Dear Washington District 50 Parents,
Today is the first day for the statewide school closure. Please let your children know that we miss them very much and hope they are doing well!
We want to provide parents with the latest information from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) about the school closure, what we are doing behind the scenes to provide food and stay connected with students and families, and how we are preparing for the possibility of an extended school closure beyond March 30th.
1. Calendar - The statewide closure is March 17 - 30 and may be extended. These will be Act of God Days that count as calendar days and do not need to be made up. All events scheduled to be held at our schools through March 30 have been cancelled. We will make decisions on events scheduled beyond March 30 as we receive more information. The District office will remain open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Building offices at John L. Hensey and Beverly Manor Schools will be closed through March 30th.
2. Student Learning – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has asked that schools prepare at home and e-learning curriculum to assure all students may participate in at home learning activities in the event the school closure is extended. While e-learning is not required for Act of God Days, our administrators and teachers are making every effort to stay in touch with families during the closure, to keep students engaged in learning and let them know we are there for them. Also watch our live feed, Facebook page and other means of communication from school related to free Wi-Fi offers from providers such as Comcast.
3. Food Options – Starting today (March 17th) through March 30th, we will be preparing and distributing FREE MEALS at two drop off locations (John L. Hensey School and Tall Oaks Village) for ALL school age children (age 18 years and younger) residing in our district. Check our website and your emails and text messages for sign-up information and specific distribution times and locations.
In addition, Washington Schools Snack Pack Program has partnered with WHIP to provide food to qualifying families in Washington.
4. Staff Involvement at School - All employees will be compensated for Act of God Days (except the scheduled Spring Break March 23-27). Employees who are not essential to building operations may work from home during the closure period. District office staff (superintendent, administrative assistant, payroll clerk, and bookkeeper) are scheduled to work on-site through the closure, as are custodians, and food services staff who are preparing meals. Staff members may be on-site during the closure and are reminded to practice social distancing while in the buildings. Building administrators, special education personnel, and several of our teachers will be meeting on-site or by phone to conduct annual reviews throughout the closure for students who qualify for special education services.
This is a unique time in our history and everyone is impacted. Right now we are energized by the hard work and dedication shown by our staff to continue meeting the needs of our students and our school community in a variety of ways. There is no group I would rather be with during tough times than the Wildcats. It is during times such as these that we are truly guided by our mission, as We Protect and Respect People, While Working Together to Inspire and Develop Every Student.
Please let us know if you have questions. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.
Chad Allaman, Superintendent