• COVID-19 Information Update

     

     

     

     

     

    Update 3/31/20 VOICEMAIL

    Good morning Grant families: 

    This is Christy Sefcik, Superintendent at Grant High School.  I hope you and your families are healthy and well.  I also hope that you were able to enjoy some family time over spring break, although it was certainly unlike any spring break we’ve ever had!

    This morning’s message is just a friendly reminder that e-learning begins today through the remainder of the school closure.  Teachers have been busy preparing lessons and students can expect to see those in Schoology beginning at 10:00 this morning.

    Students are expected to participate in e-learning and complete all assignments until in person instruction can resume.  Students that do not participate will receive an incomplete and will need to make up this work when school resumes.  If students have missing or incomplete work from prior to the school closure, they should contact their teacher to discuss options.         

    Our goal throughout this closure is to continue learning for students and also maintain the connection between teachers and students that is so important to learning.  We have attempted to make our e-learning plan flexible enough to fit a wide variety of schedules and circumstances, which we know is needed for some during this time.   As such, please encourage your students to participate in learning activities to the fullest extent possible.    

    If connectivity to the internet is an issue in your home, please contact the school office. 

    For those receiving school meals, I am happy to report there will be a variety in meals served beginning tomorrow.  More details will be forthcoming on that.  If you haven’t been contacted about meals, but have a need – please contact the school office.  

    Lastly, I have been asked to remind families to continue practicing the social distancing guidelines as outlined by the CDC. This is not a time to be gathering in large groups with friends. All school and athletic facilities are closed. Thank you for your cooperation. 

    We appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we roll out our e-learning plan in earnest this week.  While we are in a great position with having practiced e-learning this school year there will certainly be things we learn along the way.  We are here for both students and families throughout the school closure.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need us.  We very much hope we are able to be back on campus together soon.  Take care and be well.   

     

    Update 3/29/20

    Good afternoon GCHS Families,

    Many thanks for your patience in allowing us time to finalize our educational plans moving forward.  The guidance we were waiting for from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) arrived late Friday evening and took some time to synthesize.  Most importantly, we learned that remote learning will occur for the duration of any school closure.  Remote learning is an entirely new term and is intended to include a variety of means to allow for continued student engagement and continuity of instruction.  Based on this updated guidance, we are revising our plan slightly and putting the following into action moving forward:

    • Monday, March 30 is our last Act of God Day and students do not need to be engaged in learning tasks on that day.
    • Beginning on Tuesday, March 31, we will implement a slightly modified version of our district approved E-Learning Plan which is attached. Our E-Learning Plan meets all ISBE requirements for Remote Learning Days, these days will be counted as instructional days and will have no impact to the current calendar.  Please read this document as it includes detailed information about student expectations and time-on-task
    • Remote learning is about continuing learning opportunities. As per ISBE’s guidance, we will not be focused on completion and this will not be punitive for students in any way.  We recognize and understand that families are facing challenges during this time.  We will provide learning opportunities for all, encourage students to participate, and be compassionate if and when they don’t.  However, students actively participating may increase their performance and better position themselves for the future.  Non-participation, while not permitted to negatively impact grade, may certainly have an impact on course placement for 2020/21.  Teachers are focusing learning experiences during this time on critical and essential standards for their courses.  That fundamental knowledge will be necessary for some to move on to other courses they have requested.   
    • We will seek to maintain a strong focus on the connection between students and teachers. Our goal is to communicate in a way that makes both students and parents feel connected to GCHS, even though we are spending this time apart.
    • We will continue to serve breakfast and lunch meals for students. If you haven’t been contacted but have a need, please contact the main office at (847)587-2561.
    • If you need internet connectivity at home, please contact Assistant Principal Nate Miller at nmiller@grantbulldogs.org or (847)973-3407.
    • Lastly, I ask that everyone be patient, flexible and forgiving during this time. We are all learning and not everything is likely to go smoothly or as expected.  That’s ok.  We are a strong community and we can certainly learn our way through this together.  We are here for you.    

    Here are some important documents for your reference:

    March 27 Executive Order

    ISBE Emergency Rules Remote Learning Days

    ISBE Remote Learning Recommendations

    Joint Statement of the Office of Governor JB Pritzker, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Principals Association, and Illinois State Board of Education 

    Take care and be well.

    Sincerely,

    Christy Sefcik, Ed.D.

    Superintendent

    Update 3/27/20

    Dear GCHS Families,

    I hope you were able to find some enjoyable family moments during this most unusual spring break.  As a reminder, the Governor’s closure of schools is extended through April 7.  What we know now is that March 17 through March 30 are Act of God Days and do not need to made up.  We are still awaiting details on the extended closure from March 31 through April 7.  State Superintendent Carmen Ayala has communicated that guidance on remote learning from March 31 through April 7, including time on task, attendance, grading and assessment, are forthcoming.  We were anticipating that information on Wednesday, but it has yet to arrive.    

