Return to Headlines

School Closure and E-Learning News (3/19)

Read Message in      Korean      Mongolian      Spanish

March 19, 2020

Dear District 31 Community,

As we move through this unprecedented and unknown landscape, I am continually reminded of how lucky we are to be part of this amazing community.  We may be encouraging and modeling social distancing, but District 31 is determined to maintain our vibrant community--even if it is remotely.

News and Updates

  • Right now schools are still closed through March 30.  Further extensions have not yet been determined but your administrative team is working hard to plan in anticipation that schools will be closed longer than March 30.  

  • Currently, the state has designated the March 17-30 as Act of God Days.  The current guidance is that these days will NOT have to be made up at the end of the school year.  The Illinois State Board of Education is encouraging all districts that are able to provide educational opportunities.  However, their guidance is that attendance doesn’t count and work completed--or not completed--can not negatively impact a child’s grade or academic standing.  Thus, the teachers have been focusing on practice, enrichment and extension.

  • The administration team is using feedback from these E-learning experiences to help guide us as we plan for options for a more robust E-learning experience in the event that the school shut-down continues and the guidance from the state shifts from Act of God Days to a more formal E-learning day. We recognize that E-learning is met with mixed feelings.  On one hand, parents and students crave the structure and opportunities to grow their students academically during this challenging time.  On the other hand, as parents are working from home and juggling many responsibilities during this time, it can be challenging to manage E-learning expectations.  We are working to create a plan that best supports all of our families.

  • As we look at the school calendar, spring break is next week.  E-learning experiences will not be formally offered during spring break.  However, we would encourage parents to utilize the resource site curated by the Illinois State Board of Education.   The DuPage Office of Education has also compiled a wonderful list of resources and activities

  • Even though next week is spring break, your admin team is working to evolve the E-learning plans based on feedback in anticipation of extending remote learning.  In addition, you will continue to receive communication from me, the principals, and the township coronavirus task force as news and information becomes available.

 

Spring Break Community

Although we are advocating social distancing (just a reminder to avoid playdates, parks, or teen hangout times), we would love to use spring break to build community...even if it is remote! Here are some fun ideas to keep engaged over spring break:

  • Record yourself reading a story and send it to hgarard@district31.net. We will post videos on our website to create a library that can be used daily for storytime. 

  • Take a walk.  While we are advocating social distancing, we do hope families add taking a walk to their schedule (as long as it is permissible).  We encourage our families to do a daily art project representing a theme and place it in your windows. As families walk in our community, kids can see how many theme items they can find! Please share the wonderful drawings and pictures from your walks!

    • Monday, March 23 - Rainbows 

    • Tuesday, March 24 - Positive Words

    • Wednesday, March 25 - Sunshine

    • Thursday, March 26 - Flowers

    • Friday, March 27 - Emojis

  • Use technology to create a virtual book club (download an ebook from the Northbrook or Glenview Library), virtually tour a museum together (museums around the world are offering virtual tours), or watch a movie and discuss it with friends over video chat. 

  • Write letters or color pictures and email them to hgarard@district31.net and we will send them all to a nursing home.

  • Find new recipes to try with your family.  We would love to see pictures!

  • Consider making blankets for the Linus project, which provides cozy blankets for kids in need.  Blankets can be crochet, knit, fleece tied, etc.  Links are posted below to order materials. If you would like your child to participate, but you do not have a kit, let your school principal know and we will work to get a kit sent to you.  A blanket drop-off will be arranged once school resumes. Please note--they accept blankets of all types.  The kits below are examples of easy to make fleece blankets but feel free to be creative with the resources in your home.  Once again, we would love to see pictures we can share of students with finished quilts. 

  • Please continue to share photos of what you are up to on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WestNorthfieldD31/. We have been adding photos daily that are sent to us from students.  We encourage you to use the hashtag, #community31 for any pictures showcasing our wonderful District 31 community during this time.

 

Community Needs

The Northfield Township Food pantry is seeing unprecedented need for their service and has asked their local partners to send out information about donating or volunteering.

 

Resources

  • Technology Support: 

    • District 31 has a limited number of iPads available for K-2 families and a limited number of cellular “hot spot” devices for internet access that can be checked out.  If you are in need, please contact Dave Del Boccio (ddelboccio@district31.net).   We are working to get the materials needed to have a larger distribution of iPads for our K-2 families.  Stay tuned for more information.

    • Comcast is offering two months of free Internet service to low income families.  Click here for more information.

    • If a school issued device breaks or stops working, please contact tech support via “Tech Support Desk” options below.

      • Call 847-313-4490.  Leave a message with your name, student name, problem with technology device and a contact number. This line is monitored and phone calls will be returned.

      • Email e-techsupport@district31.net 

 

  • Educational Supports or General Questions

    • An administrator will be in our buildings each day from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. on school days in case a student or family member needs to enter the building to gather materials or if anyone needs support.  We encourage families to call or email prior to arriving at the school buildings. The administrative team and office staff will primarily be working remotely.

    • The District and school websites are being updated to include any needed information about school closures and news.

    • Winkelman 

    • Field

    • Special Education 

    • Business Services

    • District 31 Support

 

  • Other Assistance

District 31 is partnering with our food service provider, Quest, to provide free breakfast and/or lunch opportunities as needed to support our families.  Please click here for information about meal distribution including meals over spring break. Because we want to make sure Quest prepares the appropriate amount of meals, we ask you to sign up using this form. If you have questions please contact Assistant Superintendent Cathy Lauria at clauria@district31.net.  Meals will be provided over spring break.

  • The Northfield Township and Maine Township food pantries are up and plan to remain open.

    • Northfield Township Food Pantry, 2550 Waukegan Rd., Suite 100, Glenview, IL 60025, 847-724-8300

    • Maine Township Food Pantry, 1700 Ballard Rd, Park Ridge, IL 60068-1006, 847-297-2510

    • Please contact the food pantries directly if you are unable to come in and need food or if you have any other questions. 

    • If you would like to support the food pantries, please donate. Learn how you can donate and what food items are needed at https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/locations/northfield-township/and https://mainetown.com/departments/food-pantry/.  

  • Our social workers are available to offer any needed support.  Please contact them if you need any resources and support.

 

I know that we are in the middle of a scary and unknown situation.   Thank you for working with us as we persevere as a community to support our students and each other.  If you are interested in attending our brief Board of Education meeting remotely, you will find the information here.

 

In Community,

Dr. Erin K. Murphy

Superintendent

#community31