Superintendent's Message, 3.21.20

Superintendent's Message, 3.21.20

District 96 Community,
Please know that I continue to think of all of you as I do my part to navigate these times. Each day I am involved in Zoom meetings with Area 125 superintendents and members of the broader Emergency Management System. We are fortunate to have such collaborative relationships!

Yesterday afternoon Governor Pritzker announced an executive order requiring Illinois residents to “Stay at Home” beginning Sat., Mar. 21, at 5:00 p.m. tentatively through Apr. 7. Please see this Q & A that answers questions about what "Stay at Home" means and does not mean. I am also providing a link to the Buffalo Grove COVID-19 website.

The Governor has also extended the mandated school closing until at least Apr. 8 at the present time.  
Our priorities continue to be:

  • Feeding our students and their families
  • Accounting for the extended safety, health, and welfare of our 4,000 students and staff
  • Communicating clearly
  • Providing continuous learning opportunities

Packed breakfasts and lunches have been available for parents of kids in need to pick up daily at the following site:
Exceptional Learners Collaborative’s NEW location at 990 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL.  
Families have been driving up to pick up a packed breakfast/lunch between 11:00 am - 1:00 pm each weekday (Monday-Friday). Families may also access meals and nonperishable items at that time for other children under 18 years of age and nonperishables for the entire family if needed. In the event families are not able to come to the ELC during this time, they should contact the ELC at 224-513-6448 or email [email protected] to see if other arrangements can be made. THIS SERVICE WILL CONTINUE THROUGH NEXT WEEK’S SPRING BREAK DATES OF MARCH 23-27. Many of you have reached out graciously to offer help again. At some point, we may need to ask for additional food bank donations. Please know that if we have such needs, I will communicate them to you!

I will continue to coordinate with other superintendents and municipal leaders to provide whatever communication and services are needed. Likewise, I continue to ask for your patience and support as the vast majority of our teachers and staff have also now become responsible for supporting their own children at home. Some of them are caring for their parents and many have spouses who are and will continue to be essential personnel, as identified by the Governor’s Executive Order.

Please be assured I am doing the very best I can to communicate with you and with our various stakeholders as information changes or is updated. I do not want to overwhelm people by over communicating and I want to make sure that I have new and accurate information when I do communicate.
Finally, the remote learning plan that we have in place will continue as described. We are prepared to extend it as circumstances require. As the Governor and the Illinois State Board of Education provide additional guidance, we will adjust if needed.  We are providing standards-aligned activities and many other optional resources for families and will continue to do so. 

I know that one of the challenges you face–me, too!–is how to create a structure or schedule for children at home. I am providing some sample home structures and schedules that might be helpful. We included my 8th-grade daughter in developing a daily schedule together that includes her academics as well as physical activity, music, art, and digital/ social connection time with others. I hope you find these samples helpful.

You might also choose to watch this video (approx. 5 minutes), which gives a perspective on current circumstances that your family could discuss together.

Thinking ahead... Our registration vendor has resolved technical issues and we are now able to send 2020-21 school year registration emails to all preregistered families and to those whose students are currently in Early Childhood–Grade 7 and will be returning to KCSD96 schools for the 2020-21 school year. Please watch for those emails to be sent later today and take this time at home to register promptly to save, as required annual registration fees do increase after Apr. 15. Thank you in advance–your prompt registration helps us more accurately anticipate our staffing needs and plan for the new school year ahead.

It’s difficult for me to express the gratitude that I’ve always felt for leading such an exemplary school community, but during this unprecedented time...I am speechless. Please know that we are all doing–and will continue to do–the best we can for every child and for our KCSD96 community.  

Julie Schmidt, District 96 Superintendent of Schools