Information posted on:  March 16, 2020
Last Updated on:  April 23, 2020
 
Governor Pritzker closed all schools for in-person instruction, both public and private in Illinois from March 17 until the end of the school year in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.  This means that on-site school instruction will remain suspended through the end of the year. The state is working with school districts to implement remote instruction so that no school district will have to extend their school year. The COVID-19 Pandemic has created an unprecedented situation the likes of which most of us have never seen. We are proud of how our staff and community have rallied together to face this adversity and risen to the challenge to provide opportunities to feed our families and provide learning opportunities for our students.
 
Upon the initial closure of our schools, we implemented our e-learning plan (called continuity of instruction) which had already been approved by the Regional Office of Education in the situation that we might need to use e-learning for a day or two if the weather caused too many emergency day closures.  That plan was intended to support students in the event of a closure of 1-2 days. We quickly modified that plan to provide support for an extended closure, now called our Remote Learning Plan. We will continue to rely on this plan for the remainder of the closure regardless of how long it lasts.
 

Read the communications from the District on COVID-19.

We will communicate critical information to our community using the district website at www.lb65.org, social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), School Messenger, the district all call system and texting, and through local media.  Schools and teachers have also been using their social media accounts to communicate information, along with other web-based tools. We are checking email regularly, as well as the voicemail at each school and the district office. Please contact us if you have any questions and we will respond as soon as possible. The phone numbers of each building are listed below:

  • Lake Bluff Elementary School - 847-234-9405
  • Lake Bluff Middle School - 847-234-9407
  • Lake Bluff 65 District Office - 847-234-9400

 

Students in grades PreK-8 have school district devices. Prior to the beginning of the school closures, the school district issued take-home devices to all students.  For Pre-Kindergarten through 1st Grade Students, learning is accessed through an iPad. For students in grades 2 through 7 access learning using a Chromebook. Students in 8th Grade access learning from a MacBook Air.
 
The District has made a large number of personal hotspots available to students and their families.  Should you require support access to a hotspot, please contact your child’s teacher.
 
Additionally, if your child’s device is broken or needs to be repaired, please send an email to one of the following addresses to learn about repair options:
Lake Bluff Elementary School - LBEStech@lb65.org
Lake Bluff Middle School - LBMStech@lb65.org
 
It is important to note that all parents should continue to monitor their child’s access to the internet as they typically would.

Our teachers have prepared lessons and we are going to add teacher interaction beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  What that means is that on Wednesday, teachers will be communicating with their students on the resources and assignments that have already been sent out.  On March 19, 2020 and March 20, 2020 we will continue to work on the resources and assignments and teachers will communicate with their students in a variety of ways depending on the age and needs of our students.

For all students:

  • Students will need to check in for attendance prior to 9:00 a.m. each morning.  More information will be coming from your teachers today and tomorrow.  
  • Teachers will be working with our students on the resources they have sent out and assignments that have already been shared. 
  • At LBMS students will be hearing from their advisory teachers.

Attendance Information

Attendance for Students at LBES is available by clicking here.
Attendance for Students at LBMS is available by clicking here.
We uphold the following principles in this document: 
  • All students and families should have access to quality educational materials and to the supports needed to successfully access those materials
  • Given the reality of the digital divide, most schools may need to provide digital and nondigital access to content 
  • It is still possible and imperative that students access meaningful/high-quality educational materials that align to state standards
  • It is imperative that students and schools/teachers maintain a personal connection that supports necessary, rigorous academic work in a manner that is respectful of students’ contexts (their mindset, feelings, responsibilities, etc.)
  • Simplicity is best during this time -- simplicity of the framework, of communication structures, of expectations 
  • Support the whole child -- their mental health, nutritional needs, and safety needs
  • Parents will need access to clear information and ample resources 
  • Teachers may need support, encouragement, and compassion to ensure their success and resilience
  • All means all. Districts must seek to implement remote learning that addresses the needs of all students and families by taking into consideration language, diverse learning needs, home living situation, legal status, access to technology, access to parental support, and access to transportation. Our most vulnerable student populations still need us most.
  • Underpinning these recommendations is the need for resilience, critical and creative thinking, thoughtful responsiveness, and empathy to help ensure that students continue to grow personally, academically, and linguistically

First and foremost, we recognize that remote learning is not an ideal situation. There is no substitute for the interaction between students and staff, and the learning activities that take place daily in our schools. This plan is not intended to replace that, but to be the next best option given the current circumstances. Therefore, this plan is an opportunity for students to continue to be engaged in learning activities during the closure. It will only be successful if students take time daily to complete the activities provided for them digitally.  We strongly encourage parents to create time and a physical space for students to take part in activities regularly.

