Message from Superintendent Dr. Jason Henderson

District 7 students, staff, and families:

I want to acknowledge the emotional toll that the recent national events of police brutality and the subsequent protests have had on our students and community—specifically our African American students, teachers and families.  I want to say unequivocally that District 7 stands with you and is committed to you now and in the future.

Many of you know that District 7 enacted an Equity Task Force that met in the months of January and February to address issues of equity within our school community.  This group had begun discussing and formulating recommendations before the COVID-19 pandemic forced meetings to be cancelled.  I wanted to share that the District 7 Equity Task Force has begun to meet again and will be providing recommendations in the coming weeks on the steps the district can take to address biases among staff and students through professional development as well as curricular modifications.  Students, staff and families can expect there to be noticeable changes made in District 7 schools based on these recommendations.

We don’t have all the answers to what will make our students, staff, and families well at the moment, nor should we act as if the answers are simple.  We are, however, committed to acknowledging our mistakes from the past and expanding our current efforts and growing as a school district and community.  Thank you for your support and as we move forward with our efforts.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jason Henderson

Superintendent

School Closure Update: April 23, 2020

District 7 parents,
I hope that parents and students have developed a routine for remote learning and have gotten over the initial stress that many faced.  Please read the following information regarding the remainder of this school year and many questions that relate to summer programs.   
                                                               
Remote Learning Calendar 
Remote learning will continue through the remainder of the school year.  Teacher planning days will occur on the following Fridays: April 24th, May 1st, and May 8th.  For seniors, the last day of remote learning will be Friday, May 15th.  For all other grade levels, the last day that remote learning assignments may be due is Friday, May 22nd.  Additional student learning opportunities will be provided on May 26th-28th, however, there will not be any assignments due on these days after Memorial Day.  The last official day of school for the 2019-20 school year is May 28th
 
Returning Textbooks/Picking up Yearbooks
We are developing procedures for the collection of textbooks from students and parents at each school.  Building principals will be communicating the dates and times that textbooks will be collected.  For the middle and high school, this will likely be May 20th-22nd.  For elementary buildings, textbook collection will occur in the days following Memorial Day (May 26th – May 29th).   Yearbooks will be distributed to those students who ordered them at the time of book collection if they are available.  It will be important that parents and students follow the schedule provided by the building principals in order to practice appropriate social distancing. Parents or students who need to pick up additional personal items from the school will need to make arrangements to do so through the building principal.   Please watch for additional information coming soon from your child’s building principal. 
 
Class of 2020 Graduation
Dr. Cramsey will be providing information regarding graduation in an email to parents and students on Friday, April 24th. 
 
Summer School
The following High School Summer School courses will be taught remotely and will follow the summer school schedule originally advertised:  Civics, US History (A and B), Global Perspectives, Geography Explorations, Consumer Education, Sports in Literature, Health, and Medieval World History. 
The following High School Summer School courses are CANCELLED: Physical Education and Limited Enrollment courses including Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Algebra/Geometry 3, Freshman Literature, Sophomore World Literature, Jr. American Literature and Grammar & Composition.  We are waiting for further guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education before making a determination on whether Driver’s Education can be offered remotely during the summer.  We will communicate information on Driver’s Education as soon as it is available.  
All students attending summer school remotely will need a device with a microphone and a camera as well as internet access. Students will receive an email from their summer school teacher prior to the first day with a Zoom Meeting ID number and a password for access to the first class. Student attendance will be taken daily, and all attendance requirements will still be in effect.
If you no longer want your child to attend summer school, please contact Hadley House at 656-1182 to request a summer school refund no later than May 15, 2020. Registration for EHS Summer School is complete and no applications will be accepted at this time.
The Middle School and Elementary Summer Reading Program will not be offered this summer.
Students with IEP’s that qualify for Extended School Year will receive information from the Office of Student Services in the coming weeks.
 
Summer Kid Zone
There will be no Summer Kid Zone program for the summer of 2020.  All deposits that have been paid will be refunded. 
 
Continuation of Meal Service
District 7 will continue providing both lunch and breakfast through the end of the school year.  Food distribution will take place at the Glen Ed Pantry each Monday from 10 AM to 12 PM.  The District will also continue delivering meals to those families that are unable to pick them up.  If any family is in need of meals, please contact Hadley House at 656-1182. 
 
