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Update from Superintendent DuRoss – March 31

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Today (March 31, 2020) Illinois Governor Pritzker announced that schools will continue to be closed through April 30 as we all do our part to prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. 

I know I’m speaking for all of our employees when I say that we would rather be at school, connecting with students in person. However, the health and safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. At this point the medical professionals are all recommending social distancing as the key to staying well during this pandemic.

Virtual Learning

We will continue to offer virtual learning online at sites.google.com/sd54.org/vlearning54. I am so grateful to the employees who so quickly adapted to this new way of teaching so they could continue to help your students thrive academically. If you need internet access at home or are having any technology problems, please email vlearning@nullsd54.org for support. Spanish-speaking families can also contact BarbaraVelez@nullsd54.org

Food Distribution

I am also grateful to the volunteers who are continuing to provide food for our financially struggling families. 

  • Willow Creek Community Church will also be running a mobile food truck distribution from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday in the District 54 Rafferty Administration Center parking lot, 524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg.
  • District 54 staff will be working with Township High School District 211 to distribute meal bags with five days of lunches, five days of breakfast and a half gallon of milk from 9 a.m. to noon each Thursday at Hoffman Estates High School, 1100 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. This is a drive-through pickup. When you arrive at the school, please stay in your vehicle. We will load the bags into your trunk or back seat.

You can find more information about food distribution and how to support local food distribution on our website.

Finally, I want to thank you, the parents and guardians of our students. I know you are trying to help your children stay focused on their studies at home while also working remotely, cooking, cleaning and keeping everyone healthy. Many of us are parents too. We understand that it’s not always easy. We are here to support you. Here is a resources you may use to talk about the coronavirus with children: National Association of School Psychologists Parent Resource – Talking to Children About COVID-19.

Also please reach out to your children’s teachers, your school principal, assistant principal, social workers or psychologists if there is anything you need. As long as we work together for the children, they will grow and thrive.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Andy DuRoss

Actualización en español

Estimada comunidad del Distrito 54:

Hoy, el gobernador de Illinois, Pritzker, anunció que las escuelas continuarán cerradas hasta el 30 de abril, ya que todos hacemos nuestra parte para evitar la propagación del nuevo coronavirus 2019.

Sé que estoy hablando por todos nuestros empleados cuando digo que preferiríamos estar en la escuela y conectarnos con los estudiantes en persona. Sin embargo, la salud y seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y personal es siempre nuestra principal prioridad. En este punto, todos los profesionales médicos recomiendan el distanciamiento social como la clave para mantenerse bien durante esta pandemia.

Aprendizaje virtual

Continuaremos ofreciendo aprendizaje virtual en línea en sites.google.com/sd54.org/vlearning54 . Estoy muy agradecido con los empleados que se adaptaron tan rápidamente a esta nueva forma de enseñar para que puedan continuar ayudando a sus estudiantes a prosperar académicamente. Si necesita acceso a Internet en su hogar o tiene algún problema tecnológico, envíe un correo electrónico vlearning@nullsd54.org para soporte. Las familias de habla hispana también pueden contactar BarbaraVelez@nullsd54.org .

Distribucion de comida

También estoy agradecido con los voluntarios que continúan brindando alimentos a nuestras familias con dificultades financieras.

  • Willow Creek Community Church también llevará a cabo una distribución móvil de camiones de comida de 11 am a 1 pm todos los miércoles en el estacionamiento del Centro de Administración Rafferty del Distrito 54, 524 E. Schaumburg Road en Schaumburg.

  • El personal del Distrito 54 trabajará con el Distrito 211 de Township High School para distribuir bolsas de comida con cinco días de almuerzos, cinco días de desayuno y medio galón de leche de 9 am a mediodía cada jueves en la escuela secundaria Hoffman Estates, 1100 W. Higgins Road en Hoffman Estates. Esta es una camioneta drive-through. Cuando llegue a la escuela, quédese en su vehículo. Cargaremos las bolsas en su maletero o asiento trasero.

Puede encontrar más información sobre la distribución de alimentos y cómo apoyar la distribución local de alimentos en nuestro sitio web .

