Coronavirus Update 3/15/2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your extraordinary support over the past several days, as we have worked together to protect our community during the growing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. To further safeguard Illinois from the spread of the virus, Governor JB Pritzker has declared mandatory school closures for all buildings, both public and private, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.

This mandatory closure takes effect Tuesday, March 17. Currently, we anticipate reopening on March 31.

Free lunch and breakfast will be available to all students. We will be providing sack lunches and breakfasts, which can be picked up in the cafeteria during school days from 11 AM until noon. Please enter through the southeast door closest to the main parking lot, enter through the cafeteria, pick up a sack lunch/breakfast for your student(s), and exit through the other the end of the cafeteria.

We are committed to keeping students engaged in their learning during this statewide school closure. Our staff has worked diligently to develop our e-learning program which is a blend of materials utilizing technology, hard copies, and activities to be performed at home. Teachers will be available for questions and will communicate specific hours to provide one-to-one help for all students.

To supplement these services, we encourage you to engage your children in other free, online educational activities. The Illinois State Board of Education has compiled a library of resources at www.isbe.net/keeplearning.

Concern over this new virus can make children anxious. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Adults should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.

Children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk, so the focus of conversation should be concrete instructions about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Teaching children positive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infections can help reduce anxiety. Please talk with your children about precautions they can take to stay healthy, including:
● Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best, especially if they are visibly dirty. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a suitable alternative. Consider showing your children one of these videos about proper handwashing technique: www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
● Stay home if you are able to stay home. Avoid travel if you can.

The National Association of School Psychologists has additional guidelines about talking to children about COVID-19 at https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and- publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis- resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource.

We will continue to inform you as quickly as we can about any further changes to school services. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your building principal.

We appreciate your partnership, and we will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Shawn Teske

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