COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

April 3, 2020

Dear Students and Parents:

As you recall, in the wake of Governor Pritzker’s recent Executive Order to extend Illinois’ stay-at-home, school closing order through April 30, the Illinois State Board of Education granted school districts five remote learning planning days to be used at district discretion. Like remote learning instruction days, remote learning planning days count as student attendance days and do not have to be made up at the end of the year. To date, D128 has not used any remote learning planning days. However, as I noted in my March 31 message, it was likely that D128 would use one or more of the granted remote learning planning days over the coming weeks.

After thorough assessment and review of e-learning instructional planning requirements and needs, and to ensure that teachers have adequate, dedicated planning time to maximize student e-learning work, beginning next week, D128 will use remote learning instructional planning days on consecutive Wednesdays. As such, Wednesday, April, 8; Wednesday, April 15; Wednesday, April 22; and Wednesday, April 29 will be D128 remote learning planning days. Teachers will not work with students remotely on those days, and students will not be in “virtual class” attendance on those days. Teachers will work on instructional planning and students should work on required assignments, coursework and tasks on those days.

Our D128 teachers have done amazing work in adapting an alternate e-learning plan that was designed for occasional, one-off emergency days, such as snow days, and not for extended closings. However, like many districts around us, our teachers need and require additional planning time to quite literally create and then build extended e-learning from scratch, and that requires additional planning time. 

We recognize the unique and many challenges e-learning has presented and continues to present for teachers and students. We are truly proud of our teachers in responding to those challenges, and for their real commitment to do the “best that we can do” for our students. And, we are truly proud of students for working with their teachers to adapt to and learn under such extreme circumstances. For both teachers and students, this epitomizes “Resiliency” in our DARING mission.

In summary, beginning the week April 6, on consecutive Wednesdays, teachers will plan for continued e-learning instruction and students should work to complete required assignments, coursework and tasks. 

Our current e-learning plan will take us through Governor Pritzker’s April 30 stay-at-home, school closing Executive Order. Of course, if the Governor extends the stay-at-home, school closing Executive Order beyond April 30, we will communicate with you further on our e-learning plan.

For reference, please visit this link to the D128 Remote Learning Guidance, Updated April 3rd.

Once again, thanks for your patience, support and “we will get it done” spirit during this crisis. We will get through this together.

Stay healthy, safe and well!

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Superintendent

Community High School District 128

March 31, 2020

Dear Students and Parents:

Governor Pritzker announced today that all Illinois schools will remain closed through April 30. As anticipated, the Governor chose a tiered approach to further school closings, rather than closing schools for the remainder of the year at this time.

Since D128 has an approved e-learning plan, and we are already implementing the e-learning plan, D128 will continue to implement our e-learning plan during the additional closed days. As a reminder, student virtual class attendance is expected, and assignments and work can be graded and counted toward composite grades.

As you recall from my previous message, school districts were granted five remote learning planning days to be used at district discretion. At this time, D128 has not scheduled any remote learning planning days. However, given the extended school closing period and the additional teacher instructional planning required for e-learning, D128 will likely use one or more of the remote learning planning days during the extended closing period to ensure that teachers have adequate, dedicated planning time to maximize student e-learning work. Students would not attend “virtual classes” on remote learning planning days, but rather, would use that time for completion of required assignments, coursework and tasks. We will notify you in advance if the district plans to utilize any remote learning planning days.

Although traditional school is closed, we are fortunate to be able to provide alternate e-learning for students. We thank our teachers for adapting and building upon an e-learning plan that was designed for occasional emergency days, such as snow days, and not for extended closings. Their herculean efforts to ensure meaningful and relevant student learning opportunities in extraordinary circumstances are greatly appreciated!

For reference, please visit my March 29 message below as it contains important information and links to important reference documents.

Thanks again for your collective patience, support and “can do” spirit during this crisis. We will get through this together.

Stay healthy, safe and well!

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Superintendent

Community High School District 128

March 29, 2020

Dear Students, Parents and Staff:

On behalf of the entire D128 family, I hope that you, your family and your friends are healthy, safe and well.

As a follow-up to my message to you at the end of last week, Friday evening Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-15 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which allows schools to use “Remote Learning Days.” Following the executive order, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) published Remote Learning Guidance. The order and corresponding guidance allow districts to use approved e-learning plans on Remote Learning Days.