Finalmente, quiero agradecer a los padres y tutores de nuestros estudiantes. Sé que está tratando de ayudar a sus hijos a mantenerse concentrados en sus estudios en casa mientras trabajan remotamente, cocinan, limpian y mantienen a todos saludables. Muchos de nosotros somos padres también. Entendemos que no siempre es fácil. Estamos aquí para apoyarte. Aquí hay un recurso que puede usar para hablar sobre el coronavirus con niños: Asociación Nacional de Psicólogos Escolares Recurso para Padres – Hablando con los Niños sobre COVID-19 .

También comuníquese con los maestros de sus hijos, el director de su escuela, el subdirector, los trabajadores sociales o los psicólogos si necesita algo. Mientras trabajemos juntos por los niños, crecerán y prosperarán.

Sinceramente,

Superintendente Andy DuRoss

Schools Closed – Superintendent Update March 20

Dear District 54 families,

This afternoon, Governor Pritzker issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state of Illinois through April 7, 2020, to help prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor also extended the school closure order. At this time schools would reopen on April 8, but Governor Pritzker also announced that he may extend this date as well.

This week was our first week of V-Learning in District 54 and the engagement between our students and staff was simply amazing. Thank you for your part in making this a success. Next week is our spring break. We will take that week to recharge. Spend time as a family playing games, reading books and reconnecting.

On March 30, District 54 will continue to interact with students through the D54 V-Learning Website. If you’re struggling to connect or do not have Internet access at home, please email VLearning@nullsd54.org. Spanish-speaking families who need assistance can contact BarbaraVelez@nullsd54.org or call 847-357-5074.

In the meantime, if you or any member of your family is diagnosed with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, please let your principal know. We will notify our families, should we have a confirmed case affiliated with our schools. 

While we miss spending time in school with our students, we know it is the right decision to put the safety and well-being of our students and their families first. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to the day we can return to the classrooms.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Andy DuRoss

Food Pantry Locations and Donation Opportunities

As the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to change, District 54 is working with amazing community partners to provide food to families who are struggling financially. Families needing assistance may benefit from the following.

  • Wednesdays:  Willow Creek Community Church will host a mobile food truck distribution from 11 a.m. to noon every Wednesday in the District 54 Rafferty Administration Center parking lot, 524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg.
  • Thursdays:  District 54 staff will be working with Township High School District 211 to distribute meal bags with five days of lunches, five days of breakfast and a half gallon of milk from 8 to 11 a.m. each Thursday through July 16 at Hoffman Estates High School, 1100 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. 
  • Fridays:  Willow Creek Community Church will host a food distribution from 4 to 5 p.m. every Friday at Keller Junior High School, 820 Bode Road in Schaumburg.
  • The Schaumburg Township Food Pantry is now running a drive-through pickup from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the township office, One Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates. For more information, please call (847) 732-7166.
  • Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry, 1451 Bode Road in Schaumburg, is offering drive-through pickup on Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m. near the garages.
  • Living Hope Food Pantry, 777 Meacham Road in Elk Grove Village, is offering drive-through pickup on Thursdays from 11:30-noon.
  • Trinity Charities Food Pantry, 927 Plum Grove in Schaumburg, is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

We would like to thank the number of individuals and organizations who have inquired about how to make donations to help those in our community who may be struggling. We feel the best practice is to work with organizations who are currently offering these services in our community and will therefore not be collecting food. Please do not bring food donations to the district office as previously mentioned.

The Schaumburg Township Food Pantry and many faith-based charities are providing food to families in our community. Click here to access a list of these pantries on the Schaumburg Township website. In order to encourage social distancing, these organizations are not collecting food at this time.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

The Illinois Department of Human Services has a new special benefit called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer to help families buy food for children who would normally receive free lunch when schools are in session. To apply online, families should visit https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access and click on Apply for Benefits.

Families that currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits. These additional P-EBT benefits will be loaded into Illinois LINK EBT accounts along with regular SNAP benefits. Families that do not currently receive SNAP benefits but do have children who receive free lunch, will need to apply on this website. A paper application in English and paper application in Spanish is also available and can be submitted as an attachment by email to DHS.FCS.PEBT@nullillinois.gov. IDHS created a flyer to help families with the application process. A Spanish version of the flyer is also available.

