**Letter sent on April 21, 2020**
Dear District 135 Families,
On the Fridays of April 24, May 8, and May 22nd, Orland 135 will utilize The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved e-Learning planning days. ISBE has granted each school district up to five preparation days as part of their e-Learning guidance. These days will not need to be made up at the end of the school year.
We are electing to use these days to allow for thorough staff preparation and review of the remote learning expectations. Staff will develop essential skills and learning targets they have identified as ones most essential for the remaining weeks of the school year. Our staff will use this time to work collaboratively to enhance the e-Learning experience, including creating video lessons, collaborating on needed support for students, and continuing to develop differentiated opportunities for students.
New lessons and activities will not be posted on these days. This time will allow families a “catch-up” day, should this be necessary at home. Schools will provide social-emotional wellness and physical fitness activities on the school e-Learning pages, for those who are interested.
We appreciate all of the support that you continue to give to your children, to our schools, and to the Orland community.
**Letter sent on April 17, 2020**
Dear District 135 Community,
This afternoon, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools would be closed through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. That being said, District 135 will proceed with all scheduled school days as e-Learning days through the end of this school year.
We are so proud of the work our learning community is doing during these uncertain times, and want to assure you that our teachers and administrators are here to assist with any questions or concerns you may have at this time.
We recognize that many questions exist in regards to the end of the school year, and as soon as information becomes available, we will provide you with an update.
Our first goal and top priority throughout these times, is the safety, care, and well-being of our students and families. We also want to provide a continuing educational experience for our students in order to minimize instructional loss, maximize engagement, and keep our students moving forward however possible.
While the safety and well-being of everyone remains our top priority and concern, we also want our students to continue to learn and thrive. In this next phase of e-Learning, students and parents will continue to see teaching and learning that extends student thinking and moves learning forward.
New learning includes clear instruction, teaching, explanation, examples, amounts and pacing that are manageable for students. Learning also includes spanning over multiple days and allowing time for students to try examples and receive feedback, receive strategies, resource instruction, and accommodations.
In the upcoming weeks, your student will be seeing an occasional grade for their work. Grades are a familiar form of feedback and may be utilized by teachers during remote learning. Grading will be a way to show progress. Not all work or assignments will be graded. Students can improve their grade for work completed; however, The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has made it clear that grades during this time cannot be punitive toward students. Grades can only help students, and in no way, can have a negative impact on any overall grade since March 13. For our students, this means that by submitting work, it can only help them. The grades students see may be a 4 (going beyond expectations and demonstrating understanding), 3 (meeting requirements and demonstrating understanding), or 2 (demonstrating misunderstanding). For students demonstrating understanding at a level 2, rather than seeing a 2, they may just receive feedback. Any student may re-do, re-try, and re-submit work at any time without any negative impact. It is too soon to determine what end-of-trimester reporting will look like; for now, our beliefs and plans align with the grading guidelines from ISBE.
Orland School District 135 is aware that these times present many different situations for our families. Parents and caregivers are not expected to be the teachers. If help is needed by somebody at home, we want e-Learning to include directions that are easy to follow.
Our teachers are available to provide instruction, feedback, help and support each e-Learning day, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The remainder of their day is spent planning, collaborating, and in virtual meetings that still have to take place and require their attendance. While 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. is an opportunity for students to connect with their teacher(s), students may submit work and questions beyond that time, but they may not hear or see a reply from their teacher(s) until the following days.
Orland School District 135’s teachers and staff have been doing an excellent job and we remain committed to closing the year in the best way possible for our educational community.
Orland School District 135
**Letter sent on April 1, 2020**
Dear District 135 Community,
As we embark on this e-Learning journey together, we want to thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication to creating continuity of education during this uncertain time. Governor Pritzker has extended the ‘Stay at Home’ order, which includes a directive for schools to be closed through April 30th.
As a reminder, the Illinois State Board of Education and Governor Pritzker have announced that beginning yesterday, March 31st, and extending through the remainder of the school closure, all scheduled school days will be e-Learning days. There is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the e-Learning website that will help to answer any questions you might have regarding this process.