As such, Monday, March 30, will still be an Act of God day; however, since D128 has an approved e-learning plan, Tuesday, March 31 through Tuesday, April 7 and beyond, if the Governor closes schools longer, will be D128 e-learning days. The e-learning days will be similar to traditional school days in that student virtual attendance is expected, and students will engage in learning activities facilitated by teachers. The lessons will focus on essential course skills and content appropriate for an extended period of e-learning. The D128 schedule for Monday, March 30 through Tuesday, April 7 is included below this message.

Of important note, the Remote Learning Guidance recommendations on grading are based upon the underlying principle of no educational harm to any child. The emphasis for schoolwork assigned, reviewed, and completed during the remote learning period is on learning, not on compliance. Grading should focus on the continuation of learning and prioritize connectedness and care for students and staff.

All students should have the opportunity to redo, make up, or try again to complete, show progress, or attempt to complete work assigned prior to the remote learning period in that time frame. Student cumulative grades may improve during remote learning, but should not end lower than the student’s grade on March 13, 2020. During remote learning, incomplete assignments and assessments should be recorded as incomplete rather than an “F” or “0.”. No F grades should be assigned during remote learning.

Please reference the D128 E-Learning Plan - Remote Learning Days document for full details regarding D128 e-learning.

I want to express additional thanks and appreciation to D128 Teacher Union President Dennis Duffy and the Union leadership team for working with me and the district leadership team to implement D128 e-learning under the Governor’s executive order and ISBE’s Remote Learning Guidance.

Finally, D128 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Rita Fischer, has provided the following important Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT testing updates for students taking AP tests and/or scheduled to take the April 14 SAT test in school this year:   

 

AP Tests

The College Board announced that AP exams will be replaced by 45-minute online exams for most courses. Online review courses and tutorials are available at Updates for AP Students Affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Additional information from D128 will be shared via email and with updates to the D128 COVID-19 FAQs document posted on the D128 website.

 

April 14 School-Day SAT Test

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala reported that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) directed Illinois to implement its requested waiver of state testing requirements. This means that the SAT scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 has been canceled. ISBE is working with the College Board on developing options to allow current 11th grade students to take the SAT in the fall. They hope to have more information on these options by the end of April.

 

Once again, the D128 Board, district and building administrators, along with our amazing teachers and support staff, remain totally committed to ensuring the health, safety and security of our students and that all students grow and learn throughout this crisis.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Superintendent

Community High School District 128

________________

 

March 30 - April 3 (Week after Spring Break)

Monday, March 30 - Act of God Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

 

Tuesday, March 31 - eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely

*Student virtual class attendance expected, and assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

 

Wednesday, April 1 - eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student virtual class attendance is expected, and assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

 

Thursday, April 2 - eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student virtual class attendance is expected, and assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

 

Friday, April 3 - eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student virtual class attendance is expected, and assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

 

Monday, April 6 - Tuesday, April 7

Monday, April 6 - eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student virtual class attendance is expected, and assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

 

Tuesday, April 7 - eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

                   *Student virtual class attendance is expected, and assignments/work can be graded

                    and counted toward composite grades

 

Wednesday, April 8 (Illinois Placeholder Projected Return to School)

 

March 27, 2020

Dear D128 Parents, Students and Staff:

On behalf of the D128 Board and district leadership team, I hope this message finds you, your families and your friends healthy, safe and well. These are historic, unprecedented times, but we will get through this crisis together.

As we all continue to learn, COVID-19 is a serious virus with significant health ramifications for those who are exposed to and then contract the virus, and Lake County and the communities that we serve are certainly not immune to the virus.

To that end, as Governor Pritzker’s stay at home order continues, we are urging D128 students to not congregate anywhere, including county and village common areas, downtowns and parks. Lake County, the Villages of Libertyville and Vernon Hills, and D128 have been appreciative of most high school age students adhering to such important, life-saving action. Thank you! However, officials across the county are beginning to receive more reports of high school age students congregating in the county and within individual villages. Remember students, not only may you contract the virus and become ill, you may carry the virus and never show symptoms from the virus. As a result, you can unknowingly pass the virus on to others of advanced or very young ages and/or with underlying conditions that may put their lives at risk. You can quite literally save lives by staying home and not congregating. There is not a more profound thing that you can do for others during this crisis.

