Principal's Message October 16, 2020

TGIF…Twin Groves it’s Friday! There is a GREAT deal of information included in today's message regarding the back to school information for students returning in person.

What’s Happening at TG?

Spanish: In 6th grade Spanish, students will be continuing with me gusta + activities and then moving into the theme of school.
In 7th grade Spanish, students are working on subject pronouns and AR verbs. We will then start with the verb estar.
In 8th grade Spanish, students are working on their interpersonal speaking skills along with the verb jugar and sports.

We are currently working on several concert selections right now. Students are preparing for an October Musical Treat concert to be sent out to parents at the end of October. Students will be recording their concert selections for their slide next week.

All students have been given solos for performance in early December for class. If students want to bring those solos to the IGSMA contest December 4th via video, then they will need to sign up for the contest by October 28th. I will be sending out more information very soon. I encourage all students to take this challenge this year because it is a videotaped event and the regulations for accompanists have been relaxed so students can use a taped accompaniment, live accompaniment, or no accompaniment. Students who go to contest always improve on their instrument because they have a goal to shoot for with a specific deadline.

Band students have access to SMART music where all of their concert selections and most of their solo selections are. Students also have been put in a class in SMART music so they can participate in the spiral curriculum and improve on their instrument at their own pace.

Finally, I am very proud of the 6th grade students who have worked very hard on the 4 note scales and are now moving on to learn the one octave scales. I am also proud of the students who tried out for ILMEA. They all had very good audition tapes.

Orchestra: The orchestra students have been doing a great job so far! For those students who auditioned for ILMEA, the results will be released on November 1st. More information on the IGSMA Solo/Ensemble Contest is coming soon!

6th Grade Orchestra is currently working on a new rhythm and a new song in their book.
7th Grade Orchestra is continuing to work on shifting on all strings.
8th Grade Orchestra is preparing for their first benchmark at the end of the trimester.
All orchestra students are also preparing for their virtual concert experience during rehearsals.  

Return to School Information for the students who are scheduled to be in person- PLEASE READ! 

Students with the last initials M-Z will start on October 29th
Students with the last initials A-L will start on November 9th (this is due to 11/2 and 11/3 non attendance days for students)

In Person Students:
A-L: Students with the last names of A-L will attend Mondays and Tuesdays. These students will learn remotely Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
M-Z: Students with the last names of M-Z will attend Thursday and Fridays.  These students will learn remotely Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
ALL students will follow the new schedule below.

Remote Students
The students who are in the remote learning model will remain learning remotely Mondays-Fridays using the same Zoom links. The students who are remote will continue with their same classes. 
ALL students will follow the new schedule below.

NEW SCHEDULE- starting on October 29th for ALL students
The order of the class periods are back in numerical order.  This revised schedule allows for lunch at varying times for in-person learners.
If we are required to return to full remote learning for all, the hybrid schedule will not change and will be used for full remote learning.
Starting on October 29th, the Middle School Remote Schedule will NO LONGER be used. It will be removed from the district website as well.

Backpacks or bags can be brought to school and carried from class to class.
Shared objects will generally not be permitted, and when necessary, disinfected between uses. We are purchasing additional supplies & creating individualized supply kits in many instances to avoid sharing.

PLEASE have your child bring a fully charged iPad and Logitech Crayon to school with them everyday. 
PLEASE have your child bring headphones to school everyday.
Students should bring a folder, a spiral notebook, writing utensils, a fully charged iPad, Logitech Crayon, and headphones with them each day. 
If other supplies are needed, the classroom teachers will communicate this.

Snacks, Food, and Drinks
No snacks, food, or drinks (other than water) will be allowed in the classroom or the hallways.
Water bottles are allowed. 
One may fill water bottles at the drinking fountain fill stations, but the water fountain spout will not be in use.

Example of a Classroom
All students and staff will be socially distanced in the classroom. 
There will be one to two students at a table, depending on the class size.
There will be a barrier in between the students at the table.

Classroom Safety Protocols
-Assigned seats will be provided to each student with seating 6 feet apart.                
-Dividers will be available on every table.
-Upon entering the classroom at the start of each period and leaving before the end of the period, students will be required to take a wipe to disinfect their work space.
-Teachers will maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
-Custodial staff will be deep cleaning classrooms each evening. Common areas will be sanitized throughout the day. 
-Deep sanitizing of common areas will also occur on Wednesday’s between groups.    
-All students and staff will be expected to socially distance at 6 feet or more when inside school spaces, traveling within the school, and outside.
-Common areas such as hallways and classrooms will be clearly labeled with indicators and signs for students that give visual reminders and indicate safe distances from others.      
-A visual indicator on each door will indicate that date and time of the last cleaning.    

Ensuring the safety of our staff and students is our number one priority!

