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School Closure Information Update
School Closure Information Update
Robert Richardson
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hoopeston Area Schools Update

To the people served by the Hoopeston Area schools,

We learned yesterday that the Governor has extended the mandatory school closure time frame to April 7th. Many have conjectured that the closures will be extended as our state and country work together to manage the transmission rate of the COVID-19 virus, however, we have no further information at this time.

In addition, Illinois is now under a “stay at home” order. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala sent the following message to Illinois school superintendents:  “Governor JB Pritzker announced Friday March 20th, mandatory stay at home procedures for all Illinoisans, a necessary measure to slow the spread of a deadly and highly contagious pandemic. Executive Order 2020-10 means in-person instruction in schools will continue to be suspended through at least April 7, in order to help keep our communities safe. Two pillars absolutely will remain the same: all state funding will continue uninterrupted and no schools will experience negative consequences to the extent possible.

ISBE contemplates that districts eventually will transition to Remote Instructional Days. ISBE has assembled an advisory group composed of teachers, administrators, and stakeholders to make recommendations about what Remote Instructional Days could look like. This advisory group will explore what is possible and what is reasonable under these unprecedented circumstances, always recognizing the incredible diversity and varying capacity of our 852 school districts.” 

I have received many questions about timeframes, meals, quaratines, elearning, graduation, and other issues. We are coordinating with the Illinois State Board of Education to determine best steps, and we will distribute information as soon as it is available. Rest assured, we will find a resolution for each issue and do everything in our power to make the best choices for our school family. Hoopeston Area school leaders are a strong leadership team. They are working on learning plans for extended school closures, school lunches will be available for the duration, and the details surrounding the typical end-of-year processes will be managed.

Chromebooks will be distributed to students not previously assigned a device Monday March 23, 2020 from 3 pm - 6 pm at John Greer and Maple Schools. Building administrators will provide specific instructions for chromebook distribution. Learning packets will be available beginning March 30. Electronic learning packets may be accessed via the internet; accessibility instructions will be provided. Hard copy educational packets will be made available alongside sack lunch distribution or may be picked up at the District office. The District, with the assistance of many committed volunteers, will be providing sack lunches  Monday - Friday beginning March 30 - April 7, from 11 am - 12 pm at the Rankin Lions club, East Lynn Fire Station, Wellington Post office and the 112 Coffee Shoppe in Hoopeston.

I will say that I have been amazed and comforted by the community response within the areas served by our schools. I have personally witnessed a tremendous outpouring of generosity--people giving of their own time and resources to be sure our students have what they need. My hat is off to the teachers and school employees who are scrambling to meet learning needs, the parents and families who are balancing a rapidly shifting routine, the school administrators that are creating innovative ways to stay connected to students, the local businesses that are pulling together to offer assistance, and the many individuals that have offered to help in any way they can. Amazing. There is no doubt in my mind that we will get through this challenge together, and we will look back and realize how this circumstance reminded us that Cornjerker pride unites us all.