IMPORTANT: D65 School Closures/E-Learning Begins March 16

From the District:

Dear District 65 Community –

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. This is an unprecedented situation for all of us and we feel the fear and anxiety within our community.

In collaboration with Superintendent Witherspoon at District 202, we have made the difficult decision to close District 65 schools and centers beginning on Monday, March 16, through the end of spring break (April 12)The District will implement its e-learning plan beginning Monday, March 16. All buildings will be closed to students, staff, families, and the general public during this time, with the exception of Election Day sites (March 17). All activities and events will remain canceled until further notice. This decision was made based on the facts we have regarding how COVID-19 spreads and in collaboration with public health officials.

Given that there are currently no confirmed cases in District 65 or among Evanston residents, schools will remain open tomorrow, March 13. The buildings will be closed to visitors. This will allow us with the necessary time to collaborate with educators around final plans for e-learning and to allow more time for families to make childcare arrangements. Students who do not come tomorrow will be marked as excused.

E-learning will begin for students on Monday, March 16, and a communication with specific information about what this all looks like will be forthcoming to educators and families soon. Students will not be assigned any work over spring break.

E-learning packets will be given to students who are in school tomorrow to support learning for students who have limited or no access to technology. In addition, we will have limited numbers of Chromebooks available for student check out tomorrow if there is no home device available for their use.

We recognize that these are extraordinary circumstances and the hardship of closing schools that will be felt by many families. We are working to collaborate with city officials and social service providers to seek solutions to provide food, support, and care for students and families.

This is an incredibly difficult decision yet it is being made with the health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff, families, and our most vulnerable residents. We recognize that this will present many challenges in the coming weeks and we must work collaboratively to support one another. We will be sending regular updates in the coming days via email, phone, and text message. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

With health in mind,

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

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