COVID-19 SCHOOLS UPDATE: Advice on Home Schooling; About 88% of Central D301 Students Learning Online
- Editor’s Note: This article will be updated with information about local schools during the COVID-19 emergency. Please consider bookmarking this page, and scroll down for links to all nine Kane County school district websites.
Kane County Connects Daily Updates
- COVID-19 OVERVIEW — A roundup of national and international updates.
- COVID-19 STATE — State of Illinois and Illlinois Department of Public Health updates (Includes daily updates from Gov. JB Pritzker’s news conferences and Kane County COVID-19 alerts from the IDPH.)
- COVID-19 KANE COUNTY — Kane County updates, including information from the Kane County Health Department, courts, Sheriff’s Office, and all units of county government. (Note: IDPH provides breaking information on the numbers of cases or deaths in Kane County.)
- COVID-19 COMMUNITIES — A roundup of information from municipalities, park districts, libraries, as well as local human interest stories.
- COVID-19 SCHOOLS — Updates on school closings or openings, meals and online learning.
- COVID-19 HOSPITALS — Vital links to local hospital websites and additional trusted information on COVID-19.
- COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS —Business news, what’s open and closed, where to find stuff you need, and updates from local chambers of commerce.
- COVID-19 CONNECTIONS — Personal observations, photos, miscellaneous news, quirky and fun stuff related to the days of COVID in Kane.
10:45AM FRIDAY, MARCH 27
How Kane Residents Are Handling Home School in the COVID-19 ‘stay at home’
The Courier-News did a nice story with Kane County Coroner Rob Russell’s family on home schooling during the days of COVID-19.
11:30AM THURSDAY, MARCH 26
Central School District 301: Thank You To Students, Staff
SOURCE: Central School District 301 website
Central School District 301 officials took a minute to express their gratitude for students’ and parents’ patience and support as they quickly transitioned from daily school attendance to remote learning opportunities.
“The partnership families and Central staff members have accomplished while navigating these new learning opportunities is nothing short of amazing,” officials said.
During the course of this week, about 88% of District 301 students have had access to learning through a multitude of online applications. Next week, teachers will continue to provide remote learning opportunities in hopes of getting that percentage closer to 100.
“The district is hearing many positive reports from both staff and parents that great learning opportunities are happening and that the overall process is going well,” officials said. “While these remote learning opportunities do not fully replace classroom instruction, we are united in doing our best to support our students.”
D301 Chromebook Information
Students experiencing problems with Chromebook are asked to email your building principal to set-up an appointment to either get a “loaner device” or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone from the Technology Department will reach out via phone or email to assist you.
In the event you are looking for opportunities to continue further learning beyond what our teachers are providing, additional resources can be found at: www.isbe.net/keeplearning.
Third quarter grades will be posted for family access on March 30.
March 30 begins D301’s spring break. Staff will not be sending out remote learning materials during this week.
11:30AM TUESDAY, MARCH 24
It’s fascinating to see how each school district is handling e-learning during the “Stay At Home” order.
Above, you see Wredling Middle School’s (St. Charles School District 303) website homepage, complete with the “Let’s Talk” option in the lower left, and a list of upcoming events, all of which are, not surprisingly, “eLearning Day — All Day.”
The message at the top, which is probably too small for you to read in the screenshot above, reminds folks that the Illinois school closures will continue at least through April 7. Wredling buiildings were closed Monday, March 23, but staff members are available to answer phones from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Earlier today, we posted a first-person testimony to District 303’s e-learning success from working single mom Gabriella Figliozzi. Be sure to check out that post on our COVID-19 CONNECTIONS landing page.
2:30PM SUNDAY, MARCH 21, UPDATE
School District U-46 — the second-largest in Illinois after the Chicago Public School District — will begin online learning on March 31.
U-46 is keeping families informed about that and other issues through new website section devoted to keeping families, staff, and community members updated on all the developments related to COVID-19 is located at u-46.org/covid.
“I know you have many questions. We will answer them,” Superintendent Tony Sanders said. “We will post all information on our website here: https://www.u-46.org/covid. This includes our information about Phase II of our Distance Learning Plan, what this means for all students, especially our Class of 2020, our food distribution, helpful community resources and more.
“We will begin online learning in earnest beginning March 31,” he said. “Next week, we will distribute Chromebooks to families who do not currently have a U-46-issued Chromebook.”
The district will be sending more information about that distribution plan and our Phase II Distance Learning Plan this weekend but some of those details are already posted on our COVID website: https://www.u-46.org/learning
The district also has a “Let’s Talk” feature, using the COVID button.