While it is not ideal, we want to assure you that at Orland School District 135, our teachers and staff are fully engaged and willing to take on this new challenge and push forward with remote learning. I know this is not the school year that any of us imagined, but I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with this crisis together.
We miss having students and staff in our buildings, and we are looking forward to the day when we can all be together again. As you continue to engage in e-Learning, we hope you’ll share some of your adventures with us. Use the #135learns on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook when you post your photos. Even if you don’t have Twitter, you can see all of the e-Learning happening across the District by clicking here.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this time of uncertainty.
**Letter sent on March 30, 2020**
Greetings from the Technology Department!
Thank you for all of your support and patience through this unprecedented time. As we return to e-Learning, I wanted to update you on some additional tools teachers will be using, as well as remind you about tools you as a parent have access to.
It is important to remember that the amount of time students are on devices is still a concern of the district. Students should not be on their device the entire “school day.” Teachers will still be assigning paper and pencil work and device-free activities. Please ensure that your child takes regular breaks.
The district has been working to get new tools online for teachers and students in this new environment. The most notable addition teachers and students will have access to is Zoom. This tool will allow teachers and students to interact in real-time with each other. Student safety is still our first concern. The district has taken a number of steps to ensure the safe use of Zoom including:
- Restrict students from being able to create meetings on their school device (Using the app on their iPad will only allow students to join meetings if they have the meeting code and password)
- Enabled security features and setting requirements for teacher-created meetings (These will prevent students from participating in a teacher’s meeting before the teacher joins and requiring the teacher to allow each student to join before they can participate.)
- Requiring teachers to record any 1:1 meetings with students (Specialists and resource support)
- Restricting parents from recording Zoom meetings- (For the privacy of other students, parents and students should NOT record any group Zoom meetings.)
We continue to strongly encourage parents to:
- Set time and location expectations for use of school and personal devices.
- Restrict device use and storage to public areas of the home
- Model appropriate device use
The district has several tools to support parents with school-issued devices.
Securely Parent Account - Provides parents a summary of their child’s online history including video, searches, and website visits. Securly Parent accounts also allow parents to block additional specific websites beyond what the district restricts. Learn more here.
JAMF Parent App - Parents with personal iOS devices can also use this app to set time limits and restrict apps on the school device. Learn more here.
We understand that this is a difficult time for many. If you have questions or concerns about instruction or assigned activities, please reach out to your child’s teacher. If you have technical issues, please reach out to the Instructional Technology Department through the help desk.
**Letter sent on March 29,2020**
Dear District 135 Community,
As you may already know, Governor Pritzker announced a ‘Stay at Home’ order that tentatively runs through April 7th. The Illinois State Board of Education recently provided guidance for school districts regarding school days for March 31st through April 7th.
Beginning Tuesday, March 31st, all school days will be e-Learning days. This means that meaningful lessons and activities will be provided for all students through the remainder of the school closure. At this time, we will revisit the slightly modified schedule below for e-Learning provided to all staff and families on Thursday, March 12th and utilized on Monday, March 16th. The schedule is as follows:
- 9:00 a.m. e-Learning lessons and activities posted on the e-Learning page on our website
- 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Teacher and Student Interaction
- 3-hour block of student engagement, and teachers providing feedback on student submitted work, monitoring posts, and providing instruction and support
Grading will focus on the continuation of learning and prioritize the connectedness and care for students and staff. All students will have the opportunity to redo, make up, or try again to complete, show progress, or attempt to complete work assigned. These e-Learning days will embrace the principle of “no educational harm to any child.” A focus on keeping children emotionally and physically safe, and engaged in learning will be our first priority during this unique time.
Additionally, Governor JB Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-15, suspends state assessments for spring 2020. This action officially ends assessment activity statewide for the Illinois Assessment of Readiness, Illinois Science Assessment, SAT, and Dynamic Learning Maps-Alternate Assessment for the 2019-20 school year.
The e-Learning page on our website will continue to be the central location to find all lessons and activities. As always, our staff is here to assist and answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your participation and cooperation during these challenging times.