Health and Safety Protocols- Student Self Certification
Before Heading to School - Symptom Screening
Parents/guardians will be required to self-certify annually that the daily wellness check will be completed prior to sending their child to in-person learning.  Students will have a badge that is scanned upon entering daily.

In addition, parents/guardians will be required to self-certify each morning that their child is fever-free and symptom-free, has not been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, has not been in contact with someone recently diagnosed with COVID-19.  Staff also follow the same self-certification process. Parent/Guardian to complete the COVID-19 questionnaire by logging into the student's TeacherEase account either through the app (iOS or Android or online). 

Families with multiple students must fill out a form for each child. More specific details about the self-certification process will be shared by your building principal prior to your child beginning in-person instruction.

If any student or staff member has a temperature greater than 100.4° F or displays one or more of the currently known symptoms of COVID-19, that individual will not be able to enter a District 96 school building. 

Hand Washing and Sanitizing

Each room and hallways have hand sanitizing wipes that can also be used on surfaces.
Students will be provided with multiple opportunities to wash and sanitize their hands and use hand sanitizing wipes while at school for in-person learning.
District 96 will prioritize handwashing (both with soap/water), as time and space constraints allow, particularly focusing on the following times:
Arrival at school
Following restroom use
Before and after eating (if and when this applies) 
After blowing one's nose, coughing or sneezing
Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout all buildings and in the classroom and the proper use of hand sanitizing wipes will also be directly taught to all students upon first returning to our buildings for in-person instruction. 

Masks and Face Coverings

As required by IDPH, face coverings must be worn at all times in school buildings and on the bus–even when social distance is maintained. 

-Face coverings can be temporarily removed at school:
-When eating (if and when this applies)
-When taking brief structured water breaks
-When outdoors and physical distancing of at least 6 feet can be maintained 
-For staff, when alone in classrooms or offices with the door closed 

Mask Requirements
The District will provide all students with face coverings as needed. Students and staff are encouraged to bring their own face coverings as long as they comply with the CDC/ISBE guidelines, ensuring that the face-covering fully covers the mouth and nose and that the covering fits snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps. Please CLICK HERE to review current CDC guidance on how to select, wear, remove, and clean an appropriate face covering. Please note the CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters as a fask mask and they will not be accepted as one. 
Alternate face coverings will be provided to students on a case-by-case basis (e.g., a mask with clear window for lip reading and face shields, when warranted).
If students are using a washable face covering rather than a disposable mask, we ask that parents/guardians please wash the face covering regularly. 

Face Covering Pre-Teaching and Re-Teaching
Please talk with your child about the need to wear a face covering at school. District 96 recommends that parents/guardians practice wearing face coverings with students prior to their return for in-person instruction. For younger students, the District can provide sample social stories that you can share with your children regarding wearing face coverings in the school setting.

Staff will provide training to students during Flex on October 23rd about how to wear and remove/replace/dispose of face coverings properly as well as the importance of performing proper hand hygiene after removing and replacing a face covering. 

What if a student is not wearing a face covering?
Health experts continue to recommend the use of face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19; wearing a face covering while at school and on the bus (other than per the outlined exceptions above) is an expectation of returning safely to school. If a student refuses to wear a face covering or otherwise engages in conduct that compromises the safety of others, District staff will contact parents and guardians immediately. If a student is not wearing a face covering while in the building or on the bus (other than in the case of a verified medical exemption), District administration will discuss with parents/guardians the immediate need for the student to transition to remote learning.         

The following protocols will be in place to avoid overcrowding in the bathrooms:
Students will seek permission to go to the bathroom from their teacher.
One student at a time will be allowed out of a classroom.
Bathroom use during passing periods will be prohibited to prevent overcrowding. 
Students who need to use the restroom between classes should seek permission from the teacher they are seeing next before entering the bathroom.
Social Distancing spots will be in the hallways by the bathrooms. If the bathrooms are occupied, students will stand on the spots until there is an available bathroom stall.

Hallways and Passing Periods
Students will move directly from class to class with no loitering or socializing between.
Students are not to use the bathroom or drinking fountain.
Students will carry their items with them throughout the day without access to their lockers.
Students will follow directional arrows and signage in the hallways.
Staff will continue to supervise this transition.

No lockers will be used at this time.
Students will be carrying their belongings from class to class.

All students will have a 25 minute lunch.
Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria and other large spaces as needed.
Seating: Please read the Principal's Message on 10/23 for a lunch seating update.
There will be 2 cold meal options per day available to students.  Families are required to pre-order meals weekly.  Meals will be prepared off-site.
Students must remain seated and socially distanced.

Lunch Pre Order Info Emails Are Coming Soon for In-Person Learners
An email with pre-ordering information for middle school students will be sent on October 21st for students starting in person on October 29th (student's last name begins with M–Z) and on November 4th for students starting in person on November t9th (student's last name begins with A–L). 
Please make a note to watch for that email if your student will be learning in person.