As you know, Governor Pritzker recently extended the school closing date through April 7. It is likely, and should be expected, that the Governor will further extend the school closing declaration in the days to come. In addition, the Governor’s staff, several legislators, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala, and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) representatives are working collaboratively to reach an agreement on the designation for the days schools are closed beyond the original closing declaration.

Currently, the days through March 30th are designated Act of God days, and although those days do not have to be made up at the end of the school year, the Act of God days designation places some limitations on complete implementation of eLearning. The Governor has not yet made a designation (Act of God, Emergency or other) yet for closed days from March 31 through April 7 (and beyond, if closed longer). I am hopeful the Governor’s staff, ISBE and Dr. Ayala, and IASA will reach an agreement that will support districts capable of fully implementing eLearning to do so, but will also support districts without the ability to fully implement eLearning opportunities to pursue alternative means of student learning.

With that said, in the absence of a further designation of closed days from Governor Pritzker, at this point, our intended schedule for the days from Monday, March 30 through Tuesday, April 7 is included below this message. Note that beginning on Tuesday, March 31 through Tuesday, April 7, D128 intends to implement full eLearning (class assignments and related work can be graded and count toward composite grades).

Finally, many thanks and much appreciation to the district leadership team, which includes both building principals, who continue to spend many long days and many long hours working with me to lead the district through this challenging crisis, often at the expense of time with and caring for their own families. The crisis has not altered or changed our driving DARING mission at all, only the delivery and implementation in order to accomplish the mission. The D128 Board, district and building administrators, along with our amazing teachers and support staff, remain totally committed to ensuring the health, safety and security of our students and that all students grow and learn throughout this crisis.

Sincerely,

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Superintendent

Community High School District 128

________________

March 30 - April 3 (Week after Spring Break)

Monday, March 30 - Act of God Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students 

Tuesday, March 31 - Emergency eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely

*Student assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

Wednesday, April 1 - Emergency eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

Thursday, April 2 - Emergency eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

Friday, April 3 - Emergency eLearning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

 

Monday, April 6 - Tuesday, April 7 

Monday, April 6 - Emergency eLearning Day

  •  No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades 

Tuesday, April 7 - Emergency eLearning Day 

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

*Student assignments/work can be graded and counted toward composite grades

Wednesday, April 8 (Illinois Projected Return to School)

 

March 22, 2020

Dear D128 Parents, Students and Staff:

We have been notified that a Libertyville High School staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, March 20. D128 continues to take the COVID-19 situation very seriously. We are fortunate to partner with the experts at the Lake County Health Department (LCHD) during this uncertain time, and out of an abundance of caution will continue to follow their lead and directives.

We understand your desire to know who the individual is so that you can assess exposure of students and/or yourself. The information shared is all that we can share. Federal health privacy laws prevent us from sharing the name or other specifics about the staff member 

At this juncture, we should not be surprised when presumed positive or positive test results are identified within our community. We assume this will continue to happen, and this is a major reason why schools in Illinois are currently closed and why the Governor issued a “Stay at Home” order on Friday. We would like to remind everyone at every age that staying home and social distancing is truly important and must be taken seriously in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Going forward, to keep informed about cases in our county, please sign up for updates from the Lake County Health Department at http://bit.ly/lccovid-19.

We ask that everyone in the D128 school community remain vigilant and continue to wash your hands, cough into your elbow and maintain a distance of six feet whenever possible.

The Lake County Health Department advises the following:

  • If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness that continue to worsen, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider.
  • Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor can refer you to a testing site.

If you have any COVID-19 questions, call the Illinois COVID-19 hotline at (800) 889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

Sincerely,

Prentiss G. Lea, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

March 20, 2020

Dear D128 Parents, Students and Staff:

On Friday, March 20th, Governor Pritzker issued an executive order requiring residents to “stay at home” effective Saturday, March 21 at 5:00 pm, through the end of April 7. As part of the Governor’s order, he announced that schools will remain closed, with a new tentative reopening date of April 8. Note that the April 8th reopening is tentative and may be adjusted further. We anticipate additional details and guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education next week.

In addition, the Governor has made it clear that, while he is serious about using social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, he wants residents to still be able to work, shop at grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and get medication from the pharmacy. 

