but you may also bring your own.

Our first few days will be focused on helping everyone feel comfortable at school.  We will be discussing our new safety procedures and protocols with the students and will be emphasizing the wearing of masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently.

District 7 teachers and staff members–Thank you for your dedication and for helping to create a safe environment for our students to learn and grow.  You are truly appreciated for what you do!  A special thanks as well to those teachers who have stepped out of their comfort zone to teach students remotely.

District 7 Parents–Thank you for being positive and enthusiastic with your students regarding school–whether in person or remote.  Your attitude will make all the difference with your students as we begin this school year.  Thank you also for your continued patience and trust as we navigate through this unprecedented and ever-changing situation.

District 7 Students–Welcome back!  We can’t wait to begin getting to know all of you on Thursday!!!!

Information Regarding Class Assignments and Schedules 8-5-2020

District 7 Parents, 

We want to let you know that TigerView will be open on Monday, August 10th, at 8 AM.  Once in Tigerview, parents and students can access the following information: 

·       Bus information for all students

·       Teacher assignments for elementary students

·       Schedules for middle and high school students

Teacher assignments and schedules will be accessible in TigerView for all students including those students who will be 100% remote learning.  Students who are 100% remote will also be contacted by their teacher(s) by Wednesday, August 12th with additional information.  

On Friday, August 7th, you will receive an email from this address that will provide TigerView login information and passwords.  You will use this information to login to TigerView on Monday. 

Parents of Elementary Students: You can expect communication from your student’s building principal by the end of this week with additional information. There will NOT be an evening to bring supplies to the classroom before school begins at any elementary school.  Parents will be  asked to send supplies with students within the first few days of school.