Updated: Mar 17, 2020
We know you are being inundated with emails from every important (and unimportant) organization and business with your email address. That being said, this pertains specifically to your children and therefore please read this in its entirety.
As far as we know, no Akiba family has been told to officiallyquarantine themselves at this time. That said, there are diagnosed cases in our neighborhoods and it behooves us all to follow the social distancing recommendations of our public health professionals.
Playdates? Many have asked what social distancing means for small gatherings or play dates either inside or out. The medical and public health experts we consult point us to the same articles many of you have no doubt seen. And as difficult and sad as this is to say, we recommend against any gatherings at this critical time. Consult this article to better understand the need.
In our Friday closure letter, we stated "several members of our community reported this morning that they have self-quarantined due to exposure to people possibly diagnosed with COVID-19." We have since been informed that the people possibly diagnosed did not test positive for COVID-19.
Our staff and teachers are working very hard to prepare for remote learning. Many will be juggling personal and family needs as well as school and teaching needs in the days and weeks ahead. Please be understanding as all of us are working in a fashion new to us, and we are all doing so under circumstances never seen in our lifetime. We know how taxing these next weeks will be for all of you. Please let us know if you are having any struggles that we may be able to help with; we want to support you however we can.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker mandated that all schools close March 17-30. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we have been, but at a minimum will abide by these mandated closure dates.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) explained how to regard this closure: "All days that a school is closed pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order 2020-05 will be counted Act of G-d Days. Emergency Days will not be used. At this time, these Act of G-d Days do not need to be made up at the end of the school year."
ISBE also wrote that "school districts are strongly encouraged to provide instruction to students during these Act of G-d Days through whatever means possible." We are doing just that.
No later than tomorrow, Grade School families will receive an individual schedule for your child(ren)'s remote learning. This schedule will have links to the live virtual Zoom classrooms they will use when they have live classes or check-ins with teachers. Preschool and Kindergarten families will have a Zoom session each day and a daily email with activities, links and potentially videos from teachers. Zoom sessions will be recorded so they can be accessed later.
Tomorrow (Monday) is a day off without scheduled learning. Tuesday is an online learning Orientation Day for Grade School students when all grade school students will be expected to login to Zoom to check in with teachers. This will be on the schedule. Wednesday, the new remote learning schedules go into effect.
If you borrowed a school Chromebook and are having any issues with it now or in the future, please contact Miriam Friedman Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org or, for this purpose, you may call her at cell (was sent in email).
For updated information about COVID-19, we recommend tuning in to Governor Pritzker's daily briefings .
We will all get through this. While this is unprecedented, the compassion and kindness of our community and the dedication of our teachers and staff to your children are not. May G-d grant the world a speedy recovery from this pandemic and may we find the many ways to support each other through it. Stay safe.
Dr. Eliezer Jones Miriam Kass Carla Goldberg Head of School Grade School Principal Early Childhood Director