Crisis Fund

The District 54 Education Foundation has also created a new fund called the D54 Foundation Crisis Fund, which will be used to support our most at-risk families, including the 20% of students who qualify for free lunch. This emergency fund will help families impacted by this virus, and could be used in the future to provide immediate access to financial assistance for financially struggling families.

To donate, visit any of the following websites:

Lugares de despensa de alimentos y oportunidades de donación

A medida que la situación en torno al nuevo coronavirus de 2019 continúa cambiando, el Distrito 54 está trabajando con increíbles socios de la comunidad para proporcionar alimentos a las familias que tienen dificultades financieras. Las familias que necesitan asistencia pueden beneficiarse de lo siguiente.

  • Miércoles:  Willow Creek Community Church llevará a cabo una distribución móvil de camiones de comida de 11 a.m. a mediodía cada miércoles en el estacionamiento del Centro de Administración Rafferty del Distrito 54, 524 E. Schaumburg Road en Schaumburg.
  • Jueves:  Distrito 211 de Township High School, cinco días de almuerzos, cinco días de desayuno y medio galón de leche de 9 am a mediodía cada jueves en la escuela secundaria Hoffman Estates, 1100 W. Higgins Road en Hoffman Estates. Esta es una camioneta drive-through. Cuando llegue a la escuela, quédese en su vehículo. Cargaremos las bolsas en su maletero o asiento trasero.
  • Viernes:  Willow Creek Community Church también llevará a cabo una distribución móvil de camiones de comida de 4 a 5 p.m. cada viernes en la escuela Keller, 820 Bode Road en Schaumburg.
  • Schaumburg Township – La despensa de alimentos del municipio de Schaumburg ahora está llevando a cabo una recolección de 1 a 3 p.m. los martes y jueves en la oficina del municipio,  One Illinois Blvd. en Hoffman Estates. Para obtener más información, llame al (847) 732-7166.
  • Iglesia del Espíritu Santo Despensa, 1451 Bode Road en Schaumburg, ofrece servicio de recogida los jueves de 2 a 5 p.m. Cerca de los garajes.
  • Living Hope Food Pantry, 777 Meacham Road en Elk Grove Village, ofrece servicio de recogida los jueves de 11:30 a mediodía.
  • Trinity Charities Food Pantry, 927 Plum Grove en Schaumburg, está abierto de 4 a 6 p.m. Jueves y de 10 a.m. a 1 p.m. Sábados.

Nos gustaría agradecer a la cantidad de personas y organizaciones que han preguntado cómo hacer donaciones para ayudar a aquellos en nuestra comunidad que puedan estar luchando. Creemos que la mejor práctica es trabajar con organizaciones que actualmente ofrecen estos servicios en nuestra comunidad y, por lo tanto, no recolectarán alimentos. No traiga donaciones de alimentos a la oficina del distrito como se mencionó anteriormente.

La despensa de alimentos del municipio de Schaumburg y muchas organizaciones benéficas religiosas están proporcionando alimentos a las familias de nuestra comunidad. Haga clic aquí para acceder a una lista de estas despensas en el sitio web del municipio de Schaumburg. Para alentar el distanciamiento social, estas organizaciones no están recolectando alimentos en este momento.

Transferencia electrónica de beneficios pandémicos (P-EBT)

El Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Illinois tiene un nuevo beneficio especial llamado Transferencia electrónica de beneficios pandémicos para ayudar a las familias a comprar alimentos para niños que normalmente recibirían almuerzo gratis cuando las escuelas están en sesión. Para solicitar en línea, las familias deben visitar https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access y hacer clic en Solicitar beneficios.

