20 hours ago
By Amanda Sitar
March 27, 2020
Dear Troy Students, Staff and Families,
Thank you to all of you who filled out our home internet survey. We are reviewing the data and working on our solutions.
I hope you are all well. The weather may be severe this weekend, so please be safe. I have some updates for you as we move forward into next week.
The following are updates from our district.
Tonight, the State Superintendent, under the authority granted to her by Governor Executive Order 2020-15, has claimed that March 31--April 7 will be Remote Learning Days. To meet this declaration, we are prepared to lift off our Remote Learning Day Plan. We have linked our Parent Remote Learning Day Communication here. Warning--Please set aside some time for this document. It is your Remote Learning Day manual, and it is not necessarily light reading.
March 30 is still an At Home Learning packet day. Please keep all the At Home Learning Packets together and turn them into your teacher when you see us again.
We will change our lunch program starting on Monday, March 30. We have changed times from 9:00 am-11:30 am to 10:30 am-12:00 pm, we eliminated Craughwell as a location, and after Monday, we will go to a Tuesday and Thursday distribution system. We have linked the new schedule here in one document. For those who need food during our Spring Break, the following is a list of local businesses serving food as well as food banks and pantries. The list is linked here.
We hope you are well. The news provides us with a backdrop that can cause fear and doubt. While our current environment is real, I have to note that I have seen families taking walks together, people keeping appropriately socially distanced yet still smiling and saying hello. We have seen teachers and staff members working with great spirit and love and we recreate school in just two weeks. We see that in our hearts, we know what we have to do, and we do it. We know you are the same. Please take that moment to stop and wonder at how blessed we are to have each other. We are here for you, always, and we cannot wait to see you next week, even if it is in a little Zoom window. Be calm. Stay healthy. Breathe. We will prevail.
Dear Troy Students, Staff and Families,
To help us finalize our plans for technology distribution, we need each of you to fill out this very short survey on your home access to the internet. I wanted to write to check-in with you and see how you are doing. I hope you get the opportunity to be outside a little today and the rest of this week. Striving for normalcy is a key activity during these stay at home days.
Remember to stay calm--this is a marathon not a sprint. Be healthy--this includes your mental health. Breathe--this is a necessary activity that reminds us to focus on the simple things and be grateful. We will prevail.
The following are updates from our district. We have not received any new updates from the state that change our current planning. If we receive any major changes, we will be sure to update you. As such, we are planning to return to school on April 8. We will not be serving lunches again until Monday, March 30.
We will continue serving the lunches through Tuesday, April 7. We will have a change in our serving schedule due to the stay at home ruling but we will communicate that later this week. For those who need food during our Spring Break, the following is a list of local businesses serving food as well as food banks and pantries. The list is linked here.Due to the stay at home directive, we will be moving to Remote Instructional Days using our full e-learning plan which is virtual at home learning.
Phase II of our remote instructional days will start March 31, 2020 and continue through April 7, 2020. We now have this plan in the hands of our building admin and the teachers who are making it come to life. Later this week we will be communicating the basic structure of that plan so that you can know what to expect. We have been busy preparing for the Remote Instructional Days. Today, we prepared 700 Chromebooks for distribution to families that will need them.
That day is scheduled for Monday, March 30 and will take place at Cronin Elementary School at 210 West Black Road in Shorewood. The school is just south (right across Black) from Mariano’s grocery store. We will have more details for that date in a later communication.
And so, onward we go. We miss you, and we want you to know that we are here for you. Our teachers are reaching out to students, and we want to reach out to you. In all of our planning, we keep in mind that you, like us, are experiencing some new, and this new normal can be stressful and emotional. We set a goal that our remote instruction will blend into your new normal and provide an avenue of connection and engagement that complements your life. We, you our honorary staff, and us, your school district, are on the same team with the same goal: your child’s success.
Be calm. Stay healthy. Breathe. We will prevail.
March 20, 2020
Dear Troy Students, Staff and Families,
I hope the writing of this finds you all well and safe. We have definitely entered a new reality for all of us as we prepare for the stay at home directive that starts tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. We will stay at home until Tuesday, April 7, 2020. According to this order, school will resume on Wednesday, April 8. We will plan forward with that. Now more than ever, it is essential that we are calm, we stay healthy, and we breathe.
The following are updates from our district.
We will not be serving lunches again until Monday, March 30. We will continue serving the lunches through Tuesday, April 7. For those who need food during our Spring Break, the following is a list of local businesses serving food as well as food banks and pantries. The list is linked here.