Please continue to watch for additional emails from your child’s building principal.  Those emails will contain more details regarding updated procedures as we move forward.  Thank you again for your continued patience and support of District 7.
Respectfully,
Dr. Jason Henderson

School Closure Update: April 17, 2020

This afternoon the Governor announced the suspension of in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.   Next week, we will provide updated information regarding remote learning for the remainder of the school year including a remote learning calendar for the month of May.  We will also begin to address and provide updated information on several of the “end of year” events that take place this time of year including high school graduation.  There are also several end-of-year procedures that will need to be developed such as how to return textbooks and clean out lockers.  As we establish these procedures in the coming weeks, we will communicate them to students and parents as quickly as possible.   
Thank you for your continued patience and support of District 7 as we face this new reality together.
Respectfully,
Dr. Jason Henderson 

School Closure Update: April 3, 2020

Dear District 7 Families,
 
On March 31st, Governor Pritzker issued an extension of the Illinois Stay At Home Order and school building closures through the end of April. Please know that at District 7, our buildings may be closed, but teaching and learning continues.  The Edwardsville School District has developed a Remote Learning Plan for all students PK – 12th grades. Click the following link to see District 7’s Remote Learning Plan: http://ecusd7.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/District-7-Remote-Learning-Plan.pdf
 
This plan has been be developed in collaboration with our teachers and administrators and will follow the recommendations from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). It covers topics such including “Grading” and “Special Education & Related Services” that continue to be on the minds of parents.  The District 7 Remote Learning Plan is extremely important in minimizing the negative impact the school closure has on our students by ensuring consistency in the skills and concepts being taught and providing clear communication of student expectations.
 
District 7 Spring Break is scheduled for next week, April 6 – April 13. Remember that since these days have already been approved as non-attendance days, new instruction/lessons will be suspended during this time. The next day of Remote Learning will take place on Tuesday, April 14th.  Families who pick up meals will still be able to get them on Monday, April 6th at the Glen Ed Pantry located at 125 5th Ave, Edwardsville, IL between 10 AM and 12 PM.  Many thanks to the Glen Ed Pantry for partnering with District 7 and providing extra hours for our families to pick up meals in the coming weeks. 
 
With our buildings closed, state-wide assessments such as the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and the SAT session held at Edwardsville High School have also been suspended.
 
We will continue to communicate in a timely manner and make it a goal to get parents new information as soon as possible.
 
Respectfully,
 
Dr. Jason Henderson

School Closure Update: April 2, 2020

District 7 Parents,

Thank you for being patient over the past two weeks while we shifted gears to a new way of teaching and learning.  As you know, on Tuesday, March 31st, the Governor announced an extension of the stay-in-place and school closure through the end of April.

During the first two and a half weeks of the closure, District 7 implemented an e-Learning/Home-Based learning plan.  Under guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), all days moving forward will be titled “Remote Learning Days”, and all districts must develop a Remote Learning Plan.  The Remote Learning Plan being developed will be closely aligned to District 7’s e-Learning plan.

During the extended closure, the District’s priorities will continue to focus on the needs and well-being of the students and families, to ensure meals are provided to those who need them and to continue providing remote learning activities for all students.

We have learned a lot about providing e-learning/remote learning in a short time.  We are extremely proud of District 7 staff for continuing their work despite the challenges, questions, and concerns that are raised.

 

Remote Learning Planning Day (Friday, April 3rd)

Due to the extended closure announcement from the Governor, District 7 is providing the staff with a day to review, plan and to prepare for the coming weeks.  On Friday, April 3rd, District 7 Staff will have opportunities to teleconference with their colleagues and to participate remotely in professional development. Students will have the day to enjoy activities with their families, complete any assignments that are due on Friday, or catch up on learning activities they’ve missed.   Students and parents may still email questions to teachers this Friday or any future Planning Days. Please understand, however, that teachers will be unavailable to communicate in the same manner as a typical Remote Learning Day.

