Welcome to Grand Ridge Grade School

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Our Vision

In partnership with our families and community, Grand Ridge CCSD #95 will educate all students to reach their highest potential.  Grand Ridge will provide a safe learning environment, will respond to students' individual learning and emotional needs, and will maintain high expectations for achievement.  Our goal is to develop students who are responsible, respectful, kind, and passionate for life-long learning.  

Survey link:  Parents, please complete by Sunday Aug. 9th

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y5QR276

 

Illinois Central School Bus:

Illinois Central School Bus is hiring; if interested please contact them at 815-673-1100

Updates from Mr. Sanders:

July 20, 2020

Dear Parents and Grand Ridge Community,

    As we are preparing for the start of a new school year we are obviously in a very different situation than ever before.  COVID-19 has been an illness that has proven hard to manage and protect against.  That does not change the need for us to continue to strive to educate our children.  With that being said, we hosted a district COVID-19 Team meeting last week to produce a preliminary plan to open school in the fall.  This plan was reviewed and approved at the regular meeting of the Grand Ridge Board of Education on Tuesday, July 14th.  There are many details that will need to be worked out internally, but here is the information we can give you at present.  We hope that this will help you plan and prepare, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns we ask that you reach out to us and we will be happy to help in whatever way we can.

Foundational Principles:

*We believe that all students deserve the best possible education during the COVID-19 outbreak, and that the best possible education would be in-person learning.

*We believe that the health, life, and safety of our children, staff, and community are of primary importance.  Without our health it is difficult to teach and learn.

*We will follow the guidelines put forth to us by the State of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control, as well as Federal laws and guidelines, to the best of our ability.

*We will provide quality opportunities for all students to learn even if that occurs during Remote Learning and Teaching, and that experience will be valuable and meaningful.

Immediate Considerations:

COVID-19 is a virus that can spread quickly through the environment and is transmitted through the air and by contact with contaminated surfaces.  The most direct method of transmission is believed to be person-to-person.  The COVID-19 virus is known to live on hard surfaces for between 24-72 hours.  Transmission of the virus is lowered when people use safe and effective sanitizing methods and practice social distancing of 6ft. or more.  Enclosed spaces with recirculating air appear to be the most closely linked to spread of the virus.  People over the age of 60 seem to be susceptible to the most devastating symptoms of COVID-19.  At any time the federal or state governments may force closure of public school due to the risks involved with COVID-19.  Schools must be ready to respond in multiple scenarios to provide continuation of education services for regular education and special education students.

School Day:  The current plan is for students to attend half day for the 1st quarter of the year from 8:15 to 11:50am Monday through Friday in order to maximize in-person instructional time. For those students who are medically at risk or who have been quarantined, or for those approved by administration on an individual basis, additional forms and documentation may be required.  Remote Learning will be offered to them in the afternoons from 1-3. 

We will watch our attendance data,monitor illnesses closely, and will re-evaluate our time for in-person learning based on that data in order to determine if we can offer more in-person time as the year progresses. Our goal is for as much in-person time as possible. Remember that this plan is tentative and may change at any time based on guidelines received from the State of Illinois or Federal Government.

Transportation:  The IDPH suggests that, when possible,  parents should transport students rather than having them ride a bus in order to reduce numbers on school buses, and thus minimizing risk of spread. 

Bus transportation will be provided by the district.  We will do a first-on first-off  pick-up and drop-off route plan to minimize the total ride time for children on the bus.  Face masks will be required at all times and students will be spread out as much as possible.

    Temperature checks will not be performed before students enter the bus as there are many issues that would occur with that procedure.  For example, if a student were to have a fever but the parents had already left for the day, there would be no supervision for that student and he/she would have to ride the bus to school anyway.  So at this time, all bus riders will be transported to the school. We will rely on parents to be responsible in checking their children for symptoms before putting them on the bus each day.

Arrival:  Currently we are being told that we must screen all children with a temperature check and brief survey upon arrival before they are allowed to enter the building.  Some guidance on this suggests parents may be able to do this screening before school begins, but at present, we are preparing to have students check in each day for a mandatory screening before being allowed into the main building. A temperature of 100.4 degrees requires that the student not be allowed to participate at school and must quarantine for 72 hours after fever is gone.

Mask Breaks:  Teachers will allow assigned mask breaks throughout the morning.  Those breaks may be taken outside while distancing at least 6ft between each child.  We know how difficult it is to wear masks, for adults as well, and we anticipate this being more difficult for children.  Please practice wearing masks appropriately and prepare your child for that process in the fall.  The IDPH and CDC have stated that this is a non-negotiable item and masks must be worn at all times due to the inability to guarantee 6ft. distance while in the classroom.

Classroom Instructional Focus:  Our teachers will be focused on core subjects during the 11:50 dismissal time specifically in recovery efforts in Reading, Language Arts, and Math, and Science and Social Studies when possible.  In-person instruction will be provided for any student with special needs or for those requiring Title services.  We are still working out details about our non-core subjects such as Music, Art, and PE.  If we can find ways to offer those subjects, even if in a reduced manner, we will strive to do so; however, the plan for the first quarter is to focus on recovery efforts in order to catch our students up from what they missed last year.

Student Procedures:  Students will be required to keep their possessions with them in their classroom at all times and lockers will not be assigned.  There will be no locker breaks or passing periods.  Students may bring water bottles to drink from during class time.  Restroom and drink breaks will be minimized to prevent spread and contamination in hallways and other public areas.  Students will remain in one room for the entire day to allow for contact tracing in the event that a student or students develop symptoms.  Masks must be worn at all times.  We will have a number of disposable masks available, but at this time it is appropriate for students to wear masks from home.  This may also especially help little children in that they are wearing a familiar face covering in many instances that was made by mom or dad, therefore giving them a little comfort in the process. Teachers will schedule mask breaks for their classrooms.

