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March 11, 2020
E-Learning Plan Letter to Parents

This message was sent on March 11, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians – 

While there are NO reported cases of Coronavirus connected to any of our schools at this time, District 207 wants parents to know that our staff has been putting plans in place to continue to educate our students in the event schools need to be closed in the future. We were already on track to approve an e-learning plan at our April Board of Education meeting, but the State is allowing schools to fast track that process in order to meet any needs that may arise sooner.

In the event of a prolonged school closure, we would first use our five built-in emergency days before beginning e-learning (virtual) instruction. We have already met with all staff, and teachers are talking to students now about how this would work for each class. The following link is what is being shared with our students to help prepare them for any e-learning days. Because we have done cloud computing for so long, our staff and students have as much readiness to do e-learning as anyone in the U.S., but it will take the support and flexibility of everyone involved to make this uncertain process successful.

To that end, we are asking our parents to join in helping us in the event that our District 207 schools are closed for a lengthy period of time. First, know that to the extent possible, by the sixth day of a school closing, our teachers will be communicating e-learning with our students, each of whom have a device for just such purposes. In addition, nearly every District 207 student has home internet connectivity, but we have also provided wireless hotspots for families in need for several years, and we are asking any students who need home connectivity to let us know by contacting their school counselor so that we can help provide it if needed.

In a virtual learning environment, students will need to take responsibility for their work and engagement. While set “class times” will not be held, teachers will regularly be sending learning activities and assignments and collecting those as evidence of your child’s work during this time. Please communicate and support your students to work in this environment; in addition, if necessary, you may contact your child’s teacher to communicate via email. We should anticipate, for example, that students or other family members may become ill, which could compromise a student’s ability to complete work for a period of time. Just as you regularly would communicate with school, in the event that your child is ill and unable to complete work, please call the school attendance line to report this as an illness.

In the event of a school or district closing, communication with parents and students will be through our already established communication avenues including:

  1. Email
  2. Automated phone calls
  3. Website updates
    1. District – https://maine207.org/
    2. Maine East – https://east.maine207.org/
    3. Maine South – https://south.maine207.org/
    4. Maine West – https://west.maine207.org/
    5. Frost Academy – https://maine207.org/frost-academy/
  4. Remind (student texts) – used by some teachers.

Parents need to be sure they have updated contact information on file with the school district. Please login to Infinite Campus at https://campus.maine207.org/campus/portal/parents/maine207.jsp and ensure your information is correct. If you need to update the information, please contact your school and provide updated phone and/or email to ensure you don’t miss key information from the school district.

We have created a page on the district website https://maine207.org/e-learning/ to address frequently asked questions about e-learning.

Here are some key reminders about the District’s plans in relation to the Coronavirus:

  • Parents should share with the school if a student or family member is known to have been exposed to someone who has a confirmed case of Coronavirus or if a student or their family member has a confirmed case of the Coronavirus.
    • Maine East – 847-692-8317 or 847-825-4484
    • Maine South – 847-692-8199 or 847-825-7711
    • Maine West – 847-803-5751 or 847-827-6176
    • Frost Academy – 847-292-6521
  • The decision to close a school or schools will be guided by the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Currently, the guidance is to keep schools open. http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/schools-guidance

As was shared on Monday, March 9, District 207 is asking all parents to share with the school district if you or your student has recently traveled overseas or plans to travel overseas prior to the end of the school year. http://bit.ly/207selfreport. This is being done out of an abundance of caution. However, in the event someone connected to the schools has a confirmed case of Coronavirus, it will be important to have this information on hand to share with health officials.

In the meantime, please know that our facilities teams are actively cleaning and sanitizing high touch places in the buildings such as handrails, doorknobs, faucet handles, etc.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ken Wallace, Superintendent