On Friday, we hope to have the details of the Remote Learning Plan available for parents.  Once it is completed, we will email a summary of the plan as well as making it available on the District 7 website. Remote Learning for all students will resume on Tuesday, April 14th after Spring Break.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jason Henderson

School Closure Update: March 31, 2020

District 7 Parents,
I wanted to provide you with an update based on the latest information available.  Within the last hour, the Governor has extended school closure for all Illinois School Districts through April 30th.
 
Remote Learning Days (e-Learning) Update
Last weekend, District 7 along with all school districts in Illinois received updated guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) regarding e-Learning days—which are now called “Remote Learning Days”.  For the remainder of this week, there will be no change to procedures.  This Friday, April 3rd, District 7 teachers will be participating in a planning day to prepare for Remote Learning Days that will continue through the remainder of school closure.  You will receive additional information regarding Remote Learning Days in a communication this Friday and follow up information from both building principals and teachers.  This information will give details about similarities and differences between Remote Learning Days the e-Learning days of the past three weeks as well as updated expectations for students.   The most important thing to stress at this time is for students to engage and communicate with their teachers.  We are working on ways to streamline communication as well as getting more uniform procedures to help make this process easier on parents and students.  Any new procedures for Remote Learning Days will begin on Tuesday, April 14th
 
Change to Meal Pickup Procedures Beginning Monday, April 6th
Beginning on Monday, April 6th, District 7 will begin partnering with the Glen Ed Pantry to provide lunches and breakfasts.  On Monday, April 6th, meal pickup will move to the Glen Ed Pantry located at 125 5th Ave, Edwardsville, IL.  All meal pickup will continue to be at the Pantry until further notice.  Meal pickup for next week will be on Monday April 6th only.  All families who have meals delivered will receive them on Monday, April 6th
 
District 7 Donation of Needed Supplies
We have received many messages wondering whether District 7 is donating supplies to those in need.  The answer to this question is “YES”.  Since the school closure, District 7 has donated goggles, aprons, masks, gloves, along with hundreds of containers of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.  These donations have been to various organizations such as the Edwardsville Police Department, local hospitals, nursing homes, and various other families in need. 
 
Thank you for your continued patience and help as we move through these unprecedented times together.
 
Dr. Jason Henderson

School Closure Update: March 24, 2020

District 7 Parents,
I hope that each of you are staying safe at home and beginning to get into a routine with your students regarding home-based learning.  I wanted to give you an update on a couple of questions that we have been receiving:  
 
How can I contact schools or the district office during school closure?
As of Monday, March 23rd, all schools are closed to visitors and all phone calls are directed to the district office.  The district office will continue to answer phone calls between the hours of 9 AM and 12 PM each day.   All building related questions should be emailed directly to the school principal and all classroom or subject-related questions should be emailed directly to the teacher. 
 
What will happen with the District 7 Spring Break (Scheduled from April 6th-13th)?
The Governor’s current directive is for schools to remain closed through April 7th.  District 7 was scheduled to begin spring break on April 6th with students returning to school on April 14th.  Because of this, even if the order to return to school is lifted, District 7 will remain closed until April 14th.  Students will NOT have e-Learning or home-based assignments during the days of spring break.  Kid Zone will not be in session during any days of school closure or spring break.  District 7 will provide meal pickup on Monday April 6th.  More information on meal pickup during spring break will be provided as we get closer to April 6th.   
 
When will we get 3rd quarter report cards?
A few parents have been calling the office to ask about 3rd quarter report cards.  All high school, middle school and intermediate (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade) students’ report cards are already available on Tiger View.  Primary grade (kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd) report cards will be mailed home on Friday, March 27th.
 
 
Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.  We will continue to provide meals for those that need them, frequently updated communication to parents, and a continuity of learning for your students. 
Respectfully,
Dr. Jason Henderson

School Closure Update: March 20, 2020

District 7 Parents,
I wanted to give everyone an update on a few topics related to school closure.  This afternoon at 3 PM, Governor Pritzker will deliver a press conference and we believe that he will extend the school closure at least two additional weeks.  I wanted to reassure parents that District 7 will continue to do the following throughout the closure:
  • Feed children by providing daily meals Monday through Friday
  • Communicate accurate information on a regular basis
  • Engage students academically and socially
 
Update on District-Provided Meals
District 7 is committed to making sure students who rely on school meals will continue to have food while schools are closed.  We will continue to provide a grab and go lunch and breakfast each day between 9 AM and 12 PM at Edwardsville High School, Glen Carbon Elementary, and Worden Elementary.  We will also continue to deliver meals to those who cannot make it to one of the three locations.  On Mondays during closure, we will have a second meal pickup time from 4 PM-7 PM at all three locations.  On these days, parents will be able to take up to five days of meals in one pickup. 
 