So far, the district has distributed more than 76,000 meals and 25,000 snacks to families at 26 sites.
Below are some helpful resources to our online information:
- Main section: u-46.org/covid
- Resources: u-46.org/resources
- Food Distribution: u-46.org/food-distribution
- Distance Learning: u-46.org/learning
- Free internet service: u-46.org/freewifi
- How to contact us: u-46.org/contact-us
UPDATED 4PM FRIDAY, MARCH 20
The reopening date for schools statewide has been tentatively postponed until April 8, Gov. JB Pritzker said in a news conference this afternoon. It had been the end of March.
Please click on the COVID-19 STATE story for updates.
Nationally, the Department of Education is temporarily waiving all interest on federally held student loans. Secretary Betsy DeVos has also directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.
Kane County Connects Daily Updates
- COVID-19 OVERVIEW
- COVID-19 STATE
- COVID-19 KANE COUNTY
- COVID-19 COMMUNITIES
- COVID-19 SCHOOLS
- COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS
UPDATED 2:30PM THURSDAY, MARCH 19
As the U.S. faces unprecedented health and economic challenges, Elgin Community College is striving to meet the needs of its students by offering alternative learning formats to maintain educational continuity for the college’s nearly 9,000 students.
In making the transition to a remote learning model, ECC is distributing Chromebooks for loan to students in need through the College’s Renner Library loan system. The college’s office of Student Life will be collecting names of students who have indicated a need for technology and financial assistance.
At this time, ECC is only able to provide technology support for a limited number of students who need assistance to continue learning in an online environment. Furthermore, many ECC students face the loss of income with reduction or elimination in employment or temporary layoffs, presenting an even more dire situation for those who are attending college to improve their circumstances.
For this reason, the Elgin Community College Foundation has established the ECC Foundation Emergency Student Relief Fund to help students most impacted by this crisis.
The ECC Foundation Emergency Student Relief Fund has already been seeded with a generous donation of $10,000. The foundation seeking community support to ensure every impacted student can continue their education in these uncertain economic times.
“We are committed to ensuring that every student who is committed to their education can continue, regardless of their current financial situation, and we know the community will step up to help them,” said David Davin, ECC Foundation Executive Director.
Working in conjunction with the college’s Financial Aid office, the Foundation will identify those students who are financially unable to continue with their education as a result of the additional hardships presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.
To contribute to this critical need for ECC students, please visit elgin.edu/studentrelief or contact Executive Director David Davin, Institutional Advancement and ECC Foundation at (224) 361-1759 or email@example.com. Both individual and institutional donations will be gratefully accepted and duly acknowledged.
UPDATED 2PM TUESDAY, MARCH 17
Kane County School Districts will continue to provide lunches while schools are closed through at least March 30.
For the latest updates, click on these links:
Lunches will be made available to qualifying students for pickup from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning Tuesday, March 17, and continue each weekday at the front entrance of each of the following schools through March 30th:
- Harrison Street Elementary School, 201 Harrison St.
- Williamsburg Elementary School, 1812 Williamsburg Ave.
Families have been contacted about this directly, but if there are further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our business office. Visit the district webpage and Facebook page for frequent updates.
Beginning Tuesday, the district is providing breakfast and lunch meal boxes to families who regularly receive free or reduced-cost meals in school.
Eligible families have been sent details on this program, but if your family needs assistance with food at any time during the school closure, contact District 101.
District 303 is providing meals for families who may need them while school is closed. Every day between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., staff members will be at Thompson Middle School with grab and go meals that will last two days.
For additional updates on the District 303 temporary meal program, visit the district’s Facebook page.
While schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon, for students 18 years and under at the following schools:
- Allen Elementary 700 S. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora DOOR 8
- Dieterich Elementary 1141 Jack St., Aurora DOOR 6
- Oak Park Elementary 1200 Front St., Aurora DOOR 2
- East Aurora High School 500 Tomcat Lane, Aurora DOOR 8
Parents can pick up student meals with proof of ID. Siblings may also pick up meals for their siblings who are students in the district with proof of ID. Click here for updates and additional info.
School District 129 will host 12 food distribution centers throughout the district during school closures due to COVID-19. The children of all SD129 families will be offered breakfast and lunch.
