LETTER TO FAMILIES REGARDING STATEWIDE MANDATORY SCHOOL CLOSURES MARCH 17-30
March 16, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you for your extraordinary support over the past several days, as we have worked together to protect our community during the growing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. To further safeguard Illinois from the spread of the virus, Governor JB Pritzker has declared mandatory school closures for all buildings, both public and private, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.
This mandatory closure takes effect Tuesday, March 17. Currently, we anticipate reopening on March 31.
Free lunch and breakfast will still be available to all students through Chicago Public Schools. Our campus will not be providing lunch due to long commutes for students. Students can go to their nearest Chicago Public School to get 3-day food kits.
We will also continue to have at least three staff members on site during the hours of 9 am to 1 pm, in case you are unable to be home with your child, or your child needs a safe place to go. We will exercise social distancing practices to the best of our ability to keep students safe.
We are committed to keeping students engaged in their learning during this statewide school closure. On Friday, March 16th, staff put together enrichment packets and learning resources to continue their work from home. Students who were not able to pick up their academic work will receive their packets in the mail or by delivery to their home.
To supplement these services, we encourage you to engage your children in other free, online educational activities. The Illinois State Board of Education has compiled a library of resources at www.isbe.net/keeplearning.
Concern over this new virus can make children anxious. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Adults should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.
Children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk, so the focus of conversation should be concrete instructions about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Teaching children positive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infections can help reduce anxiety. Please talk with your children about precautions they can take to stay healthy, including:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best, especially if they are visibly dirty. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a suitable alternative. Consider showing your children one of these videos about proper handwashing technique: cdc.gov/handwashing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed
- Avoid close contact with people who are
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are able to stay home. Avoid travel if you can.
The National Association of School Psychologists has additional guidelines about talking to children about COVID-19 at https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource.
We will continue to inform you as quickly as we can about any further changes to school services. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Dakessian, the Interim Principal at (224) 475-3321.
We appreciate your partnership, and we will get through this together.
Interim Principal of Ombudsman Chicago Northwest