Las familias que actualmente reciben beneficios del Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (SNAP) no necesitan solicitar los beneficios P-EBT. Estos beneficios adicionales de P-EBT se cargarán en las cuentas de Illinois LINK EBT junto con los beneficios regulares de SNAP. Las familias que actualmente no reciben beneficios de SNAP pero tienen niños que reciben almuerzo gratis, deberán presentar una solicitud en este sitio web. Una solicitud en papel en en español también están disponibles y se pueden enviar como archivo adjunto por correo electrónico a DHS.FCS.PEBT@nullillinois.gov. IDHS creó un volante para ayudar a las familias con el proceso de solicitud. U

Crisis Fund

La Fundación Educativa del Distrito 54 también ha creado un nuevo fondo llamado D54 Foundation Crisis Fund, que se utilizará para apoyar a nuestras familias más expuestas, incluido el 20% de los estudiantes que califican para el almuerzo gratuito. Este fondo de emergencia ayudará a las familias afectadas por este virus y podría usarse en el futuro para proporcionar acceso inmediato a asistencia financiera para familias con dificultades financieras.

Para donar, visite cualquiera de los siguientes sitios web:

Update from Superintendent DuRoss – March 16, 2020

Dear District 54 Community,

As you know, on Friday Illinois Governor Pritzker announced the mandatory closure of all public schools through March 30. While our staff would prefer to be at school, interacting in person with your children, we know this is the right decision to keep our community healthy and safe.

Please know that the closure may continue beyond March 30. The situation is incredibly fluid, and the state is waiting to announce what will happen after March 30 until we get closer to that date.

Because this statewide closure was mandated, all of the days are considered Act of God Days in Illinois, and therefore will not be made up at the end of the school year. However, school districts across the state are encouraged to provide virtual learning opportunities for students.

Today was an institute day in District 54 so that we could train our employees on the new District 54 Virtual Learning platform, which will allow us to provide continuous instruction to the more than 15,000 students we serve during these unique times. 

Timeline

  • March 17:  closed for the elections as previously planned.
  • March 18-20:  first week of virtual learning
  • March 23-27:  spring break
  • March 30:  virtual learning day

District 54 V-Learning Platform

On Wednesday morning, students will be able to visit the D54 V-Learning Website. Once you are on the site, click on the link that corresponds to your child’s age group and watch the welcome video. The website also contains a parent guide, a student guide and frequently asked questions.

  • Junior high V-Learning classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and students will follow their current schedule (including a break for lunch). 
  • Elementary school and Lincoln Prairie classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
  • Early Learning Center students can also visit the site with a trusted adult at any time. Students brought home bags last week to compliment the Choose Your Own Adventure virtual learning platform designed for their age group.

Since these classes are virtual and we understand that this schedule may not work for some families, students have the flexibility to complete tasks at any time. However, students participating during these V-Learning times will be able to interact in real time with their teachers. Student work during this time will not be graded. 

All students in kindergarten through eighth grade should have brought home their District 54 iPads and Chromebooks on Friday. For those families who do not have Internet access at home, please email VLearning@nullsd54.org.

Reporting 2019 Novel Coronavirus 

If your child is sick and cannot participate, please email your school principal. It is especially important for us to track illnesses while the COVID-19 virus is spreading in our state.

Students Receiving Free Lunch

Thank you to everyone inquiring about how we can continue to support our students receiving free lunch. We distributed food to families this week. Anyone wishing to donate can donate to the Schaumburg Township Food Pantry online. (Updated 3-19-20)

Thank you again for working with us, as we all do our part to prevent the spread of this virus in our community. As I’ve stated before, these are unprecedented times, but in District 54 we will continue doing what we do best – caring for our students and ensuring their academic success.

District 54 Schools Closed March 16

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus continues to spread in our state, our country and worldwide, School District 54 wants to do everything in our power to protect our students, our staff and their families. The Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend social distancing as the best way to prevent the spread of this virus.

To that end, we are cancelling school the week of March 16-20. We are also closed the following week, as previously scheduled for spring break. After-school, evening and weekend activities are also cancelled, including the before- and after-school programs hosted in our schools by the Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates Park Districts and YMCA.

As this situation is constantly evolving, we are unsure at this time when schools will reopen. We will continue to evaluate the situation with guidance from the state and county health departments.  Our schools will be open during regular hours on Monday, March 16, should you need to pick up anything your student may have left at school.

Staff will be at school on Monday, March 16, for training on the new District 54 virtual learning platform. Another email will be sent to District 54 families on Monday, with a link to access the platform. This email will also include more information about what to expect when students log in on the first day of virtual learning, which will be Wednesday, March 18. We will not have V-Learning classes during spring break (March 23-27).