Food distribution centers will be located at the buildings of:
- Freeman Elementary School
- Goodwin Elementary School
- Greenman Elementary School
- Hall Elementary School
- Hill Elementary School
- McCleery Elementary School
- Nicholson Elementary School
- Schneider Elementary School
- Smith Elementary School
- Jewel Middle School
- Washington Middle School
- West Aurora High School
Any SD129 child can receive their food from any of the 12 food distribution centers, meaning they are not limited to their home building only.
Food distribution centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday during the school closures due to COVID-19.
West Aurora will be using the “honor system,” meaning that children need not be present for families to receive meals and no school identification is needed. Additionally, two days’ worth of meals will be provided per child in an effort to minimize the number of trips a family will need to make.
In order to promote social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading the virus, drive-thru service will be available and is strongly recommended. If a family needs to walk to one of our food distribution locations, we recommend that they obey social distancing guidelines and minimize the number of people walking with them.
Families are asked to form a car line nearest to the main door except at Jewel Middle School where the drive-thru will be held in the back of the building and at West Aurora High School where it will be held at door 22.
Visit the district webpage for additional info.
While schools are closed, School District U-46 will be providing FREE MEALS TO ALL CHILDREN 18 AND UNDER packaged to take home. A breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack will be ready to take and go. No paperwork is required for meals — just visit the pick-up location most convenient for your family!
Stop by for your pre-packaged meals and a snack on these dates:
- Tuesday, March 17
- Wednesday, March 18
- Thursday, March 19* (Two days of meals served on these dates.)
- Monday, March 23* (Two days of meals served on these dates.)
- Wednesday, March 25* (Two days of meals served on these dates.)
- Friday, March 27
Pick-up between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at one of the following school sites:
- Century Oaks
- Hanover Countryside
- Harriet Gifford
- Laurel Hill
- Lords Park
- Ronald D. O’Neal
- Sycamore Trails
- District Office at 355 E. Chicago St., Elgin
District 300 will be providing meals for children age 18 and under or enrolled in school. Each child will receive two meals per day, one breakfast and one lunch.
These meals can be picked up at the same time at ANY of the District 300 serving sites. The pickup times and locations will be updated periodically on the sistrict’s Facebook page or the district’s News page.
Information was emailed to families that qualify for free or reduced lunch so that we can provide sack lunches to families as needed beginning on Tuesday, March 17.
At this time, administrative teams will work with the director of Food Services to determine the process in preparing these lunches. Visit the district’s website or Facebook page for additional updates.
From Monday through Friday, beginning March 17, 2020, through Friday, March 27, 2020, school lunches and a snack will be available daily at any of the following locations from 10 a.m. to noon.
Note: Students may pick up the lunch, but do not need to be present. Any family member may pick up the lunch on behalf of the students.
Come to the main entrance or Door #1.
- Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School, 817 Prairie Valley Street, Elburn
- Kaneland Harter Middle School, 1601 Esker Drive, Sugar Grove
- Kaneland McDole Elementary School, 2901 Foxmoor Drive, Montgomery
UPDATE FROM 9PM FRIDAY, MARCH 13:
Pritzker Orders All Illinois Schools Close Until March 30
Gov. JB Pritzker has ordered that all Illinois schools close Tuesday, March 17.
Many or most of Kane County schools will close Monday.
The Chicago Tribune reports that roughly 2 million children will be affected by the order — which includes private and charter schools — will be in effect until at least March 30.
The governor said each district will handle the closures differently. Some will stop instruction altogether, others will conduct classes online.
Pritzker said Illinois is the eighth state to close all schools.
Geneva School District 304 Statement
Due to a directive by Gov. Pritzker for all Illinois schools, Geneva 304 schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, through Monday, March 30. We will hold an Institute Day on Monday to allow teachers the time to work on plans for learning activities that can be delivered remotely. We will still observe our scheduled spring break from March 30-April 3. Additional communication about the exact details of these remote learning plans will be forthcoming.
Batavia School District 101 Statement
In accordance with Governor Pritzker’s directive to close all schools in Illinois in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Batavia Public School District 101 will be closed Monday, March 16th through spring break, tentatively returning on April 6th. All trips, contests, practices, activities, and events are also canceled during that period.
St. Charles School District 303 Statement
For the last several weeks we have been working on how we would respond if schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This afternoon, we have made the decision to cancel classes for students on Monday, March 16, and hold an Institute Day for staff. This will allow staff members the time to work on plans for classes that can be delivered remotely.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, the district buildings will be closed to students through the end of Spring Break. All school activities are also cancelled.