Lunch:  At this time a sack lunch will be provided for students on free/reduced lunch, and for those students who order a sack lunch.  No hot lunches will be provided.  Lunches will be brown bag and may not be eaten on the bus, but will have to be eaten when the student arrives at home.

Remote Learning:  When remote learning, teachers will provide quality materials and resources for students to increase their knowledge and skill.  Remote learning is not a good substitute for in-person teaching and learning, but under the right circumstances can provide continuation of learning.  Our staff will be working hard to provide a valid and meaningful curriculum for students during remote learning.  This requires access to devices and reliable internet access.  We know from our data collected from surveys and comments by parents and teachers that there were hiccups in the process in the spring.  We are committed to working out those issues and providing students with the resources they need.  We will have more details regarding remote learning at a later date.

Grading/Attendance:  In the spring the State of Illinois mandated that we grade based on a Pass/Incomplete model.  The current guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is that we will be back to our regular grading and attendance policies this fall.  That means that students will have our high expectations as set by Grand Ridge School Board included in our Parent/Student Handbook.  We want students to be challenged and to learn with our rigorous standards in order to be prepared for success in high school.  Attendance will also be monitored closely and will follow the guidelines established by ISBE.  It is important that students understand they need to take initiative and be involved in learning whether at home or at school.

We know that there are many concerns in the community and around the world due to COVID-19.  We appreciate the efforts of our teachers, staff, board, and community in coming together to insure our students may continue to learn in-person as much as possible in the 2020-2021 school year.  Please remember that these plans and actions are tentative and will be based on the best guidance we can get, as well as local data we collect from parents and community as we progress through the year.  We will keep you up to date with news and information as it becomes available to us.  If you have any questions or concerns, we ask that you please contact our office.

 

Kindergarten Registration:

If you have a student that will be attending Kindergarten in the fall, please email Melissa Bernard bernam@grgs95.org to start the registration process.

Your child must be five years old on or before September 1, 2020 to be eligible to attend.

To begin kindergarten this fall, parents must provide:

Certified birth certificate (not the hosptial one)

Social Security card

Medical card, if applicable

All incoming kindergarten students must have a dental, physical and eye examination prior to the first day of school.  The physical exam must include proof of immunizations and lead and diabetes screening.

Updates from IESA

Please see the below information that was received from IESA:

To All IESA Member Schools:

The IESA Board of Directors held a special meeting on Thursday, July 23. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss fall sports and whether those activities could be held in accordance with the current limitations placed on schools and activities by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

After much discussion, the Board unanimously approved to cancel the regular season and IESA state series in the sports of boys and girls golf, boys baseball, girls softball, and boys and girls cross-country for the 2020-21 school year. There are no plans to try and re-schedule the activities or conduct them later in the school year in part due to if and when high schools in Illinois play their contests. Girls softball practice was scheduled to start July 27. The baseball and cross-country seasons were scheduled to start August 3. The Board delayed any decision on girls basketball.  The first day of girls basketball practice is scheduled for August 31.  The Board will meet again in late August to make a decision regarding girls basketball. The Board did review and approve a plan submitted by the Speech Advisory Committee that allows schools to hold their own speech contest during the upcoming school year. Schools that participate in speech will receive information at a later date. No
 decisions regarding any other activities were made.

We know that there will be many people within the school system who will applaud this decision and there will be many who will be strongly opposed. At the forefront of the Board decision is that the activities must be conducted within the current limitations that have been placed on the schools by the IDPH. In particular, the mandate that there can be no physical contact between athletes and that students must be socially distanced (6 ft. of separation) makes the administration and conduct of games and contests very difficult and in some cases impossible to adhere to the mandates.   While there are plenty of youth league baseball and softball teams playing games and tournaments this summer, many are not adhering to the same stringent guidelines. Because summer leagues and travel ball are taking place, this may make the decision of the IESA Board of Directors seem odd. The difference is that schools will be held to the IDPH mandates and the youth summer contests are not. It would make
  little sense for IESA to move forward with these activities that would require schools to be in direct conflict with mandates by state agencies that have regulatory control over the schools.

COVID-19 has changed the world. However, this decision is not the end of the world. It is not the news that most students and parents want. At the end of the day, we work with junior high and middle school students. They are not professional athletes; they are not college athletes; they are not high school athletes.  They will not be missing out on any college scholarships. These are mainly 12-14 year old kids who will have many more opportunities to participate (perhaps even later this school year in other activities). We recognize that athletics play a huge role in the lives of students. Activities, despite their importance in the development of students, can never take precedence over the health and safety of those same students as well as the health and safety of contest officials, game management, and parents/fans who attend contests. The IESA Board of Directors made a difficult decision but in the end they simply felt that there are too many unknowns to proceed safely at this l
 evel of play. As you process this information, I hope you will keep in mind that the Board believes they made the best decision for jr. high/middle school students.

I know this announcement will generate many questions. I respectfully ask that you email me and I will do my best to address those in the days ahead. I wanted to get this information to the membership as soon as possible today and so I ask for your patience to address your questions. We will continue to keep the membership informed of the status of other activities for the 2020-21 school year as those decisions are made.

Sincerely,
Steve Endsley
IESA Executive Director

Special Board Meeting:  Tuesday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Room

 

News and Notes

Message from the Office

ATTENTION!!! Please notifiy the Office if you have an address change or phone number change.  If there is ever an emergency it's important to keep all records current.

 

The Office is currently on summer hours:  Monday - Thursday 8:00 - 3:00 p.m.; Closed on Fridays

 

 

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