    With the information we had on hand when the extended closure was announced, I communicated we would be continuing with our revised e-learning plan, or Act of God Days Learning Plan.  We may need to modify that plan based on guidance we are awaiting from ISBE.  Rest assured any revised plans would not be less rigorous than the Act of God Days Learning Plan in place.  While not certain, it likely will include higher expectations for participation and more student engagement time.  We appreciate your patience as we wait for that guidance.  We will communicate any potential changes, as quickly as possible, to prepare for next Tuesday, March 31.  While faculty and staff are faced with the challenge of not having access to the school during the closure, they are dedicated, resilient professionals who are working in earnest to prepare for remote learning opportunities.   

    Please remember these continue to be the state priorities provided to schools during this closure:      

    Priority 1 - Feed and care for the extended safety, health, and welfare of students, families, non-student children, staff, and community at large.

    Priority 2 - Communicate clearly; share coherent, organized and controlled messages with staff, students and community.

    Priority 3 - Provide for the continuity of learning in Illinois.

    Meals for students are ongoing and will continue through the duration of the closure.  If you have a special need, please contact the main office at (847)587-2561. 

     A few other important things to update you on:

     ISBE has submitted a waiver application to the U.S. Department of Education to: 

      • Waive all federally required assessments in the 2019-20 school year;  
      • Waive the requirement to provide summative designations and identify schools for targeted and comprehensive support in the 2019-20 school year; and
      • Waive the requirement to report on accountability indicators on the 2019-20 school year Report Card.

    As a result, there will be no spring SAT test.  While we already provide fall SAT testing, it may transition to a state administered test. 

     

    • The College Board has announced information regarding AP changes and that can be found here. In summary, AP exams have been replaced with a 45 minute online free-response exam covering curriculum through mid-March.

     

    • Families are being notified of events being postponed that were due to occur during the school closure. There have been no decisions on any events beyond the date of the closure at this point. 

     

    As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.  Thank you and I will be in touch again very soon.

     

     

    Updated 3/20/20  6:00 P.M.

    It is my understanding there has been some discussion on social media about our decision to continue with our Act of God Days Learning Plan versus our E-Learning Plan.  I am taking this opportunity to provide some clarity tonight in our decision making. 

    Below is the order of priorities schools are being asked to focus on:

    Priority 1 - Feed and care for the extended safety, health, and welfare of students, families, non-student children, staff, and community at large.

    Priority 2 - Communicate clearly; share coherent, organized and controlled messages with staff, students and community.

    Priority 3 - Provide for the continuity of learning in Illinois.

    Governor Pritzker and ISBE came to the decision that closure days would not be e-learning days.  There may be no attendance taken nor any grading of student learning.  There is a great deal of disparity throughout the state with access to resources.  While we are very fortunate to have access to technology in our district, many do not.  While they are trying to remedy that and provide e-learning for all students, that will take time.  

    We are extending learning opportunities and we’ve seen creative, reflective activities and assignments, but at the direction of the State, we are not making more rigorous instruction the priority at this time.

    Additionally, almost 40% of our student body is at risk economically.  Not everyone may agree, but there are more pressing matters at hand, including food insecurity and general wellness, than implementing our more rigorous E-Learning Plan.  Our E-Learning Plan will be standing ready if and when we are given guidance it is time to make that the top priority. 

     

    Updated 3/20/20 3:45 P.M.

    Grant Community High School Families,


    As I am sure you are aware at this point, Governor Pritzker announced at 3:00 p.m. today a stay-at-home order effective at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow evening.  As a result, our school closure will be extended through the stay-at-home order with the earliest possible return being Wednesday, April 8.  To the greatest extent possible, extended learning opportunities will begin on Monday, March 30 through the period of the stay-at-home order as per the Act of God Learning Days Plan.  The goal of the extended learning opportunities is to maintain contact and communication between teachers and students and to maintain some sense of normalcy.  We do understand that learning may not be able to be a priority for all families as we get through these very unusual times.  We do not have any additional information at this time as to whether these days will need to be made up.  I will let you know as soon as I know.

     Also, many of you have expressed concerns about spring programs including honors programs, prom and graduation.  These activities, that we know are so very important for our students, families and GCHS, are weighing heavily on all of our minds.  However, our focus right now needs to be on the health and welfare of students and staff.  We will address these programs as soon as is possible.   

    GCHS faculty and staff will begin gearing up to be ready to extend learning opportunities after spring break and I will definitely be in touch in with further details. 