Due to the stay at home directive, we will be moving to our full e-learning plan which is virtual at home learning This new format will start on March 31, 2020 and continue through April 7, 2020. We have been developing this plan over the last several weeks. The difference between this plan and our current At Home Learning is that the day will be more structured like regular school and our teaching staff will be more directly involved in guiding the learning. We will still need the assistance of our now seasoned honorary staff, but we hope you will feel like the cavalry has come to assist you in the At Home Learning that provides our continuum of learning.
Toward the middle or end of next week , we will share a detailed look at the e-learning plan that will begin on the 31st so that you can prepare for the change. We have been thrilled with the work on the At Home Learning packets at #TroyWillPrevail has been inspirational. We hope that our virtual e-learning plan will provide a similar excitement for students, families and staff. We are excited to launch it.
As part of our implementation of the e-learning plan, we will be sending out a survey to determine the number of devices in our households. This survey will be sent out via school messenger for you to fill out in the next couple of days.
This is enough for now. Please be safe. We look forward to seeing you in the days ahead. Be calm. Stay healthy. Breathe. We will prevail.
Dear Troy Students, Staff and Families,I wanted to take a minute to check in with all of you. As you know, our district is working remotely and we find it hard to not see one another on a daily basis. We are certain that you, your children, and even your family and extended family share these feelings of loss. We want you to know that we are here, and we are working each day to build a comprehensive way to restore communication. We miss you.
The following are updates from our district. We will still offer both “grab and go” breakfast and lunch bags through our food service provider to all Troy community children under the age of 18 tomorrow and Friday. The service will not be available over Spring Break March 23-27. We will be communicating a list of resources for our families during this week. We will offer this resource on Monday, March 30. At this point, we are working on the belief that school will resume on Tuesday, March 31.
Today’s announcement from CPS that they will be closing until April 20 could serve as a warning that all schools in Illinois will have to follow suit. As soon as we have any definitive answer on an extended closure, we will use a voice message over school messenger. While the possibility of an extended shut down may send a shiver up your tired spine, we want you to know that we have laid out a solid plan for that will provide a structure through which our staff will be able to play a significant role in our At Home Learning. More will come on this, but I do not want you to lose hope.
We have your back, and we are here for you. Many of our staff are reaching out to students, and we are working on the capacity to increase that number and normalize it. Troy will prevail!
Speaking of breaks, next week is Spring Break, so tomorrow is the last day of At Home Learning for this week, and then you get a week off!!!!! We hope our honorary staff will be able take a moment to relax and enjoy a moment of rest and relaxation.
In honor of this triumphant day, we ask that you join us in our first ever Virtual Spirit Day. Please wear your Troy gear and post it a #TroyWillPrevail tomorrow to celebrate your great work.
We are and we will be forever indebted to your spirit of engagement. It is clear to us that no challenge is too high for our families, students and staff. These are highly emotional times. The rules change daily and the outcomes are unknown. In these times, I always return to one focus, one mission: our students. Putting them first puts everything in perspective, and creates the reason to work, plan, and execute each day. We are always here for you. Be calm. Stay healthy. Breathe. We will prevail.
March 17, 2020
Dear Troy Students, Staff and Families,Happy St. Patrick’s Day. If you forgot that today was St. Patty’s Day, don’t feel bad. The days are sort of blending together right now. We will prevail!
The following are updates from our district. Today, we made the decision to begin working remotely on Wednesday, March 18. We will return to the office on Monday, March 30 to prepare for the return of students on March 31. All schools and the district office are now remote and closed to the public. We will still be available by phone or email during this time so please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to serve you.Our decision to go remote means that we will not be able to hand out At Home Learning packets at our school offices on Wednesday. These packets are available online.
The link to the folder can be found in Update 3/16/2020 2.0 below.
We will still offer both “grab and go” breakfast and lunch bags through our food service provider to all Troy community children under the age of 18. This service will take place on the mandated school closure days of March 17-20 and March 30. The service will not be available over Spring Break March 23-27.
Please see below for specific service information.Children will receive a breakfast bag, lunch bag, and milk each day.Distribution centers will be:
Craughwell Door #4 (front of building)
Heritage Trail Door #5 (east side of building)
TMS Door #3 (front of building)
Pick up time will be 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the door numbers listed above.We have been greatly excited by the continuum of learning activities we see on the #TroyWillPrevail Twitter feed.
Please continue as honorary staff to keep us up to date on your learning practices and interact with our staff.We hear a lot of discussion that the mandatory school closure may be extended past March 30. We want you to know that we will inform you as soon as we know anything, and we are already working on evolving our continuum of learning to meet an extension. One last note -- Be calm. Stay Healthy. Breathe. We will prevail.