Communication regarding school and building closures
ALL communication regarding District 7 school closure and what occurs during this period will be shared directly from the District 7 office. 
To avoid the spread of misinformation, please rely only on statements released by District 7 through emails communicated directly to parents, through the District Facebook page, and through the district website (www.ecusd7.org).  Building principals may provide school-related information with parents via email and School Facebook pages as well. 
For updates on COVID-19 in our community, refer to the Madison County Health Department website.
e-Learning/Home-based learning
Schools will continue to provide educational opportunities students can do at home.  Teachers and principals will be preparing additional activities to engage students in the days ahead. If school closure is extended past the original two weeks, please watch for additional information explaining how to access or pick up resources.  When the time comes, we will have specific instructions for those that might need to pick up packets from schools. 
Building Access
We expect that soon the District will be directed by state or local officials to “shelter-in-place”.  If this occurs, you can expect to get communication on Sunday with updated information regarding building access.   
 
 
Thank you to all parents and students for your patience as we work together through this unprecedented situation.  If you have an opportunity, send a positive note to a teacher or other District 7 staff member this weekend.  What they have done in a short period of time is amazing. 
 
 
Respectfully,
 
Dr. Jason Henderson

School Closure – eLearning & Internet Access Update: March 18, 2020

District 7 parents,

I’m hopeful that everyone is safe at home today and that your students have been able to access the assignments that the teachers have provided.  I also hope those of you that requested meals were able to pick them up today or that they have been delivered.

I wanted to reassure those middle and high school students and parents who might be struggling with the e-Learning assignments that our staff is committed to helping you!  We are particularly aware of parents with multiple students at the middle and high school level who are receiving dozens of emails regarding assignments and that they are difficult to distinguish.  We are brainstorming ideas that will hopefully make this simpler moving forward.

If your students are struggling on this first day to complete their assignments or are overwhelmed, please reassure them that their teachers are going to be flexible and will help them through this as we move forward.  I also want to continue to reassure students and parents that any assignments completed during the time of school closure WILL NOT negatively affect their grades.

At the end of this email is a list of two local businesses that are offering 60 days of free internet services to help families during the time of school closure.  If you know of anyone who might need internet service, please pass this information on to them.

There are many rumors that continue to fly around social media regarding school being closed for a longer period of time than just two weeks.  Although this is certainly possible, we have not received any further directives yet.  As soon as we have more information, we will pass it along to parents and the community.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jason Henderson

Businesses offering free internet

Charter is offering 60 days of free internet access (click link below)

https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more

Madison Communications is offering 60 days of free internet access (click link below)

http://gomadison.com/about-us/covid-19-response

School Closure Update: March 17, 2020

District 7 parents and community members,

I am sending this brief message today to let you know of some updates to the District 7 web page located at www.ecusd7.org.  On the homepage, you will now see only two banners to click on in the middle of the page.  The first of these banners is labeled “SCHOOL CLOSURE: COVID-19 INFORMATION”.  Clicking on this link will take you to the location where all information related to school closure will be housed.  This will include all messages to parents and community members, a link to Frequently Asked Questions, a list of local restaurants offering free meals/snacks for students, and other timely and important information.  We will continue to send out information via email and social media, but we wanted to let you know that everything will be housed on this website if you are looking for the most up-to-date information as well as any past communications.

We continue to receive word of more restaurants that are providing free meals for students and we will update this list continuously as we get information.  For the most up-to-date list, click here: http://ecusd7.org/covid19/#tab-id-4.  If you know of families that need meals, please have them contact the District Office at 656-1182.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call your child’s school between the hours of 8 AM and 1 PM.  The District Office can also be reached during this same time frame.  We will keep parents informed if we are forced to shorten or eliminate these hours.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jason Henderson