    Drive-up meal service will continue to be possible for students Monday through Fridays during the closure, including spring break, thanks to a number of outstanding GCHS faculty and staff members.   
    Stay safe and stay well.  As the Governor shared, now is a time to spend time with family.  Take care.

    Sincerely,

     
    Christy Sefcik, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

     

    Updated 3/20/20

    Dear Grant Community High School Families:

    I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well.  As COVID-19 continues to spread, it is very important to follow the precautions outlined by our local health department, state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Social distancing is an important step you can take to limit the spread of illness.  Please review the following chart, provided to us by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.       

    Social Distancing

    Additional information on illness prevention is available on the homepage of our website at www.grantbulldogs.org.

    As a reminder, our scheduled spring break is next week, March 23-27.  There will be no expectation for students to complete learning tasks of any kind next week, nor will teachers generally be accessible during this time.  However, the Student Services Team continues to be available for students in need of support.  If you have any food or shelter needs, please contact the main office at (847)587-2561 to be put in touch with an administrator or contact a member of the Student Services Team.  We will do everything we can to support our community during this time. 

    Meal pick-up service will continue to be available March 23-27 and March 30 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. each day at door #1.  There is no need to notify us – just come to pick up a meal!

    We continue to follow the directives of Governor Pritzker closely and will update you if we have any additional news. 

    Stay well. 

    Christy Sefcik, Ed.D.

    Superintendent

     

    Updated 3/18/20

    Dear Parents,

    We will be providing a package that includes cold breakfasts and lunches for our students that are eligible for free and reduced lunch on March 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 30.  There is no need to notify us – just come to pick up a meal!

     

    Drive-Up Service

    Pick up of meals will be from 9:30 am to 10:30 am each day – March 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 30.  Please drive your vehicle to the main entrance/Door #1 located off of Grand Avenue. 

    Queridos padres,

    Vamos a juntar un paquete que incluye desayunos fríos y almuerzos para nuestros estudiantes que son elegibles para almuerzo gratis o reducido los días 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 y 30 de marzo. No es necesario que nos notifique, solo llegue a la escuela para recoger la comida.

     Servicio de conducción

    La recogida de comidas será de 9:30 a.m. a 10:30 a.m. los días 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 y 30 de marzo.  Solo es necesiario que maneje su vehículo a la entrada principal / Puerta # 1 ubicada en Grand Avenue.

     

    Updated 3/16/20

    Dear Grant Community High School Families,

     
    Thank you for your patience as we finalized our Act of God Days Learning Plan, which is attached and will be available on our website.  This Plan represents a temporary modification of our E-Learning Plan through the period of school closure from March 17-20 and March 30 to better align with the recommendations of Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education. 
     
    If you have any questions about this plan, please let us know.  We are modifying our website today to place daily updates and resources in a prominent location.  We will post frequent updates to keep you informed as we learn of new information. 
     
    Be safe and well and thank you again for your patience and cooperation.
     
    Sincerely,

    Christine A. Sefcik, Ed.D.
    Superintendent 

    Act of God Day Learning Plan

     

     Updated 3/15/20

    Dear Grant Community High School Families,

    I am reaching out to provide you with a status update as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters with COVID-19 and the Governor’s announcement for school closure Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30.  I will do my best to summarize where we are at right now.  When I communicated with you on Friday, we were planning to put our approved E-Learning Plan into effect.  However, shortly after that communication, the Governor mandated school closure and noted these days as Act of God Days.  Act of God Days are days that school is typically closed and no learning occurs.  In the case of this proclamation, “it is expected that schools will provide instruction to students during these Act of God Days through whatever means possible.”  However, it has been communicated by ISBE that E-Learning during the mandated closure will not count as an instructional day for schools and there are new parameters to work within. 

     I participated in a town hall meeting this morning with State Superintendent Carmen Ayala, with the purpose of the meeting to provide clarity on how these days will be handled by the Illinois State Board of Education and outline expectations for schools.  As school closings will affect each community differently, we were charged with coming to agreement with our internal stakeholders on how to proceed in conjunction with doing what is best, and possible, for our families.  I can share that we have outstanding faculty and staff, who came together to meet today, to work on a revised plan that has the best interests of our students in mind during this difficult time.  We will be prepared to share the plan for March 17-20 and March 30 in detail with you tomorrow in a finalized manner.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we finalize these details as an organization.  