**Letter sent on March 23,2020**
Dear District 135 Families,
The District recognizes the vital role it plays in providing lunch to students and is committed to maintaining this service while schools are closed. We understand that families are facing difficult financial challenges and that is why the District plans on expanding its meal service to all families that are in need of assistance while school is closed.
Beginning Monday, March 30, and throughout the duration of the school closure, Orland School District 135 will provide lunches to all Orland 135 students. Students will receive two lunches on Monday (3/30) and three lunches on Wednesday (4/1). Each lunch will contain one cold entree, one side, one fruit or vegetable, and a milk.
Please complete this survey before 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, if you are interested in receiving lunches for the week of March 30th. Student lunches will ONLY be prepared for families who complete this survey. If your child does not need lunches, please do not complete the survey. A new survey will be sent out on Mondays for subsequent weeks, should the school closure continue.
Lunch pick-up will take place every Monday and Wednesday during school closure from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at each junior high school, or will be delivered to a designated bus stop location near your home.
Please direct any questions to Tammy Maksa at 708-364-3361 or via email at email@example.com.
**Letter sent on March 21, 2010**
Dear District 135 Community,
On Friday, March 20, Governor Pritzker issued an executive order requiring residents to “stay at home” effective Saturday, March 21 at 5:00 pm, through April 7. As part of the Governor’s order, he announced that schools will remain closed, with a new tentative reopening date of Wednesday, April 8. We recognize that this development may raise questions about the impact on students, staff, and families. We anticipate further guidance and details from the Illinois State Board of Education next week.
During this stay at home order, essential school personnel may still report to work as long as they are practicing social distancing. In addition, the governor has made it clear that, while he’s serious about using social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, he wants residents to still be able to work, shop at grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and get medication from the pharmacy.
Over the past week the students, staff and families of Orland 135 demonstrated an ongoing commitment to learning through continual engagement. You can see some great examples of how everyone made the most out of e-Learning at #135learns. With next week being our scheduled spring break, no new assignments will be posted on the e-Learning page, however, I encourage you to continue to access the At-Home Learning Resources page on our District website. Here you can experience virtual field trips and access other fun indoor activities.
Please use this opportunity to focus on staying safe and helping to slow the spread of this virus. As always, thank you for your patience and support as we all work through the COVID-19 pandemic. As you have seen, this situation is evolving rapidly. As events unfold, we will continue to communicate in a timely manner.
**Letter sent on March 17, 2020**
Dear District 135 Community,
We are thankful for the incredible effort and support you have shown during our first e-Learning day.
The global situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, and administration is working hard to ensure our community has up-to-date information. The State of Illinois has mandated all schools close between March 17th and March 30th, and noted that all school days during this time are ‘Act of God’ days that do not need to be made up at the end of the school year.
Due to this development, the remainder of the school days during this time will not be official e-Learning days, and student work will not be graded. We expect teachers and students to stay connected, and to utilize the resources provided to stay engaged in their learning during this time. Lessons and activities will continue to be available throughout the week(s).
Monday, March 16th was an emergency school closing day and an official e-Learning day. Tuesday, March 17th was a scheduled Institute Day, so no e-Learning for students took place. The remainder of the days off through March 30th are ‘Act of God’ days.
- Are used in place of “Emergency” closure days
- Instructional day on school calendar
- Student attendance is required
- Assignment expectations and student work completion are required
- Staff availability window in which families and students can connect
Act of God Days:
- Do not need to be made up at the end off the school year
- Do not count as student attendance days
- Students are not required to participate
- Suggested projects and assignments are not graded or negatively affect student grading
- The goal is to provide a “continuity of education” for students during a school closure by providing learning resources and opportunities for students.
- Families have flexibility over the types of learning and time dedicated to learning
- Allow for instructional staff to engage with students or families in a supportive and flexible fashion.
*Although these are not official e-Learning days, we will continue to use the e-Learning page on our website to share resources and allow for students and teachers to connect.
