Huntley 158 families,
I know I speak for many on our staff when I report that our spirits have been boosted by having students back in our buildings, and by the anticipation of having even more soon. We’ve seen success with the limited small groups that have been in our buildings, and we’re excited to welcome back a large portion of our PreK-5th grade students starting October 19 for in-person learning under our elementary hybrid model.
We’re also looking forward to presenting information about plans for a hybrid model for our middle and high school students to our Board of Education on October 8. We share the urgency that many in our community have voiced to resume the benefits of in-person learning for more of our students.
We understand that the scheduling possibilities dictated by our current circumstances are inherently limited. We also understand that the in-person experience for students under our current circumstances will not be the same as in normal times. Still, we are confident that the hybrid model will benefit the students who opt in to these experiences, while enabling fidelity with the safety and health guidelines that our staff, families, and public health agencies agree are vital. We also are confident that those choosing to remain in a fully remote environment will continue to have robust learning experiences as well.
As a community, we must maintain vigilance with public health recommendations to make these in-person experiences possible. As you can see on our public dashboard, the COVID-19 virus has found its way into our buildings, even with very limited students and personnel on site. While none of our active cases has been determined to have been transmitted within our buildings, this possibility will increase with larger numbers of students returning. That is why it is vital for us to move deliberately toward a return to in-person learning, continuing with our gradual approach.
For a successful return, many factors must be in place, and we must be in position to comply to the greatest degree possible with public health recommendations. A rush to return simply would create too much opportunity for quick spread of the virus in schools, causing a high likelihood of large-scale quarantines, personnel shortages, and serious individual negative health outcomes.
The reality is that under any plan during this pandemic, we face the possibility that entire classrooms or other groups of students may need to shift into remote learning due to quarantines with little to no notice. For students and families, we would consider these jarring kinds of stops and starts to be severely impactful, and we must take the steps needed to minimize these possibilities to the greatest extent.
We thank our staff for their continued flexibility and commitment, and our community for your continued patience and understanding during this most challenging time. Together, we will get through this!
Calendar Note: Remote Learning Planning Day
Please mark your calendars: October 16 will be a Remote Learning Planning Day (day of non-attendance for students) to enable our staff to prepare for the next stages of our gradual return.
Remote Learning Evening Academic Assistance Available
District 158 is excited to be offering Student Success, a remote support opportunity for students in grades 6-12. We are committed to supporting our students and families through this period of remote learning, realizing that learning may be taking place outside of the regular school day for some students.
As an additional layer of support, we will be offering evening academic assistance in the form of office hours outside of the regular school day. Teacher support will be available during the week, Monday-Thursday, between the hours of 5:00-8:00 p.m., to provide individual assistance in the areas of literacy, math, science, and social studies to students who sign-up for help with asynchronous activities and assignments, homework, and other academic related questions.
Sign up for time slots is online:
- Elementary sign-up (select correct tab for grade level)
- Secondary sign-up (select tab for desired content area)
For all families, our Food Services Department will continue to operate its curbside pickup and home delivery services, available free to all families. As of now, students in either hybrid or remote learning will continue to receive access to food services via these options. Please note that service options will be reevaluated based on needs as we progress on our gradual return to in-person learning. To inquire about delivery or pickup options, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 659-6154.
Earlier this week HHS Principal Dr. Belin shared on Instagram and Facebook a sneak preview of the Military Honor Wall currently being installed at the school. This tribute wall will be completed with a touch screen computer providing information on HHS alumni who have served in the military and students who opt to join the armed forces after graduation.
Senior classes from the past three years have donated funds to help make this project a reality. Check it out!
Thank you, and stay well!
Scott Rowe, Ed.D.