Arrival Procedures for Parent Drop Off and Walkers- PLEASE READ! These are different from the past!
Students who get dropped off in the front of the school. There will be signs in the parking lot alerting parents where to pull up. Please see MAP below. Students getting dropped of will enter the doors at the back of the cafeteria (door number 4). The same goes for students who walk or ride their bikes to school.
Students can be dropped starting at 7:30AM. Please do not drop off students earlier than 7:30AM.
Students will enter the cafeteria door to get scanned to ensure the self-certification was complete before going to class.

Arrival Procedures for Bus Riders
Buses will unload the students at the South Entrance (Athletic Entrance/door 6)
Students will enter through the South Entrance Doors (Athletic Entrance). Students will socially distance in the large gym before being scanned to ensure the self-certification was complete before going to class.

Once the students are scanned, they will go to their first period class.

Dismissal From School
The 8th period teacher will walk their students to the parent pick-up exit and bus lot/door. The teachers will have a staggered dismissal time to reduce the amount of students in a particular hallway or stairwell.
Students must maintain social distancing until they are in the car, or once they arrive home from the bus.

Bus Transportation
Bus ridership will be in compliance with current IDPH and CDC requirements. Students must wear masks and sit in their assigned seats to ensure appropriate social distancing. Siblings will be seated together. Please note that schedule changes and riding an unassigned route will not be permitted.

Drivers will wear PPE and perform regular hand hygiene. Students will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene when boarding the bus. Hand sanitizer will be available for all riders. Also, First Student and Septran will disinfect all buses per IDPH and CDC recommendations and frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected after each route.

The PE team is working to maximize the in-person and remote experiences.  In-person students may go outside, weather permitting.
Students will not change into PE uniforms.  
No uniforms or PE locks are currently needed.

Clubs will continue to be remote.
Clubs can be found on the school’s website. For meeting dates and times, please CLICK HERE.
Clubs will be held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Students can access the zoom links for clubs on their Team Zoom Doc.

Teacher Support
Teachers will be available via zoom from 2:30-3:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
On days that students are in-person, they will be required to leave at 2:30 and will travel home at this time. Students will have Academic Support from 3:00-3:45 and 4:00-4:45 if needed.

Academic Support Times
3:00-3:45 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
4:00-4:45 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Students can access the zoom links for academic support on their Team Zoom Doc.

Band and Orchestra Rehearsals
In-person students will attend after school rehearsals on the days they are remote.
Band and orchestra students will leave at 2:30.

Please reference this LINK for In Person Learning Protocols from the District Website.




Family Educator Conference Survey
Please click on THIS link to take the Middle School Family Educator Conference survey.



Halloween Participation Door Signs
School Resource Officer Essig and the Buffalo Grove Police Department have provided signs to download and print for display on your front door on Sat., Oct. 31. Choose according to the decision your family has made:
If participating, please observe social distancing and wear a mask.



Picture Day Retake AND Make Up Day - Saturday October 17th from 10AM-1PM
Picture Retake Day is coming! Please mark your calendars for Picture Retake Day on Saturday, October 17th from 10AM-1PM
Pictures will be done outside this year in the main parking lot. An attached map is provided for you to see how this will work.

If your student had their photo taken, please be sure you’ve already viewed your image online at You may now pick your yearbook/composite photo, so be sure to do so before it's automatically selected for you. Please note that retake photos are not for new IDs, and because you’re now able to view your images, prints will no longer be replaced once they are ordered. All new images from make-up/retake day will be posted online to view and order within a week after your photo day at
Please contact VIP with any additional questions at [email protected]

-Drop students off so they may proceed to the student check-in area, waiting in a socially distanced line as necessary (students will wear masks except when being photographed & will maintain 6ft social distance when waiting in line)
-After checking in, students will move to one of the photography tents to have their picture taken (photographers will be masked and maintaining social distance)
-Parents may park while waiting, but remain in cars to prevent crowding and ensure appropriate social distancing
-When photography is finished, students will exit the tents and find parents
Follow the traffic pattern in the parking lot as indicated by the pink arrows on the attached map



Lunch Pre Order Info Emails Are Coming Soon for In-Person Learners
An email with pre-ordering information for middle school students will be sent on October 21st for students starting in person on October 29th (student's last name begins with M–Z) and on November 4th for students starting in person on November t9th (student's last name begins with A–L). 
Please make a note to watch for that email if your student will be learning in person.


Online Book Fair
Please click THIS LINK to access the Online Scholastic Book Fair. The Book Fair opens on October 5th. The Book Fair will run through October 18th.



Daily Announcements
Please see Twin Groves website for up to date school announcements. The announcements let you know what exciting activities and clubs are going on at Twin Groves. Please click HERE to access the Daily Announcements.