     A few important things to note immediately: 

    • There is no student attendance tomorrow – Monday, March 16. Tomorrow is a teacher institute day. 
    • There will be no expectation for students to complete learning tasks of any kind during Spring Break (March 23-27) nor will teachers be accessible during this time.
    • Families who are eligible for meal pickup this week should have received an email with instructions. If your family is eligible for meal support and you did not receive an email, please contact the main office on Monday at (847)587-2561. 
    • The building will be accessible to students at door #1 to pick up devices, chargers, or any other learning materials needed on Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. After this time, students and families will generally not have access to the school building until March 31.
    • There are no activities, athletics, events, or school gatherings through March 30. Details on school events beyond March 30 will be evaluated as we continue to receive recommendations from local, state and federal authorities and additional information will be forthcoming.   
    • We will not need to make up these 5 Act of God Days (March 17-20 and March 30). If school closure is extended, it is possible additional days will need to be made up per ISBE. 
    • As of right now, school is expected to resume on Tuesday, March 31. However, the Office of the Governor and ISBE have shared that is being revisited on a daily basis.  I will continue to provide information as it becomes available to us.

     In closing, I ask that you please ensure we have an email address on file for your family so that we can communicate with you by email.  I would like to retain the use of Sklyert phone messages for urgent communications.  You may enter your email in Skyward Family Access or contact the main office at (847)587-2561. 

     I sincerely appreciate your trust, cooperation, and flexibility as we move forward in this together.  I will be in touch tomorrow with details.  As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.  I am wishing all of our Grant families health and wellness over the next two weeks and we will be in touch.

    Respectfully yours,

     

    Christine A. Sefcik, Ed.D.

    Superintendent

      

    Resources:

     Governor Pritzker Announcement March 13, 2020:

     https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/news-item.aspx?ReleaseID=21247

     ISBE Resources:

    https://www.isbe.net/coronavirus

     

    Updated 3/15/20

    Dear Parents,

    We will be providing a package that includes cold breakfasts and lunches for our students that are eligible for free and reduced lunch for the week of March 16-20.  Please fill out the breakfast/lunch request form below:

    https://forms.gle/uGCPmh3dWz7aKKiu9 

    Please fill out your order as soon as possible.

    Pick Up

    If you requested breakfast/lunch, pick up will be from 9:30 am to 10:30 am each day, March 16-20.  Please drive your vehicle to the main entrance/Door #1 located off of Grand Avenue.  Enter through Door #1 and give your student’s name to the security window.  Bags will be labeled with your student’s name.

     

     

    Updated at 7:00 pm on 3/13/20

    Dear Grant Community High School District 124 Families,

    At approximately 4:00 p.m. today, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois public and private schools are to be closed from March 17 through March 30.  Here is a link to the Governor’s release.  This aligns well with the plan we put forward today regarding school closure.  The Governor’s proclamation does extend one day beyond our return from spring break, so as it stands right now student’s first day back would be Tuesday, March 31.    

    As we had planned and is affirmed in the Governor’s directive, there will be no activities, athletics, or events of any kind in the building, by internal or external stakeholders, during the mandatory closure.  

    We are awaiting clarification on comments made by the State Superintendent at the Governor’s press conference regarding Act of God days and continued instruction during closure.  If any changes are required to the plan we have in place, I will be in touch with that information.   

    Thank you for your time and understanding.  

     

    Sincerely,

    Christine A. Sefcik, Ed.D.
    Superintendent     

     


    Dear Grant Community High School District 124 Families,

    Based on rapidly evolving conditions surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Grant Community High School is moving to e-learning for students beginning the week of March 16.  Starting today (3/13/20) at 3:10p.m., all activities, athletics and events, including school sponsored travel, are canceled through spring break. 

    Please know this was not an easy decision.  Just a few short hours ago, we were preparing communication about taking some initial social distancing measures.  However, Lake County school districts met this morning to discuss the recommendations of public health officials and determined collectively that closures and/or moving to e-learning were necessary precautions given these circumstances.   

    Students will not be in attendance on Monday, March 16.  Teachers will be in attendance that day to plan e-learning lessons for next week.  E-learning will be taking place Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, March 20, of next week for students.  This means students will be learning from home, as we practiced in school, and these days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year.  We recognize having consecutive e-learning days was not what we initially planned for, but these are certainly difficult circumstances that require flexibility by all of us.  If internet connectivity is a concern in your household, please contact Assistant Principal Nate Miller at nmiller@grantbulldogs.org or (847)973-3407. 

    Teachers are requesting TODAY that students bring home their devices, chargers and any materials they would need to complete assignments.  If students forget their materials, the building will be open for students to access these materials on Monday, March 16 from 8:00 to 3:00. 

    Spring break will run as scheduled March 23 – March 27.  Further correspondence will be forthcoming regarding activities planned after spring break.

    We greatly appreciate your trust, support and partnership in this difficult and trying time.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a school administrator.

     

    Here are links for more information on the coronavirus outbreak:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Illinois Department of Public Health
    Lake County Health Department

     

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Christine Sefcik, Superintendent
    Mr. Jeremy Schmidt, Principal