During this stay at home order, designated essential school personnel may still work as long as they are practicing social distancing. We will continue e-learning until schools reopen. In addition, the governor’s office has assured us that school personnel involved in providing meals will not be in violation of the Governor’s executive order, and that we should continue to provide meals, which has helped ensure that students are fed while schools are closed. 

Please use this opportunity to focus on staying safe and helping to slow the spread of the virus. As always, thank you for your patience and support as we all work through the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you have seen, this situation is evolving rapidly. As such, we are committed to continuing to share timely updates and resources with our school community via email, social media and posts on our D128 COVID-19 page at this link. This page contains helpful information for our school community, including a FAQs section. We urge you to use the D128 webpage, social media and email messaging as a trusted source for information.

Sincerely,

Prentiss G. Lea, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Community High School District 128

 

March 17, 2020

Update -- 9:25 p.m.

Dear D128 Staff, Parents and Students:

Community High School District 128 has received confirmation from the Lake County Health Department that a staff member at Libertyville High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

District 128 continues to take the COVID-19 situation very seriously. We are fortunate to partner with the experts at the Lake County Health Department during this uncertain time, and out of an abundance of caution will continue to follow their lead and directives.

We ask that everyone in the D128 school community remain vigilant and continue to wash your hands; cough into your elbow; maintain a distance of six feet whenever possible; and stay home if you feel sick.

The Lake County Health Department advises the following:

●       If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness that continue to worsen, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider.

●       Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor should call the Lake County Health Department Communicable Disease program to determine if you should be tested.

If you have any COVID-19 questions, call the Illinois COVID-19 hotline at (800) 889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

 

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Superintendent

Community High School District 128

 

5:15 p.m.

Dear D128 Parents and Students:

Thank you for your patience over the past few days as the Governor, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), State Superintendent Carmen Ayala, and school superintendents worked together to protect the health and safety of students, staff and building visitors during this unprecedented Coronavirus crisis, and to find common ground to continue educational opportunities for students.

With that said, as shared last week, there has been much assessment, conversation and advocacy regarding the definition and meaning of the Governor’s declared Act of God days on March 18, 19, 20 and March 31. After exhaustive discussions among the aforementioned groups and Unions representing all categories of Illinois school employees, including D128’s own Illinois Federation of Teachers affiliate, we received final guidance needed late this afternoon to proceed with e-learning on all Act of God days. To that point, ISBE, IASA, IEA, IFT, and IPA agreed to, among other things, that districts can expect employees to participate in work activities, that details of such activities should be worked out by mutual local agreement between districts and unions, and that the activities should focus on ensuring continuity of education.

As such, D128 Teacher Union President Dennis Duffy and I have had meaningful and substantive discussions on this topic. With me representing the District and Dennis representing the Union, we have agreed that D128 will proceed with our e-learning plan on the Governor’s declared Act of God days with the following state-imposed limitation for those days: student work must not count toward student grades or otherwise impact student academic standing. Protocols for e-learning on Act of God days have been updated to reflect these changes.

On behalf of the D128 Board and administration, I want to thank Dennis and the D128 Union leadership team for partnering with me and the D128 leadership team to do what we always do so well together - to ensure that our students are healthy and safe, and that our students have every opportunity to learn and grow. This is another example of why we are truly DARING! 

As such, I am affirming that D128 will be moving ahead with e-learning as scheduled, that students are expected to attend all e-learning classes, engage with their teachers daily, and should take full advantage of all available learning opportunities.

I have included the adjusted schedule for the next three weeks below for your reference.

Again, thanks for your support throughout this historic, unprecedented time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Superintendent

Community High School District 128

 

March 16 - 20 (Week before Spring Break)

Monday - Emergency Day 

  • No students in school or in e-learning
  • Teachers not in building, but preparing for e-learning 

Tuesday - Emergency Day

  • No students in school or in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but preparing for e-learning

Wednesday - Act of God Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students 

Thursday - Act of God Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Friday - Act of God Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

 

March 23 -27 (Spring Break Week)

 

March 30 - April 3 (Week after Spring Break)

Monday - Act of God Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Tuesday - Emergency e-learning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students 

Wednesday - Emergency e-learning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Thursday - Emergency e-learning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Friday - Emergency e-learning Day

  • No students in school, but engaged in e-learning
  • Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

 

Monday, April 6 (Anticipated Return of Students)

 

March 13, 2020

Update: 4:45 p.m.