Update 3/16/2020 2.0
The following are updates from our district. We are just about to close out the day and send our students home to you for 14 days. We are aware of just how that sounds in the middle in March. Please be safe over these days. We are here when you need us. Students should be arriving home with learning packets and we are proud to welcome you as Troy 30-C’s “honorary staff members.” Here is some packet information:If your child did not pick up a packet today, then a physical packet can be picked up at the main office of your child’s building on Tuesday. All packets are available online at our website. Please click on the COVID-19 and At Home Learning button on our main page. For your convenience, I have directly linked the At Home Learning Page folder here. In this folder you will find the packets by grade level which you will be able to print from home. The At Home Learning folder also includes a document that will link you to the online subscriptions with which your student has classroom familiarity. We encourage you to explore these subscriptions with your student and work together on the materials they offer. We will be connecting with you over Twitter over these next few days working alongside you in the packets. We will be using a hashtag #TroyWillPrevail to keep us all together. Please use this hashtag to communicate with us via Twitter and share your questions and concerns over the next two weeks during our continuum of learning. Please look at Update 3/16/2020 1.0 below. We are providing breakfast and lunch for those students aged 0-18 who are in need. Parents will need to be with the children. ID’s are not required. We will aim for as much curbside service as is possible. This starts tomorrow and continues through Friday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the sites listed.As always, we are here for you. Please reach out to us with questions and concerns over this two week period. We are available through email and phones. Our office is open. Be Calm. Stay Healthy. Breathe. We Will Prevail.
The following are updates from our district.
1. Troy CCSD 30-C will be offering both “grab and go” breakfast and lunch bags through our food service provider
to all Troy community children under the age of 18.
Please see below for specific service information.
a. All meals are free for any child under the age of 18.
b. Children will receive a breakfast bag, lunch bag, and milk each day.
c. Distribution centers will be:
i. Craughwell Door #4 (front of building)
ii. Heritage Trail Door #5 (east side of building)
iii. TMS Door #3 (front of building)
d. Pick up time will be 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the door numbers listed above.
e. Meal service is “grab and go” which means students and families cannot eat in the building.
f. Breakfasts and Lunches will be prepared by Arbor and meet USDA Guidelines.
March 15, 2020
Dear Troy Students, Staff and Families,
As I have started to write this note, the sun has come out. This is a happy moment--I hope you are enjoying it.
Thank you for bearing with us as we have continued to find structure in this ever evolving situation. Our students are our priority, and we are thankful for each of you as you prepare for this extended break. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the days ahead.
The following are updates from our district. This is what we call our stake in the ground update. We use that term to mean the information keeps spinning around us, so we put this stake in the ground to mark this moment in time as the structure from this point forward.
The basic facts:
We are closed March 17th-March 30th. School resumes on Tuesday, March 31.
Of these days, March 17-20 and March 30th are mandated school closure days and March 23-27 are Spring Break days.
We do not have to make any of these days up, so the last day of school is still May 28.
The district office will be open from 8-4 on all mandated closure days and 8-3 during Spring Break.
We will be providing a continuum of learning during the five mandated closure days (March 17-20, and March 30). This continuum will consist of At Home Learning Packets that will be distributed on Monday, March 16. Please find this parent letter linked here that provides you with the details about this continuum of learning.
As noted in the parent letter, our staff will be available with virtual office hours between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on the mandated closure days to answer questions that you might have. We want to make it clear that we recognize that our students may need the familiarity of school as we move forward, and we will make every effort to provide the support you need during the closure days.
We have a full day of school tomorrow, Monday, March 16, and we will have office staff at each building on Tuesday, March 17. After that, we are asking staff to vacate the buildings so we can deep clean.
As noted above, the district office will be open each day of the closure, including Spring Break, so you can direct your questions to us.
As always, we are all just an email away. We know our mission is to serve you, and we recognize that now more than ever. Be calm. Stay healthy. Breathe. We will prevail.
The following are updates from our district
The superintendents from Will County met today to discuss the impacts in our districts of the governor’s proclamation about the size of groups that can be meeting and cancellation of larger gatherings including the public. As a whole, all schools in the county have cancelled these types of meetings. We are cancelling all public use of our buildings.
We also discussed that the possibility of school closings for an extended spring break has become more real, so we are encouraging you to begin to plan for child care for an extended period of time that may be as long as three weeks. If we decide to close school for an extended break, we will notify you immediately using the School Messenger call system.
The following are updates for our district.
