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Important Updates: Summer Programs, Remote Learning, End of Year

May 2, 2020


Dear District 65 Community -


We hope you are staying safe and enjoying the sunshine! We wanted to take this opportunity to provide several important updates. While there continues to be so much uncertainty, we must make decisions that allow staff and families time to plan accordingly. These decisions are based on state guidance and prioritize public health and the safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, including all updates from the Governor’s office, if anything changes we'll be sure to share an update.


Schedule Update (Remote Learning Planning Days)
Please note that Wednesday, May 6, will be a full day of instruction and is no longer scheduled as a School Improvement Day. Our final Remote Learning Planning Days will be held on May 8, May 22, and May 29. Students are not required to engage in or submit work and educators will not provide new assignments on these three dates. In an effort to support family routines, District 65 will provide learning options.


D65 Summer Learning Programs
Under the current State guidance, we would be unable to open our buildings for summer learning programs. While the Governor may choose to lift some restrictions when the current stay-at-home order expires on May 31, we simply do not know whether this will actually happen or what it will look like. Based on current information related to the continued spread of COVID-19 in our community, we do not believe we can safely host in-person summer learning programs. With programs scheduled to begin the second week in June, it is important to provide families and staff with as much notice as possible so that plans can be made accordingly.


The following District 65 programs will be held remotely: Extended School Year (Low Incidence, ECC, general), Jumpstart ECC, Oakton Jumpstart, Emergent Bilingual Support, and Math Enrichment (Pre-Algebra). We are working on making plans and program adjustments. More information will be forthcoming.


School Age Child Care Summer Camp
For the reasons listed above, we have made the decision to cancel the first session of our School Age Childcare Summer Camp, scheduled to begin on June 8. Refunds will be processed for families who have already paid. We know how much our families rely on this program for childcare and especially as more people return to work. We remain hopeful that we may be able to host the second session of the program which begins on July 6. Of course, this decision will be made only if we can safely host the program while adhering to all state requirements. In addition, we are collaborating with our community partners on programs and opportunities to provide support to families over the summer months.


Graduation represents an important milestone for our students and we are deeply saddened that we will not be able to gather in person to celebrate this important accomplishment. Our school leaders have been collaborating with their teams as well as PTAs and families to find creative ways to honor our students in lieu of traditional ceremonies. On Monday, June 1, eighth grade virtual graduation celebrations will be held. Please stay tuned for more information from your school principal.


Student/Staff Belongings
The State has indicated that schools are allowed to put procedures in place for the safe pick-up of items left in lockers and classrooms before schools closed in March. Our procedures will follow strict safety guidelines, including social distancing, as communicated by the Governor and the Illinois State Board of Education. Health Office staff will coordinate directly with families the pick-up of student medications that have been left at school. More information, including a pick-up schedule for both staff and families, will be shared by school principals.


D65 Community Needs Survey
If you may be in need, and have not done so already, we are asking families/caregivers to please fill out this needs assessment. This will give our principals and social workers the information they need to connect you with resources that are available in our Evanston/Skokie community including the PEP Emergency Fund.

COVID-19 Face Coverings
According to orders issued by the City of Evanston and the Village of Skokie, all persons are required to wear a face covering while working in or patronizing businesses open to the public or while in close proximity to others. Details: City of Evanston / Village of Skokie


Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued support of our schools.


With health in mind,

Dr. Phil Ehrhardt & Dr. Heidi Wennstrom
Interim Superintendents of Schools