3/27-District 123 School Closure Update – Letter from the Superintendent

March 27, 2020 – The following is a letter that was sent from Superintendent Paul Enderle to the District123 community regarding recent school closure and coronavirus information.

Good Afternoon District 123 School Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and healthy. Thank you for your continued support and connectedness as we work together as a community to practice social distancing and help slow the spread of COVID-19. It is inspirational to see our community rally together during this challenging time.

As you know, we are still operating under the Governor’s ‘Stay at Home’ order. On Friday, March 20, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools will remain closed through Tuesday, April 7. At this point, the State of Illinois has not given school districts any additional information as to when students will return. While we hope we can welcome our students’ back on April 8, student health and safety is our top priority and the District continues to prepare for an extended closure.

This Monday, March 30, 2020 we will be continuing our Remote eLearning procedures across all District 123 schools. Families can expect an email each day during the 9 o’clock hour from principals and staff to begin the Remote eLearning day. We have received excellent feedback and input from the community about our Remote eLearning Plan thus far. Our teaching and learning team has been hard at work exploring options for additional resources, structures, and feedback to support this remote approach to learning.

Our plan for next week involves two ”Open Source Learning Days” and three “Teacher-Driven Learning Days”. Both of these experiences should account for 5 hours of daily activities. Teachers and instructional staff are available from 9:00a-2:00p each weekday to answer questions and provide feedback to students. All of the resources and teacher-directed plans for Remote eLearning can be found at elearning.d123.org beginning on Monday morning. District 123 will also begin tracking student participation this week. We are strongly encouraging each family to “check in,” every morning. In addition, at the end of next week, we will be asking all District 123 families to complete a Remote eLearning survey so that we can continue to gather feedback and make enhancements or modifications to our plan as appropriate.

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at noon, we will again update the entire District 123 community live on our Facebook page at facebook.com/district123. For the latest community updates and previous Facebook Live Community Updates, you can always head to d123.org/coronavirus. We will also send an email communication later that day. In the event the Governor does extend the school closure prior to our next communication, the District will update the community with the new information.

We are proud to have already served over 10,000 meals to our community’s children and families, and we will continue to provide “Grab and Go” meal packages throughout the entire Illinois school closure. Meal packages can be picked up at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School, 5345 West 99th Street on weekdays from 9:00a-12:00p. To keep all of our families and staff members safe, we are asking that meal pickups be contact-free. Those picking up meals should wait for a staff member to walk the meal package to your car. Please view the “Grab & Go” Pickup Map for more information.

As the closure continues, please be assured that we will continue to work diligently to prepare valuable learning experiences and communicate as much information as possible. Please stay safe and take seriously the guidance provided to us from local, state and federal agencies regarding social distancing. We continue to stand together with you and remain committed to our students, staff and families during this time of temporary separation.

Paul J. Enderle Ed.D