Effective immediately, we are cancelling all large group activities that involve the public interacting with our students. In essence, this means that all sports and activities events where the public or students from other districts will attend will be cancelled. This includes events where we are attending and not at our home school. These cancellations do not include practices and local events that involve just our students and staff. For now, these activities will continue.
While we have seen other states close schools and some school closures in our state, we remain open for normal business.
We are continuing our work on an e-learning plan as well as a plan on how to designate closure days if the Illinois Department of Public Health or the CDC requires us to close schools for a designated period. It is in our current plan to provide you with our school closure plan and the directions for the use of e-learning next week.
In the event of school closures, we will notify you with an all call on the School Messenger system. We believe that the closure directive will include some lead time. Please note this is a belief and not a fact. If we have been unable to notify you with our plan for the closure, the all call will be followed up with an email that will include directions.
Please take time to note this point in your personal history so that you can share the tales of the great COVID-19 spring of 2020. We share this time with you and your family. As always, we are here to serve. Be calm and stay healthy. We made it through another day.
The information that follows has already been shared but is still relevant
These two resources are very comprehensive and are updated often. Please use them as a source of credible information.
Information on COVID-19 from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) can be found here.
Information on COVID-19 from the Illinois Department of Public Health(IDPH) can be found here.
While we may seem to not have any control in this virus environment, we actually have several proactive steps we can take to protect our students, ourselves, and our community.
The first step we can take is to communicate effectively about the climate created by this virus. Below are some ideas on how to communicate quietly and with compassion to our students as they begin to wonder about the virus and its effects on them, their families, and friends. These are only suggestions, and we realize that you will communicate to your children in the fashion that best suits your family. The proactive step here is simply to communicate and recognize that our children may need to communicate and may not know how to start the conversation on a topic so broad. The information below comes from the Canadian Public Health Agency. It resonates with all of us.
Listen to students
Students/children want to be heard. They do not need detailed information about events but they do need to talk about their feelings. Let them know they can ask questions. Answer questions honestly but make sure that the information is suitable for their age level. If you don't know the answers to their questions it's okay to say so and together look for resources that can answer their questions. Remember students/children are often listening when you talk to others about COVID-19. All adults who are with children should be mindful of how students/children share information in less supervised settings e.g. before and after school, relaxing time at home, getting ready for the day and going to bed. It may be in these settings where students/children can become misinformed. It will be important for adults to correct this misinformation when they are made aware of it.
A second key action that we can all take is to be proactive in teaching students to be proactive in their personal safety and health. These actions also apply to all adults as well.
Reassure students/children about their personal safety and health. Telling students/children that it is okay to be concerned is comforting. Reassure them they are safe and there are many things they can do to stay healthy:
Hand washing: Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing. Here is a link to a video on handwashing.
Cough/sneeze etiquette: Cough and sneeze into arm or tissue.
Stay home when sick: Students/children should tell parents if they are not feeling well, and together, make a plan to stay home from school. This same advice is appropriate for all of us.
Keep clean: Keep hands away from face and mouth.
Stay healthy: Stay healthy by eating healthy foods, keeping physically active, getting enough sleep.
These actions provide some simple, yet powerful, ways to calm the anxiety associated with the current environment. We offer these as ways for you to be proactive and take control of the situation.
Spring Break is upon us in eight days. Many will travel during this time. We encourage you to be safe. We will be deep cleaning and continuing to monitor this situation so that we are prepared to start school when you return. In light of the travel, we are compelled to provide this information from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding people returning from travel.
Per IDPH guidance, any student returning from a location with sustained widespread transmission (CDC Travel Warning of Level 3) should not attend school for 14 days after the return date. Absences for this purpose should be excused. Further, family members of these students should not attend work if they also traveled to one of the locations with a CDC Level 3 Travel Warning. Current information on travel warnings is available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html;
While it is not necessary to communicate your travel plans to us, it is critical that you report any illness that may come from exposure to COVID-19 to the Illinois Department of Public Health. We must all work together to keep us all safe. In this situation, we need one another more than ever.
We will take our direction for any closures from the Center for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Will County Health Department.
With all of this being said, the Illinois State Board of Education has encouraged “every school district to immediately begin developing an approved e-learning plan in preparation for a potential school closure.” As noted above, we are finalizing an emergency e-learning plan that will give our district the capacity to provide learning opportunities in the event of a district closure. We will communicate more details on this in the days ahead.
This letter is long; however, we want to provide you with the tools to remain calm and in control of your life. We are here to serve you in any way we can as we work through this point in time. Be safe, stay healthy, and take a deep breath. We will prevail.
Yours in Service--
Todd J. Koehl, Superintendent
Troy Community Consolidated School District #30-C