Superintendent's Message, 3.10.20

Superintendent's Message, 3.10.20

Questions surrounding what to expect and how to mitigate the spread and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to increase. Local, state, and federal officials are working to manage a response that is urgent and effective.

Currently there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases among KCSD96 students or faculty and staff, but the rate of spread of the virus suggests that our school district will be affected before the end of the current 2019–20 school year in some way.

This potential leads me to share the following with you:

What will happen if we learn someone in KCSD96 has COVID-19?
Following notification that a student or staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, we will notify the Lake County Health Department and Stevenson High School immediately. We also will notify parents and staff in the same way we communicate other emergency/school closing info: by phone, email, text, the District website, and social media. Next steps would follow the health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations based on the specifics of the case.

Will school be closed? Will concerts and other scheduled events be cancelled?
We will follow the guidance and direct recommendations of the Lake County Health Department and the CDC in making closing and cancellation decisions. Please note that at this time public health officials have not recommended nor directed us to close school or cancel scheduled events. 

If our schools close, will we have Remote Learning Days?
District 96 may provide Remote Learning Days, organized and managed in the same way we did in the previous 2018–2019 school year. During that school year of frequent closures due to extreme weather, specific grade-level assignments were provided beforehand and a due date after students returned to school was predetermined. 

Will we use Emergency Days to make up missed school days?
In the event that circumstances warrant the need to use them, we may use as many as five Emergency Days, which count as official attendance days, as designated on this calendar. The extension of the school year due to the use of Emergency Days is indicated on the calendar. If we use Emergency Days, those days do not require remote learning, as they would be added to the end of the school year. Illinois Regional Offices of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education will provide additional guidance for public schools regarding school days missed as a result of closing due to coronavirus. 

Be assured that every faculty member and administrator is committed to the health and safety of all our students and of one another. Discussion and planning are ongoing to prepare us to best cope with the scenario of COVID-19 in our schools. Intensified cleaning of our classrooms and public spaces and constant reminders to students and staff of the need for frequent and thorough hand washing continue. Awareness is high.

Likewise, health officials continue to remind the public that straightforward strategies to help prevent the spread of coronavirus do make a difference. Please discuss the importance of these and commit as a family to:

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Use a tissue to cover a cough or sneeze, then discard the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Please be confident that we continue daily to consider and plan our response to ever-changing circumstances surrounding this virus and its spread. We will inform you of new information as it develops.