Second, we realize that this situation has put all families under a great deal of stress, and that varies from family to family. Some of you live in single parent homes, while others in homes where parents/guardians are employed in essential positions and therefore aren’t home during the day. Some of you may have other family members living with you, and some may have family members who are ill, frail, or weak. And some of you live in homes where the mental health of some family members, such as anxiety or depression, may have an impact on the rest of the members of the household. We know that each family is different, and each family has unique stresses that are a challenge. Our commitment is to be understanding, reasonable, and flexible. There are some situations where we are limited in what we can do, but we will work hard to work with you as long as you communicate your needs to us. Again, you can do that through email, or calling the district office or any of the school buildings.

As much as possible, you will want to help your children to keep some sort of a regular schedule during the day by doing the following:
 
  • Find a place in your home where they will be able to do the work.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Do work with students (i.e. pulling up a chair at the table, etc.)

Attendance Expectations

Student attendance will be captured by classroom teachers via a Google Form each morning. Teachers will post the link to the student log-in form at the top of their homeroom class page on the homework page.  Students are expected to have marked themselves "present" by 9:00 am. If a student does not log-in by 10:00am, our school team will contact families to verify student attendance like a normal school day. If the student does not log-in or is unable to work due to individual circumstances, they will be marked absent for that school day. 
 
If we notice that a student is not engaging as expected, we will reach out to the family to see if there are supports we can provide and to learn more about the situation. Our intent is to partner with families to support students, as needed. 
 

At the Elementary School

  • Students should check posted assignments every morning by accessing Seesaw or Google Classroom. Your classroom teacher will communicate which tool will be used.
  • Teachers will post daily work expectations by 8:00am on each e-Learning day
  • Your classroom teachers will be taking daily attendance electronically and you will receive more info on how that will be accomplished. 
  • Students may be expected to interact with their teachers via email, Seesaw, GoogleHangout, GoogleClassroom and other digital tools.
  • If you are having problems with your device, the student or parent can email your classroom teacher who will help or direct you to someone else who can.  As a last resort you can call the school number and someone will get back to you ASAP.

At the Middle School

  • Students should check posted assignments every morning by accessing the Homework Webpage and their school issued email.
  • Teachers will post daily work expectations by 8:30am on each e-Learning day
  • Your advisors will be taking daily attendance electronically and you will receive more info on how that will be accomplished. 
  • Students may be expected to interact with their teachers via email, GoogleHangout, GoogleClassroom and other digital tools.
  • If you are having problems with your device, you can email your advisor who will help or direct you to someone else who can.  If you are unable to email, ask your parents to do that on your behalf. As a last resort you can call the school number and someone will get back to you ASAP.

Example Responsibilities

This is not an inclusive list of recommended responsibilities.
 
District Responsibilities
  • Develop thoughtful, accessible remote learning plans using stakeholder input, when possible.
  • Support schools in planning and implementing remote learning plans.
  • Help schools identify needed resources in the community (academic, health, social, emotional).
School Responsibilities
  • Implement remote learning plans
  • Communicate regularly with all stakeholders.
  • Support teachers in planning and implementing remote learning plans.
  • Help families find needed resources in the community (academic, health, social).
Teacher Responsibilities
  • Make remote learning activities available in a timely manner.
  • Be available at scheduled times to answer student/caregiver questions.
  • Provide timely feedback on student work.
  • Communicate regularly with students.
  • Provide a range of meaningful learning opportunities that meet the needs of all learners during the period of closure.
  • Provide regular feedback to students on progress related to learning activities.
Student Responsibilities
  • Review assigned work.
  • Complete your assigned work by the due date.
  • Ask clarifying questions when you need help or don’t understand
  • Be respectful to yourself, teachers and peers.
Parent/ Guardian / Caregiver Responsibilities
  • Review work assigned to the student.
  • Reserve a space for students to complete remote learning work.
  • Encourage students to get enough sleep.
  • Set sensible time limits for technology use.
  • Talk to students about their work every day.
  • Help students establish and follow regular daily routines.