All students in kindergarten through eighth grade will be reminded to bring home their iPads and Chromebooks today. For those families who do not have Internet access at home, please email VLearning@nullsd54.org. Early Learning Center students brought home bags yesterday, March 12, to compliment the Choose Your Own Adventure virtual learning platform designed for their age group.

We know this is an unprecedented decision, but these are unprecedented times and we are committed to doing our part to mitigate the impact of this pandemic. Thank you for your understanding and for working with us to keep our students, our staff, our families and our communities healthy.

 

Sincerely,

Superintendent Andy DuRoss

Update from Superintendent DuRoss

Dear District 54 Community,

I know this is the second email you have received from me this week, but I feel it’s important to keep our families and staff informed as the situation with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to evolve. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is my top priority.

At this point, School District 54 has no known cases of COVID-19 in our school community.

However, yesterday the World Health Organization declared this a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now advising that schools should consider adjusting or postponing large gatherings and activities that mix between classes and grades.

With that in mind effective today, March 12, District 54 schools are open. However, we will be cancelling field trips, before- and after-school clubs, sporting events, evening activities, assemblies that bring in outside people and other activities with outside visitors. This includes the use of our buildings by outside organizations who rent our facilities, as we work with CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. It also include the orchestra festival at Mead on Saturday, March 14.

If your child is in the before- and after-school care programs offered by the YMCA, or the Schaumburg or Hoffman Estates Park Districts at one of our schools – those programs are not cancelled.

As you know, our schools are closed next Tuesday on Election Day (March 17), a decision we made years ago for safety concerns. Only a small area of each school is open to voters and that area will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected that evening after the polls close.

While it is my hope that we will be able to keep our schools open, we are following the guidelines of the federal, state and county health departments and we have a plan in place to respond if we have cases of COVID-19 in our schools. As part of that plan, we have created a virtual learning platform to keep students connected to their teachers and engaged academically should it be necessary to close schools. 

We will be sending iPads home with all kindergarten through second-grade students effective today, March 12, so the students are comfortable using them at home. This also allows families to connect those devices to their home WiFi. If you do not have WiFi connectivity at home, please let your child’s school know. Our older students are already bringing home their Chromebooks daily.

Again District 54 schools are open at this time. However, this is an evolving situation. We urge our families to be prepared should schools need to be closed.

Thank you for your understanding and for working with us as we all do our part to prevent the spread of this virus in our community.

CANCELED – Increase your Happiness

We all strive for happiness, but in our busy everyday lives it can be easy to forget to be happy. Happiness is not something that happens to you but rather a choice you can make to lead a more fulfilling and enriching life. Research shows that choosing happiness has an advantage beyond simply feeling good. Come learn about the benefits of positive psychology from some of our very own District 54 Junior High Student Ambassadors and walk away with simple tactics to increase your happiness. Experience the happiness advantage through fun and interactive activities the whole family can enjoy. Families including students in kindergarten through eighth grade are welcome. This event will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 at the District 54 Professional Learning Center, 522 E. Schaumburg Rd. (Door C1) in Schaumburg.

6th Grade Fitness Night

All 6th grade students and parents are invited to join Mr. Cropper on Wednesday, March 4 at 6:00PM for Fitness Night.  Enjoy a fun-filled and active night as you experience what P.E. looks like in the classroom. Come ready to work out as you participate in FitnessGram activities and see how well you score!  We look forward to seeing our 6th grade families in action next Wednesday.

Food Drive

The Food Drive has begun!  We invite all Link families to participate in our annual Food Drive to help stock our District 54 Food Pantries.  We will be collecting items here at the school until this Friday, February 21.

Student Led Conference

We are looking forward to connecting with families at our second round of student-led conferences on Thursday, February 13 and Friday, February 14.  Since our conferences are student-led, we ask that students attend so they can share with parents their progress in academic and social emotional areas, as well as goals they have set for the remainder of the 2020 school year.  Teachers will also be sharing their insights and establishing areas of focus to bridge home and school support.

Please remember that our school day schedule is adjusted to accommodate these conferences.  Thursday, February 13 will be a half-day of school with a dismissal time of 11:40.  Also, there is no school on Friday, February 14.