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Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the stay at home order until April 30. School District 65 quickly announced that all of the District’s schools will remain closed until at least that time. The District will rely on its remote learning plan to educate students.
Interim Superintendents Dr. Heidi Wennstrom and Dr. Phil Ehrhardt sent the letter below to the District 65 community:
Dear District 65 Community,
As you may have heard, this afternoon Governor Pritzker announced the extension of the ‘Stay at Home’ order for all Illinois residents through April 30. As a result, all District 65 schools will remain closed at least through this date. While we had certainly hoped we would be able to safely welcome our students and staff back sooner, this news was to be expected. We will communicate when we have an anticipated return date.
As educators, having our students present and being able to experience the joy of learning together and in person is truly special. It deeply saddens us that we will not be able to open our schools for at least another month, yet we know that this decision was made with the safety of our community, especially our most vulnerable residents, in mind. Our educators and staff will continue to connect with students virtually and to provide meaningful remote learning opportunities for all children. We could not be more appreciative of their flexibility and that of our families in finding creative ways to engage our students in continued educational and social emotional growth.
Remote Learning Plan Update
Our remote learning plan will go into place when we return from spring break. This plan will be based on guidance received this past weekend from the Illinois State Board of Education as well as important input and collaboration with our educators, school and district leaders, special services staff, and our curriculum and instruction team. Our remote learning plan will focus on the health and well-being of our community as well as our commitment to remain connected to and guide learning for students. We look forward to sharing this guidance with our educators by the end of this week and with our community shortly thereafter.
The decision has been made to schedule Remote Learning Planning Days on this Friday, April 3 and Monday, April 13. Learning activities will be provided for students but neither will be considered an instructional day. Educators will engage in various professional learning opportunities and will be unavailable to work with students or answer questions.
Continuation of Meal Program Over Spring Break
While we do not regularly provide meals over spring break, we recognize the importance of the meal program during this unprecedented time. In partnership with the City of Evanston and District 202, free breakfasts and lunches will be available for students next Monday, April 6, at community meal locations. Students will be able to pick up five days worth of meals between 1-4pm. The meal program will continue as long as schools are closed.
We know this entire situation has been scary and unsettling but this community has come together in the most remarkable ways. We are all in this together and we will absolutely get through it together. Please continue to allow yourselves grace and do not hesitate to reach out to your principal or a member of our district leadership team to let us know how we might be able to better support you during this difficult time. I hope that you can take spring break to relax, unwind, and recharge so that we can embark on this next chapter together. We also request that our very dedicated staff disconnect during Spring Break as they refresh for the weeks of remote learning ahead. Thank you for all that you continue to do for our children and the members of this community.
With health in mind,
Dr. Heidi Wennstrom
Dr. Phil Ehrhardt
Interim Superintendents of Schools