Administrators:

  • Administrators will work with all staff to review remote learning day plans to assure the level of rigor and appropriateness for the targeted grade level students.
  • Administrators will review expectations for participation with all staff when a remote learning day is needed or mandated.  
  • Building administrators will troubleshoot with teachers to make sure that training is provided for staff in order to use all platforms needed to provide instruction.  
  • Administrators will regularly communicate with parents to share information and to answer any questions or concerns. 

Teachers:

  • Each teacher  will have access to use Google Classroom, Seesaw, Zoom,  or student email to communicate assignments to children.
  • The teacher is responsible for the remote learning day plans for their students. Plans should be appropriate for the time of year, current topics of study, and should align with curriculum goals and objectives while also being conducive to remote learning.
  • Each teacher will remain online and accessible when possible via their email and Google Classroom from 9-3 on school days to the best of their ability as agreed upon through collaboration between teachers and administrators.

Special Education Providers:

  • Special Education Teachers will work with parents and families to identify goal areas from the student’s individualized educational program to determine how to deliver tailored instruction remotely.  The teachers and service providers (Learning Behavior Specialist, School Social Workers, School Psychologists, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, etc.) will develop a plan for working with each child in collaboration with the parents.
  • Additionally, special education teachers will support the general education teachers by differentiating and modifying assignments for students on their caseloads when possible. They will also remain online and accessible throughout the hours of the regularly scheduled school day to the best of their ability.

English Learning Teachers & Reading Specialists

  • EL Teachers will be available to the students on their caseload to support accommodations, acquisition of language, translation, and to provide virtual instruction as needed.
  • Reading specialists are working with students to provide support services in small groups as best as possible during the remote learning days.

Support Staff

  • Teacher Assistants are given a teacher or teachers to partner with so they can monitor and support students.
  • Custodians are expected to report onsite when essential work is needed.  Otherwise, they can use their remote time for online training.
  • Nurses will use these days to complete reports and paperwork as well as providing the administration and staff daily updates on COVID-19.
  • Enrichment Specialists will work with classroom teachers to continue the development of remote learning activities and to support the needs of all students to the best of their ability. They will also assist teachers in monitoring student questions throughout the regular school day hours.
  • Administrative Assistants will monitor voicemail messages coming into the schools throughout the day, work on outstanding clerical responsibilities, including SIS reports, data clean up and preparation for upcoming events.
  • Library Information Specialists and Assistants may create activities using digital tools available to the districts’ libraries. These activities will be shared with teachers to be used as needed to support other assigned learning.

Students

  • Students are allowed to use any device to participate in the remote learning days.  The district issued Chromebook and iPad are preferred, as this will provide access to the appropriate digital tools.
  • Students are required to login for attendance daily.
  • Students are not required to complete the work on the actual remote learning day.  Teachers, however, will only be accessible during the stated hours for assistance. Questions or concerns may be brought to the teacher during the regular school day or via email.
  • Students who receive special education services and/or educational accommodations per an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will receive additional guidance for completing activities from their case manager. Any learning that is not able to be completed independently will be supported by the classroom teacher or case manager upon the students’ return to school.
During these unprecedented times, we prioritize the connectedness and care for our students and one another as we maintain a continuity of learning. We recognize the importance of providing feedback, assessing student progress, and learning; and communicating this to students, parents, and teachers in the form of grades. To that end, we further identify a focus of keeping children emotionally and physically safe, fed, and engaged in learning. 
 
Grading Is Defined As: 
  • Meaningful feedback
  • Assessment of learning (summative)
  • Assessment as learning (self-assessment) 
  • Assessment for learning (formative) 
  • Student/teacher partnership (home)
  • Criteria for work and expectations (exemplars) 
  • Confidential 
  • A dialogue 
  • Part of the learning process
  • Reflective
  • Coaching 
  • Purposeful 
  • Supportive 
  • Focused on student growth 
  • Individual 
  • Differentiated 
 
(Bailey & Heritage, 2008; Brookhart, Guskey, et al., 2016; Chapman & King, 2005; Costa & Kallick, 2013; Davies, 2011; Earl, 2013; Gomez, 2008; Gottlieb, 2016; Gottlieb,1995; Guskey & Bailey, 2001; Guskey & Bailey, 2010; Guskey & Brookhart, 2019; Heritage, 2010; Marzano, 2010; Moss & Brookhart, 2009; Muñoz & Guskey 2015; Popham, 2008; Stiggins, 2006) 
 
