School District Updates

June 05, 2020

From Dr. Ahlemeyer

Dear Trojan Family,

Happy Friday and Happy June! I hope you and your family are doing well. I was supposed to be in Florida right now for our daughter's wedding...maybe next year...we all have so many losses through this...my state of mind is day by day, focus on what I can control, stay positive, hopeful, and grateful which is what I should be doing anyway😁.

School Usage Summer Months - As you are aware we are in phase 3 which allows for groups of 10 or less. Our buildings are open to our staff. If you as a parent have a need to access our buildings, please email your building principal for arrangements. Please practice 6 feet distance from others. Other common sense guidelines: Wash your hands first thing after entering our schools. If there is reason to be closer than 6 feet to another person please wear your mask. Immediate family can be with you but they need to remain in your presence. Avoid as much as possible touching equipment and surfaces. Hand sanitizer and wipes are placed around the schools so please use those for you and on things you touch. If you will be in for a fairly lengthy period take a washing your hands break. If you feel sick do not come into our schools. ISBE yesterday released guidelines for in person summer school of groups of 10 or less using the aforementioned guidelines so we anticipate the IHSA to follow suit. While we do not have a formal academic summer school program we do have many activities/groups that can benefit now based on these newly released guidelines. If before the school year starts we move into phase 4 we will put out those guidelines at that time.

July Events - As you recall, we have scheduled events to take place towards the end of July. Exact format of these events to be determined based on guidelines we are under at that time. 8th grade promotion is set for July 24 and HS graduation is set for July 31. The HS administration is also planning on some sort of prom and Senior activity during that last week of July. For a second year we will also be launching on-line registration in July for the 2020-21 school year. July 30 and 31 are tentatively set aside for Pre-K screenings.

2020-21 Planning - We have been in contact with our teaching staff about setting up a work study team with teacher representatives from each school and the administration to put the details into 3 different scenarios for opening school next year. We plan to start meeting at the end of June. This group will be small...less than 10 so we can meet in person. The 3 scenarios are: we are all back; or we do remote learning again; or we do some sort of hybrid where half the student body is at school at a time. We already have general outlines for these options but the work study team will add the details. As appropriate depending on what we know when we know it, we will consider surveying our entire staff and parents to assist in our planning. No matter the scenario we do know we will have to do a better job keeping sick people out of our buildings so we have already purchased thermometers. We will also have to do a better job sterilizing our buildings throughout the day. We will also have to do a better job keeping our distance and not touching others. We know we will have to build hand washing into our routines throughout the day. And, depending on the group size guidelines we will have to get creative with our master schedules, travel times, and locations of various activities. We have no idea if we will be in person and also have a mask requirement. If so, we hope ISBE allows all schools to require our parents to supply masks for their children. We have purchased 2 MTF logo masks for every employee. Those MTF logo masks will also be available for purchase to our families. We have also ordered 2400 disposable masks to have on hand just in case. We have also increased our wipes and hand sanitizer inventory. All schools were able to receive grant $ to help purchase things. We have also used that money to purchase 75 more chromebooks. If we do remote learning next year we will have to up our efforts with providing devices to our students. Regarding our finances overall, all schools dodged a cannon ball as the General Assembly and Governor passed a budget fully funding schools at current levels and on time payments. 2020-21 then looks to be okay...depending on how things evolve over the next 12 months 2021-22 we will have to keep an eye on and plan for.

New Middle School attached to the High School - This process is moving along nicely. The architects are in the early stages of the specific design using survey info from staff. We have a 2nd design meeting with them next week. As the design process moves along there will be times when we seek broader input from staff and the community before the final design is approved in late Fall. Also next week, we will be interviewing 4 different Construction Managers. We hope to select one then next week who will oversee and be in charge of the construction of this project.

Food for Thought - A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

Again, I hope you are all doing well. For sure I do and will have a new appreciation for just being around people and having in person interactions. We must continue to take the health threat seriously while applying some common sense. It is important to keep in touch and have good communication in these times which was the purpose of this communication. Please contact me at any time with ideas, thoughts, questions or concerns at john.ahlemeyer@mfschools.net.

Until next time, take care of yourself and....GO TROJANS!

John


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