Huntley 158 families,
We are through Day 3 of our unexpected e-Learning journey, and while there has been much to celebrate, many of us are also starting to adjust to the idea that this is, potentially, our new normal. I’ve been encouraged by the way our teachers, support staff, students, and families have all come together to make the best of a bad situation. But I also know that there is a limit to the experience we can provide our students.
While this disruption has disrupted our students’ classroom learning, it also has had a massive impact on their lives. We know that their lives encompass much more than just “school,” and I wanted to take a moment to speak directly to our students to let them know that we have not lost sight of them in this process.
We see you. We hear you. We love you. And we are so sorry for what you are losing during this time. We do ask, however, that you don’t allow yourself to lose hope. There are many unknowns, and while we await them, we remain confident in our ability as a community to weather them and emerge stronger on the other side. We are here for YOU!
Clarification: Is e-Learning “Required”?
As stated in our update yesterday, March 17-20 and March 30 have been designated by the State as “Act of God” days. Therefore, these days will not count for attendance and will not need to be made up at the end of the year. Grades given on assignments for these days cannot negatively impact students’ final grades, but may positively impact them. Our schools have no mechanisms to “require” e-Learning work be completed. However, we will continue to treat these as school days ripe with opportunity for learning, and we encourage students and families to do the same.
We remain hopeful that the Illinois State Board of Education will allow us and our great teachers the ability to move forward with our remote learning capabilities in the event that closures extend beyond March 30.
Student Mental Health
As these e-Learning days continue, we know that students will encounter mental health concerns, both existing and new struggles. We strongly encourage students to reach out to the adults with whom they are comfortable for mental health assistance. Our deans, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and administrators remain available to students during our e-Learning journey. In addition, we encourage students in need to consider using the McHelp App for 24/7 mental health needs.
Contacting the District Office
In keeping with health department recommendations and for the wellbeing of our staff, the District Office will be reducing on-site staffing to an absolute minimum. This includes the front desk/main phone line. Starting tomorrow, the main line, (847) 659-6158, will be directed to a voicemail inbox. Please leave a detailed voicemail as to the purpose of your call, and our staff will immediately route the information to the appropriate staff for follow up. The building will be open only for deliveries and receipt of bids.
Food Services to Continue Over Spring Break
Today we topped over 200 meals provided to children via our daily pickup location at Marlowe Middle School and limited dropoff service. We’re glad to be able to continue offering this service not just the remainder of this week, but also next week during Spring Break. Please note that this service is available for all children in our District, whether they are enrolled as students or not, and is available regardless of free/reduced/full pay lunch status. Our Food Services staff was touched by these thank you notes they received from students!
D158 Story Time
We will continue adding to our D158 Story Time library, accessible on our YouTube channel. Please check it out if your child would enjoy seeing their principal read a story just for them!
Scott N. Rowe, Ed.D.