This information will be updated continually!
A letter to parents/ guardians of Hardin County students
March 16, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you for your extraordinary support over the past several days, as we have worked together to protect our community during the growing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. To further safeguard Illinois from the spread of the virus, Governor JB Pritzker has declared mandatory school closures for all buildings, both public and private, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.
This mandatory closure takes effect Tuesday, March 17. Currently, we anticipate reopening on March 31.
Free lunch and breakfast will still be available to all students during the mandatory closure. Buses will be leaving the school at 10:00 A.M. and will run their regular routes. Please be available to receive meal drop offs if you wish to receive school breakfast/lunch from Tuesday, March 17th through Monday, March 30th.
We will also continue to have at least one administrator on site during our regular school day hours of 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., in case you are unable to be home with your child, or your child needs a safe place to go. We will exercise social distancing practices to the best of our ability to keep students safe.
We are committed to keeping students engaged in their learning during this statewide school closure. As of now, all grade levels will be sending out packets with various learning opportunities for your students at the end of the day today, Monday, March 16, 2020.
ISBE staff has also identified a few free online resources that can be sources of activities and inspiration:
- Share My Lesson: www.sharemylesson.com
- National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/resource-library/?q=&page=1&per_page=25
- Field Museum: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/educators/learning-resources/plants-animals
- Lesson Planet: https://www.lessonplanet.com/
- The Learning Network: https://www.nytimes.com/section/learning
- Statistics in Schools: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis/2020census/2020-resources.htm
- EdEx: https://www.edx.org/
- Global Digital Library: https://www.digitallibrary.io/
- Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Learning Equality: https://learningequality.org/kolibri/
To supplement these services, we encourage you to engage your children in other free, online educational activities. The Illinois State Board of Education has compiled a library of resources at www.isbe.net/keeplearning.
Concern over this new virus can make children anxious. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Adults should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.
Children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk, so the focus of conversation should be concrete instructions about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Teaching children positive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infections can help reduce anxiety. Please talk with your children about precautions they can take to stay healthy, including:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best, especially if they are visibly dirty. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a suitable alternative. Consider showing your children one of these videos about proper handwashing technique: cdc.gov/handwashing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are able to stay home. Avoid travel if you can.
The National Association of School Psychologists has additional guidelines about talking to children about COVID-19 at https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource.
We will continue to inform you as quickly as we can about any further changes to school services. We will also be putting out current information through the following:
School Reach calls, Hardin County Independent Facebook page, Hardin County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page, and some Elementary teachers will use the Remind App.
We appreciate your partnership, and we will get through this together.
Frequently asked questions for Hardin County students and parents
There are moments in history that bring about unique challenges, while at the same time; many would agree that there is “nothing new under the sun.” Indeed, humanity has been faced with outbreaks before of various severity, kinds, and lengths. The school administrative team from Hardin County CUSD #1 has been meeting and coordinating answers to many questions that our community will be faced with during this time. While we have worked to make this FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet as comprehensive as possible we welcome any additional or clarifying questions that you might have.
Q: When and why are schools closed?
A: Per a directive from Governor Pritzker, schools in Illinois will be closed starting on Tuesday, March 17th, through at least Monday, March 30th, with plans to reopen on Tuesday, March 31st.
Q: How can my child access meals during this closure?
A: The school buses will begin their routes at 10:00am and run their regular routes. Please be available to receive your lunch(es) at approximately when your students would be dropped off from the bus.
Q: Why did my child need to bring everything home?
A: We are asking that all students clear out their lockers, desks, and any other personal items so that our custodial staff can sanitize these and all other spaces of the schools.
Q: Will graduation dates change?
A: At this time all graduation dates are set and will remain the same.
Q: What will happen with school events, athletics, and extracurriculars during the closure?
A: All school events and mandatory practices are canceled during this closure.
Q: What will happen with events, athletics, and extracurriculars scheduled on or after Tuesday, March 31st?
A: At this time, following the state mandated closure, all events, athletics, and extracurriculars will continue as they are currently scheduled.
Q: Will the end of the year teacher in-service be rescheduled to a date during the mandated school closure?
A: No, at this time the teacher in-service will remain at the end of the year as previously scheduled.
Q: What will the last day of school be?
A: All days missed due to COVID-19 shall be considered Act of God days and are not required to be made up. At this time, the last day for students will remain Tuesday, May 19th. The last day for teachers will be Wednesday, May 20th.
Q: How do we get medicine that might be stored at school that we will need during the closure?
A: Please contact Hardin County School at 618-287-2141.
Q: How will the schools be working to continue education?
A: While student and community health and safety are the first priority, we are also working to do our best to ensure the continuance of education. This will vary from grade level to grade level. As of now, all grade levels will be sending out learning opportunities (learning packets) with various lesson plans for your students at the end of the day Monday, March 16th. These packets will be evaluated by the teachers in order to determine the next appropriate learning objective. These learning opportunities will not be graded.
Q: Do you know of any childcare options? (see more below)
A: The schools are not sponsoring or coordinating childcare services at this time. We would encourage those interested to post their needs on the Hardin County Independent Facebook page. We will communicate with our students to look at this Facebook page to help meet those needs.
Q: Will this affect my dual credit courses or SIC Online courses?
A: At this time, instructors will do their best to maintain a continuance of instruction for dual credit college courses. Online students should follow their SIC emails.
Q: Will Project Norris City LAB and Annex schools still be in session?
A: No, they are under the same directive from Gov. Pritzker to close until Tuesday, March 31st as Hardin County Schools.
Free meal delivery to school children
Dear Students and Parent/Guardian(s),
To clarify meal delivery: buses will leave at approx. 10:00am and run their regular routes. Students can receive their meals at home each day. Any leftover meals will be delivered to local meal drop-off points. Any student who misses the bus or wishes to pick it up on their own can do so at the following locations.
The following locations have been arranged as local drop-off points for any student meals, which are not picked up from the bus as they run the meal routes. Students may ask for a school lunch after the routes have ran (suggest waiting until 12:00 noon).
Please work with us as some of these locations may run out until we can better assess your neighborhood demand. These locations are cooperating with us on good faith and are not responsible if they run out of lunches.
Cave-In-Rock – Cave Mission for Christ (Formerly Dutton’s Restaurant)
Elizabethtown – Riverport Express
Rosiclare – Bob’s Food Mart
Eichorn/Herod – Harbison’s Country Market
Many parents are struggling to find daycare or a babysitter for their children. Child care providers or teenagers who want to babysit may message the Independent or call 618-287-2361 to have your names added to the list:
Alexandria Ostrow (618) 499-3083
Lydia Hicks (618) 499-8858
Loving Hands Daycare (618) 285-7031
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