The recommendations on grading from the state are based upon the principle of no educational harm to any child. This pandemic and the statewide suspension of in-person instruction – the first in modern history – has impacted our entire society. The recommendations on grading during this period of unprecedented crisis offers direction to school leaders for pass/incomplete options (not pass/fail). The recommendation is for an “incomplete” that can be made up when the remote learning period ends. Individual student engagement or disengagement will be addressed locally. There are factors outside of the control of the school system with learning being moved off site; therefore, the aim is that student grades are not lowered as a result of remote learning. ISBE recommends that a student who is not able to be engaged, or who chooses to disengage in remote learning should receive an incomplete or no grade. Where possible, the content from remote learning will need to be made up after the transition back to regular in-person school attendance resumes. 
The District has developed a plan to collaborate with the parents and families of children eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For additional information and communications about this plan, please click here.
 
Additionally, students eligible for services under Section 504 are receiving accommodations consistent with these plans.  For questions about this, please contact your child’s case manager or a member of the administrative team.

Parents and Families who typically receive free and reduced lunch may access free meals and gain access to groceries on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

All food pick ups are available at Lake Bluff Elementary School (350 West Washington Ave.)

If you are a family wishing to make a donation of a grocery item, we ask that you donate items to the Shields Township Food Pantry.

Is the internet filtered while students are at home?

Yes, the internet is filtered while the students are at home.  However, parents and families are encouraged to actively supervise their children during the time that they are away from the classroom and participating in e-Learning activities.
 

Is the District able to provide any internet access for families who may not have internet access?

Yes, the District has a limited number of wi-fi devices for families that do not have internet capabilities in their home to access e-Learning.  To access one of these devices, please contact your child’s teacher.
 

Will someone still be answering the phones at my child’s school?  At the District Office?

Yes, you can still contact your child’s school or the District Office:
District Office - 847-234-9400
Lake Bluff Elementary School - 847-234-9405
Lake Bluff Middle School - 847-234-9407  
 

What should I do if my child’s device breaks or we need support with my child’s device?

Please send an email to one of the addresses below for repair or support options:
Lake Bluff Elementary School - LBEStech@lb65.org
Lake Bluff Middle School - LBMStech@lb65.org
 

How will you communicate with us during this time?

We will be updating this website frequently and when we do, we will note the date that it has been updated.  Additionally, we can commit to sending out communication to parent emails and text messages whenever needed so that all students and families are on the same page.
 

Is it possible for my child’s teacher to come and work with us in our home?

We recognize that our students really want to see our teachers and staff and we want to see our students as well.  However, we are not able to do individual home visits for students.
As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of School Nurses has created guidance (Click here for the English Version  | Click here for the Spanish Version) to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
 
Importantly, you should:
  • Talk to your children so that they know you are prepared to keep them safe.
  • Stay calm and reassure your children.
  • Talk to children about what is happening in a way that they can understand.   Keep it simple and appropriate for each child’s age.
  • Provide children with opportunities to talk about what they are going through or what they think about it.  Encourage them to share concerns and ask questions.
 
It is difficult to predict how some children will respond to traumatic events. Because parents, teachers, and other adults see children in different situations, it is important for them to work together to share information about how each child is coping after a traumatic event.
  • Lake County United Way offers free resources to families in need of assistance (including mental health resources).  The best way to reach them is by dialing 211. 
  • Text 847Help to 844-823-5323 to be connected to a crisis counselor 24-hours a day, 7 days, week.
  • Students who are in need of support can also send a text to 847-786-0090 or an email to speakup@student-lb65.org
Current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control recommend that everyone should do the following to protect themselves.
 
  • Clean your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

You should also know that this is not a time to be gathering in people’s homes or to be gathering together.  CDC has recommended social distancing (keeping a distance of at least three feet between people) as a good practice to help prevent the spread of the virus.  One suggestion would be to have virtual play dates through FaceTime, Google Hangouts, etc.

In closing, we will do our absolute best to support you and your students during this time. That includes responding to questions, connecting with you, serving meals, and being flexible. We know this is a trying time, and we’re all in this together. We are hopeful that we can return to school soon, but please know that we are preparing for an extended closure if that is ordered. Complying with social distancing and other measures in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is of the utmost importance. Too many people have been infected, and have died. School is important, but nothing is more important than the well-being of our students, staff, and community. Stay strong, stay safe, and we will get through this together.