Please note, as next week is our District’s scheduled spring break (March 23-27), no new lessons or activities will be made available. Additional educational resources are, however, available on our website.
Lessons and activities will be available on Monday, March 30th. It is the District's plan to resume school on Tuesday, March 31st. As this situation evolves, that may change. We will continue to provide updated information to families and staff as it becomes available.
Our goal is to provide learning opportunities for your children to maintain continuity of learning. The most important thing we can do during this time is stay connected. The relationship between teachers and students is invaluable. Thank you for your support and patience during this challenging time.
**Letter sent on March 13, 2020**
Dear District 135 Community,
Orland School District 135 has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend social distancing as the best way to prevent the spread of this virus. Out of an abundance of caution, District 135 schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16th, and extending through spring break (which is scheduled for March 23rd-March 27th). We are unsure at this time when schools will reopen.
Please note, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 within our school community. Closing our schools is a preventative measure to slow the spread of the virus.
This closure affects all school programming, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and all weekend events.
We will continue to evaluate the situation with guidance from the state and county health departments and provide updates as they become available.
As you know, our district has been preparing e-Learning lessons and activities for all students in the event that a closure occurs.
On Monday, March 16th, students should follow the instructions set forth for e-Learning day 1. Activities and lessons for subsequent days will be updated by teachers and staff prior to the beginning of each school day. For all important information regarding e-Learning, please visit the website.
As Tuesday, March 17th was a scheduled institute day, students will not participate in e-Learning on that day.
Spring break will still take place as scheduled, so there will be no e-learning during the week of March 23rd.
Spring Break Travel
I urge all families traveling to visit the CDC's page that includes information about COVID-19 for travelers. District 135 is following CDC guidance that students and staff who have traveled to certain areas of the world should not attend school for 14 calendar days after the return date. It is important to note that as the global situation evolves the countries on the travel warning list can change. IDPH also recommends that family members of these individuals should not attend work if they have also traveled to certain areas as outlined by the CDC.
I strongly urge all families traveling to areas with widespread transmissions of COVID-19, sustained transmission of COVID-19 and/or on cruise ships to voluntarily self-report this information to me and consider following the CDC's recommendation for self-quarantine. To self-report, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This information will be kept confidential.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we continue to keep health and safety at the forefront of our decision-making process.
*Letter sent on March 12, 2020** School is now closed.
Dear Orland School District 135 Families,
As you have likely heard, the State of Illinois has provided flexibility on how to approach teaching and learning during school closure days for COVID-19 precautions. As a result, Orland School District 135 has developed 'e-Learning days.’ This approach to learning ensures that instruction does not stop during emergency school closings for COVID-19 precautions, and e-Learning days will apply to all students in grades EC-8.
On Monday, March 16th, students should follow the instructions set forth for e-Learning for the appropriate day. Activities and lessons for subsequent days will be updated by teachers and staff prior to the beginning of each school day. Students will NOT have e-learning on Tuesday, March 17th for Teacher Institute Day.
Each day, teachers will post a welcome message to their students in Seesaw (EC-5) and Google Classroom (6-8). Students on Seesaw should "like" their teacher's message and Google Classroom students should reply to their teachers post. Students will be required to log in and submit evidence of their learning experiences in order to receive attendance credit for the day. Further, if students are unable to participate during the e-Learning day, accommodations will be made to assist them in making up the missed work.
Parents will not be expected to assume the role of the teacher during an e-Learning day. Our plan will ensure that teachers will be available to assist students with their assignments during the hours of the regular school day. The assignments for e-Learning are designed to be purposeful and will allow students to be engaged while at home.
The District will continue to follow the recommended cleaning and disinfecting procedures with Green Certified products registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. This also includes increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and objects.
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Stay Healthy - Follow These Precautions!
As a reminder, coronavirus is thought to be spread via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person. As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge you to speak to your child about the following prevention measures:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
- As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the regular seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and coughing. Some people with coronavirus have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some situations, the virus can develop into pneumonia.
Individuals who need medical care should call their medical provider to report their illness prior to seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital.