Huntley 158 families,
First and foremost, we would like to thank you for your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we continue to work through this unprecedented challenge together. We are so encouraged by the positive attitude we have seen in our staff members, families, and community members. Almost as soon as news about mandated closures came out, we started receiving inquiries from individuals asking how they could help our families who will be facing hardships over the coming weeks. Please see information about how you can help at the end of this letter.
While we are in uncharted waters, we remain confident that our e-Learning plan, with the support of our community, will continue to serve the learning needs of our students for the foreseeable future. That being said, we want to provide you with information about how we will be operating in the coming days. More detailed information can be found at www.district158.org/covid-19.
SCHOOL CLOSURES, CANCELLATIONS, AND E-LEARNING
As previously communicated, we will use e-Learning days and cancel all extracurricular activities for our announced closure period of March 16-20. This will extend at least through the Monday after Spring Break, March 30, as mandated by the State. We are awaiting guidance from the State on potential further closures, but we strongly encourage families to plan for potential closures far into the future.
As of now, the State has advised that the mandated closed dates will not need to be made up at the end of the year. However, it is not clear at this point whether any future dates might need to be made up.
Current plans are for the Board of Education to meet as scheduled on March 19. The agenda will be posted and the meeting will be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, pending any further guidance from the State of Illinois. The District is currently working to best ensure public access to the meeting while accommodating social distancing recommendations of public health agencies.
Please refer to our previous communication or our online hub, www.district158.org/covid-19, for further details on e-Learning.
We are working at the request of the McHenry County Department of Health to track and report all students and staff who travel to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. Any student or staff member who has recently traveled internationally (or who has been in close contact with an international traveler) is asked to call the District to report this information.
We would like to remind families that the District will continue to offer food services to meet the nutrition needs of students. Free lunch and breakfast packs will be available for pickup daily between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon at Marlowe Middle School. This service will be available to all students regardless of free/reduced/full pay status through the duration of the school closure period. If you are in need of this service and unable to accommodate these hours, please call the District at (847) 659-6158.
Those who will be without internet access are encouraged to take advantage of Comcast’s newly announced program offering two free months of Internet service effective March 16, 2020. For more information about eligibility and the application visit: https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19. You can also call (855) 846-8376 for English or (855) 765-6995 for Spanish.
The District’s supply of available hot spots has been temporarily exhausted. Additional hot spots are on order, and we will update families when they become available.
If you experience other unmet needs that are barriers to successful learning during this period, please contact your principal, and the District will work to accommodate your needs. Additional resources in the community can be found in the McHenry County People in Need Directory.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Please reach out to families in need if you are able to provide assistance with childcare or other needs. In addition, the District is asking individuals to contribute to the Grafton Food Pantry (https://graftonfoodpantry.org/) to assist families who might face hardship during this time. As grocery stores attempt to meet demand from customers, they have cut back on their typical donations to the food pantry, and individual contributions are desperately needed.
ADDITIONAL INFO AND FAQ
Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions are available at www.district158.org/covid-19.
Scott N. Rowe, Ed.D.