Aurora School District 131
All schools will be closed for students beginning Monday, March 16, and will remain closed through April 5. No school activities, sports practices or competition, will take place during this time. All building rentals are cancelled as well.
E-learning will start March 16.
Aurora School District 129
As a result of the Governor’s directive, District 129 will be closing all schools starting Monday, March 16, 2020, through the end of Spring Break, which ends on Friday, April 3, 2020. We anticipate that students will report back to their home buildings on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Elgin School District U46
We are closing all U-46 schools, effective today, through next week. This means all school-related activities are canceled, including those scheduled for tonight, Friday, March 13. We will keep you posted on any new developments. Our decision means all schools will be closed next week, followed by our spring break recess. As of this moment, schools will open on Monday, March 30.
Please know our SAFE programs will remain open tonight until 6 p.m.
Central School District 300
All District 300 schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27.
Burlington School District 301
Gov. Pritzker has issued a directive to all Illinois school districts to close schools beginning Tuesday, March 17, and continuing through Monday, March 30.
We have already scheduled a student emergency day for Monday, March 16. Teachers will use this day to prepare for remote learning, which we will implement beginning Tuesday. Students will participate in remote learning Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, March 27. Our spring break is scheduled for March 30 through April 3. Students will not be participating in remote learning during this week.
Kaneland School District 302
Kaneland School District will be closed beginning March 16, 2020, until
April 3, 2020. Please see our plan below for the use of these days:
- March 16, 2020 through March 20, 2020 (five days) — These days will be considered
emergency days, similar to a snow day. Emergency days are built into our school
calendar and will be made up at the end of the year as indicated on the attached
calendar. Using the emergency days, the last day of school is scheduled to be May
- March 23, 2020 through March 27, 2020 (five days) — These days will be considered
Act of God days; therefore students would not make up these days.
- March 30, 2020 through April 3, 2020 — Spring Break, as scheduled.
Rockford Diocese Closes Schools, Masses Continue
The Chicago Arch Diocese has is closing all local Catholic schools, WGN reports.
The Chicago Diocese also has suspended all public celebrations of mass, starting Saturday evening, March 14.
Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties will be closed beginning Monday, March 16.
The Diocese of Rockford, which serves large part of northern Kane County, is actively working on releasing a new statement based on the recommendations made by the county and state late yesterday afternoon. Please check the website and/or Facebook for the release of that information shortly.
The Diocese of Joliet has not posted any news that we can find on its website as of 11 a.m. Friday.
As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, 10 schools in the Chicago area have been closed due to coronavirus concerns. They include but are not limited to District 73 in Skokie and District 36 in Winnetka.
Dundee Crown Tests Negative
Dundee-Crown High School closed on Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13, due to a possible case of COVID-19 exposure.
Officials said Friday that the Health Department has confirmed test results of the family members suspected to have contracted the virus were all negative.
For more information, please visit: https://bit.ly/39JBnQW
Hinsdale Student Test Comes Back Negative
We learned a short time ago that the test conducted on the student from Hinsdale South who may have been exposed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) came back negative. As a result, classes will be back in session on Friday, March 13.
While there are no confirmed cases in DuPage County, we want to make you aware of the proactive measures we are taking to help reduce the spread of the virus. Several of these measures are being implemented based on the advice and guidance of the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and the DuPage Regional Office of Education.
Tammy Prentiss, Superintendent
Colleges And Universities
Message From NIU
Important Notice: Extended Spring Break, Modified Course Delivery
The continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country requires that we take measures to support our NIU students. Out of an abundance of caution, and to help reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus at our university locations, NIU is taking the following immediate actions:
- Spring Break has been extended. NIU is extending Spring Break for students through Sunday, March 22. During this additional week, NIU faculty will work to develop alternate modes of course delivery, as appropriate, to replace face-to-face instruction. We understand that this could be especially challenging for different programs, including those at the graduate level, that require doing clinicals, student-teaching, lab work, artistry, etc. We are prepared to accommodate our students and to find effective and appropriate alternatives.
- During the extended Spring Break period, NIU will identify ways that we can offer access to academic support services and continue to provide childcare and health services.
- Modified courses (replacing face-to-face instruction) will begin March 23, and run for a period of two weeks through Saturday, April 4. Our goal is to return to face-to-face instruction Monday, April 6. However, if warranted by evolving conditions, we will extend beyond that date and communicate that decision in a timely manner.
It’s critical that everyone regularly checks their NIU email.
To find out whether your school district is closing, please click the following links to public school district websites in Kane County or scroll down for additional links to social media.