We have sought and have received clarification (see original message below) from State Supt. Carmen Ayala that Illinois school districts will have continued autonomy to provide e-learning during the emergency closing period. As such, the Governor’s earlier closing proclamation does NOT change the D128 closing plan communicated earlier, including the D128 dates of closing and the implementation of our e-learning plan.

As always, we will update you with any relevant information.  

 

Update: 4:05 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m. today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker held a teleconference with all Illinois school superintendents prior to a scheduled 4:00 press conference. The governor has closed all Illinois schools to students from March 17 - 30. Please note that this action does not alter District 128’s previously-announced plans for closing and e-learning that was communicated to parents, students and staff earlier this afternoon. However, Governor Pritzker did not address e-learning plans. Thus, the e-learning plan component of school closing plans may be subject to further change or clarification by Governor Pritzker, the Illinois State Board of Education, and/or Illinois Superintendent Carmen Ayala. We will update you with any additional related information as it becomes available.

View the D128 plan below:

 

D128 Schools Closed Beginning March 16

District 128 Families, Staff, Students and Community:

Thank you for your patience over the last 24 hours as we fully and thoroughly discussed, evaluated and developed plans for operating our schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. After much consideration of the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lake County Health Department (LCHD) and Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) regarding limiting gatherings of large groups, and to safeguard the health of our students and staff, Community High School District 128 has decided to close Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School to students beginning March 16, 2020. This decision was made in an abundance of caution and as a way to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) illness in our community. 

As noted in the plan below, LHS, VHHS and the District Office will be closed to students and visitors:

March 16-20 (Week Before Spring Break)

March 23-27 (Spring Break)

March 30-April 3 (Week After Spring Break)

We will begin utilizing our state-approved e-learning plan on Wednesday, March 18 and a link to that plan is included below.

We anticipate reopening LHS, VHHS and District Office to students on Monday, April 6.

Important notes for families:

These are unprecedented times and we appreciate your flexibility and patience as we navigate our e-learning plan. We will continue to follow the CDC, IDPH and LCHD recommendations and do our part in taking preventative measures to mitigate the impact of this pandemic. While we have not been notified that any D128 staff or students have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and it appears that the coronavirus has primarily impacted people 60 and older, the reality is that our students may still be carriers of the disease. 

The following is our plan for the upcoming closure:

March 16 - 20 (Week before Spring Break)

Monday - Emergency Day 

No students in school or in e-learning

Teachers in buildings

Initial e-learning Preparation

Tuesday - Emergency Day

No students in school or in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely

e-learning Preparation

Wednesday - e-learning School Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Thursday - e-learning School Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Friday - eLearning School Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

 

March 23 -27 (Spring Break Week)

 

March 30 - April 3 (Week after Spring Break)

Monday - e-learning Day 

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Tuesday - e-learning Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely

Wednesday - e-learning School Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Thursday - e-learning School Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

Friday - e-learning School Day

No students in school, but engaged in e-learning

Teachers not in buildings, but working remotely with students

 

Monday, April 6 (Anticipated Return of Students)

 

We will continue to share information and updates with our families throughout the days and weeks ahead. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these challenging times.

 

Sincerely,

Prentiss G. Lea, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Community High School District 128

 

March 12, 2020

Currently, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Community High School District 128. However, with the number of cases across the state and region increasing and as a result of our communications and coordination with the Lake County Health Department, District 128 is taking proactive measures to help to reduce the spread of illness throughout our community. 

D128 is implementing the following measures immediately and until further notice: 

  • Visitors, including parents and guest speakers, will not be allowed access to Libertyville High School, Vernon Hills High School and the District 128 offices.
  • Large gatherings of students that include outside visitors are canceled (e.g. Writers Week). 
  • All after-school events, practices, competitions and rehearsals (extra-curricular, athletics, fine arts) are canceled.
  • All D128 international spring break trips were previously canceled and all domestic spring break trips (LHS Boys Lacrosse, LHS and VHHS Softball, and LHS and VHHS baseball) are canceled.
  • All international summer educational trips are canceled.
  • All off-campus field trips during the school day and weekend are canceled.
  • All outside speakers are canceled. Co-curriculars and related activities are canceled.
  • District 128 Community Education Classes are canceled.
  • Programs arranged through the D128 Rental Program are canceled.