- East Aurora School District 131
- West Aurora School District 129
- Batavia School District 101
- Central School District 301
- Geneva School District 304
- Kaneland School District 302
- School District 300
- School District U-46
- St. Charles CUSD 303
Another good resource is the Emergency Closing Center, which includes information on business, private school and other closings, openings or late starts.
Where To Find School Closing Information
Below is a list of Kane County public school districts as well as colleges and universities. Click on the link in each school district header to find school-closing info.
Information will be released through:
- A phone message to parents in both English and Spanish.
- The East Aurora School District 131 website: www.d131.org
- The East Aurora School District 131 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EASD131
- The East Aurora School District 131 Twitter account: @EASD131 (www.twitter.com/EASD131)
- East Aurora School District 131 will only send out a notice when schools are closed. If there is no announcement, schools are open.
Here is how the district will communicate with parents and staff if schools are closed due to inclement weather.
By Telephone: If schools are closed due to inclement weather, the superintendent will notify parents and staff via phone blast.
If you have a current phone number on file at the school, our system will automatically call you as soon as the decision is made by the superintendent early in the morning. If a parent does not receive a school-closing call, it is because the phone number is not listed properly in the district’s computer. The parent would need to contact the school office on the next valid school day to update the files.
Email: District 129 also will notify parents and staff of school closings via email. Text Those following “SD129” on Twitter will receive a text message.
To help keep you informed of school closings, District 101 has six resources:
- BPS101 Messenger: Set personal delivery preferences for email, text messages and/or phone calls.
- BPS101 Emergency Advisory Line: Call (630) 937-8899 anytime for updates.
- BPS101 Website: Our site will have notices posted by 6 a.m.
- Emergency Closing Center: Information is broadcast on all Chicago-area TV stations and on the radio stations WGN AM 720 and WBBM AM 780. You can also access the center directly at EmergencyClosing.com.
In the event of school closing, all district families will be contacted via phone and email with the district’s parent notification system. Closing information will also be posted on the District #301 website home page at www.burlington.k12.il.us.
Only school closings or delayed starts will be announced. A two-hour delayed start could be used in the event of inclement weather. In the event of a delayed start all bus pick up times would be adjusted two hours later in the day.
If school is cancelled or a late start implemented, the legal guardians of all students will be notified through use of Geneva School District’s emergency notification system. The system will call the guardian’s primary and mobile phone numbers and send a message to the guardian’s email address, provided that current phone and email information is on file in the District’s student information database.
In addition, school cancellation and late start notifications will be tweeted to the District’s @Geneva304 Twitter account followers, posted on Geneva School District’s website and emailed to all 304 Connects subscribers. Families may also call the District’s Administrative Offices – (630) 463-3001 – to hear a recorded telephone message concerning school closings and late starts.
If weather conditions or other emergency situations make it necessary to close school, the district will notify various area radio stations and ask them to broadcast the information. Please do not call the school. School will be closed in the event of excess snow or if the wind-chill is greater than 40 degrees below zero. Determination of school closing will be made by 6 a.m.
The district will attempt to contact all local and Chicago media by 6 a.m. The closings will also be posted on the district website: www.u-46.org. You may also sign up for email notification. If school is closed, you will be automatically notified. You may also call the district’s central office at (847) 888-5000.
Please note: When school is canceled, all after-school events are canceled.
Closings will be prominently posted on the District 303 website by approximately 5:45 a.m. All emergency contact phone numbers provided to the district will be called by our automated calling system notifying parents of the closure.
Closings will be submitted to the Emergency Closing Center for posting.
Colleges and Universities
Most community colleges, colleges and universities are either closed or have a late start Thursday.
- Aurora University (Due to weather, all AU locations will remain closed through Thursday, Jan. 31. No classes or events will be held and administrative offices will be closed. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the university expects to return to normal operations at all locations on Friday.)
- Elgin Community College (Elgin Community College will be closed Thursday (Jan. 31). Normal business hours resume Friday morning (Feb. 1).
- Judson University (Judson’s Elgin and Rockford campuses will have a late start at noon Thursday, Jan. 31)
- Rasmussen College (No mention on website regarding school closure.)
- Waubonsee Community College (On Thursday, the college will open at 11:30 a.m. and employees are expected to report at that time. Waubonsee will have a late start Thursday. All classes and activities scheduled to start prior to noon are canceled. Classes starting at noon or later will proceed as scheduled.)
Links to Websites
- Aurora University
- Elgin Community College
- Judson University
- Rasmussen College
- Waubonsee Community College
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