We will evaluate whether or not these performances and events can be rescheduled at a later time. 

Furthermore, parents should note that:

  • In-person meetings with school personnel will be replaced with phone calls. 
  • Only administrative-approved emergency deliveries will be accepted by the schools. 
  • As at some point we may be forced to implement an e-learning plan, students and staff should take home their Chromebooks and essential school materials at the end of each day.
  • All off-site educational schools, including Lake County Technology Campus and Special Education Schools, are still in session. D128 students will continue to attend these schools.

We ask that all LHS and VHHS students leave the buildings at the end of the school day. 

If we do have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in D128, we will close school for 24 hours. At that point, the LCHD would help us assist the situation, evaluate our cleaning and disinfection practices, and reduce the risk and vulnerability to students. We would then work on a plan to move forward. Until then, school will remain open and we will continue our cleaning and disinfection practices as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will revisit these protocols as necessary. 

As we receive new information, we will send it to you as soon as we can. Please visit this this webpage for continues updates and other related resources. 

These are unprecedented times. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation together. 

 

 

March 5, 2020

Message from the Superintendent

Student, staff and stakeholder health, safety and well-being are our highest priorities. As such, with the recently elevated discussion regarding the Coronavirus, the United States, and public institutions, including schools, we want to take a moment to reinforce best-practice preventative safety measures, and reference our working process, decision-making, and communication in the extreme event of a virus infection affecting LHS and/or VHHS. Finally, we are sharing and resharing some additional resource information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Lake County Health Department (LCHD). New information below is in bold.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. As with any respiratory virus, students and school personnel can protect themselves and others by taking every day common-sense actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

At this point, IDPH does NOT recommend:

  • the use of masks or gloves 
  • cancelling mass gatherings 
  • cancelling classes

The D128 Buildings & Grounds (B&G) staff are already following recommended winter season deep-cleaning and sanitizing protocols at LHS, VHHS, and the D128 Office, including daily cleaning and sanitizing routines with use of winter season-related cleaning and sanitizing products. Given the continued realities of the Coronavirus threat, the B&G team will continue to follow winter season protocols and related product use for the foreseeable future. The B&G leadership team continues to work closely with D128 custodial provider, Aramark, a well-established national cleaning service provider to hospitals, schools and businesses. Aramark has established a Coronavirus Response Committee to monitor the virus and adapt procedures and cleaning products as warranted across its client base, including D128.

LCHD continues to work with related federal, state, and local agencies to monitor the Coronavirus and share critical information among those agencies. In the extreme event of a virus detection that might impact LHS and/or VHHS, LCHD would take the immediate lead in assessment, advice and direction, up to and including decision-making and communication in conjunction with district officials. Rest assured, we would follow the directions from and recommendations of our public health officials. In light of February 25 CDC comments regarding a possible Coronavirus outbreak affecting schools and advising schools to plan ahead for a virus-related closing, in the extreme event of a necessary school closing at LHS and/or VHHS, we would utilize our state-approved eLearning Plan.

Given that our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff, D128 administration has made the difficult, but necessary decision to cancel the following out-of-country Spring Break trips: Canada, Guatemala, France and Thailand. Affected students, parents and staff members were notified of the cancellations today, and D128 administration is working with related travel companies to obtain refunds and/or rescheduled future travel for those affected. Considerations regarding student out-of-country travel decision-making, included:

  • the fluidity of the Coronavirus with new information emerging daily;
  • the real possibility that our students and staff may be exposed to the virus traveling to and from the destination country and/or while in the destination country, and if exposed, that student and staff health may be seriously impacted;
  • that students and staff might be quarantined in the destination country prior to leaving the country and/or in the U.S. upon returning from the destination country.

D128 administration will also continue to monitor the Coronavirus in relation to scheduled out-of-country summer trips. However, at this time, there are no cancellations of scheduled out-of-country summer trips. In addition, while no scheduled Spring Break trips within the continental U.S. have been cancelled, we will continue to monitor conditions to and from and in and around destination areas.

The following documents are available for your review:

In closing, D128 will continue to work closely with LCHD regarding the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases, and we will continue to share important information with you as it becomes available. Again, student, staff and stakeholder health, safety and well-being are our highest priorities.

 

Sincerely,

Prentiss G. Lea, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Community High School District 128