Just in case anyone thought differently, we are STILL IN NEED of SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS and BUS DRIVERS!!!! Substitutes: If you have an Associate's or Bachelor's degree, you can be a substitute teacher! Drivers: Must be 21, take a training class, and pass IDOT tests and physical. Please call (217) 476-8112 with questions!!
Dear AC Central Parents, Students and Staff. I am writing to remind everyone that due to new Illinois State Law, Tuesday, November 3rd will be a school holiday to ensure everyone be able to vote. As a result, the schedule for in person learning that week will be modified. All students will attend in person learning on Monday, November 2, Wednesday, November 4, Thursday, November 5, and Friday, November 6.
Remote Learning Plan
Communication: The District will communicate regularly to all staff via email, Schoolreach, school Website, and the School Facebook page. Principals will communicate to its staff via email, Schoolreach, and Zoom conference calls. The schools will communicate to the families via Schoolreach messages, Teacherease email, school webpage, and the school Facebook page. Teachers will communicate with their students via email, school website, Teacherease, Zoom/Google Hangouts, and group texts. (Staff will not directly communicate with students through personal email, text, or personal social media.)
Lunch/Breakfast: Lunch/Breakfast will continue to be made available in a grab and go format from 11:30 – 12:30 each weekday at each building. Packet drop off/pick up will be done at this same time.
Attendance: Attendance will be taken each day of the Phase Four Learning Plan. Families will be required to report student absences daily. Questions may be asked regarding illness symptoms. Unexcused absences will be recorded for students who are absent without a report. Most classes will use daily interactive lessons.
Daily Expectations for Students (based on ISBE Recommendations)
- Remote Learning for PreK students will include daily options that support active exploration, choices based on interest, and activities that require small blocks of time. Parents know their children best and are encouraged to choose the activities that will engage and support their children in a meaningful way.
- Paper Packets will be distributed to our PreK students (Pickup and delivery during lunch pickups at each building.
- These activities are not expected to exceed 30 minutes
- Teachers will communicate regularly with students and families through email, phone calls, SeeSaw, or Community Time via Zoom/Google Meets
- Teachers will hold “Office Hours” from 8:15 – 1:15 am and be responsive and available to support students and families through email, phone calls, or Zoom/Google Meets
K - 4
- Each day students are required to complete the activities listed.
Together these activities will not exceed
- K-2 90 minutes
- 3-4 120 minutes
- K-2 will be primarily packet driven activities, while 3-4th grade will utilize online instruction. Each day there are activities for students to complete (also available through paper packets)
- Teachers may host a daily 10-20 minute live Community Time via Zoom/Google Hangouts
- Teachers will hold daily “Office Hours” in addition to the live interactive teaching being done and be responsive and available to support students through Email, Classroom Dojo, Zoom Conference calls, Google texts, SeeSaw, etc.
- Regular Grading will be practiced
- Check school email/Google Classroom/Teacherease/paper packets teacher websites and access each teacher’s activities
- Each day students are required to complete the activities listed that are focused on essential standards.
- MS will use the Block Schedule calendar for class meetings (8:15 – 1:15)
- A-C Central traditional grading practices will be used.
- Check school email/Google Classroom/Teacherease/paper packets teacher websites and access each teacher’s activities
- Each day students are required to complete the activities listed that are focused on essential standards.
- HS will use our Block Schedule calendar for class meetings. (8:15 – 1:15)
- A-C Central traditional grading practices will be used.
Students with 504/IEPs: Staff will reach out to each student to set up a phone/video conference. Accommodations will be agreed upon during the conference and verified with a letter that must be signed and returned to the building principal by the parents.
A-C Central will focus on keeping children emotionally and physically safe, fed and engaged in learning.
- Student work will both review of old material AND new content.
- We will provide opportunities that include a blend of real-timed, flexibly timed, digital and non-digital options that best fit our students and families and focus on essential standards
- We will focus on the whole child and social-emotional learning - making connections with kids.
- We will focus on the continuity of learning and creating learning environments that are inclusive of all learners.
- We will serve students with exceptionalities to the greatest extent possible by tailoring remote learning so that provides educational benefits to all.
At any time during this closure, please reach out with questions to you building principal:
Ashley Trueblood, Elementary Principal (217) 458-2224
Candi Shaver, MS-HS Principal: (217) 476-3312
Suggestions for Additional Family Activities
Reading, e.g., independent reading, listening to someone else read, audiobooks
- Puzzles, Word Searches
- Write a story or in a journal
- Count money
- Draw a map of your neighborhood
- Building with blocks or Legos
- Listen to a podcast
- Watch a documentary
- Take a walk
- Fine/gross motor activities
- Stretch or do yoga
- Play a sport
- Listen to music or sing
- Playing (inside or outside)
- Creative arts
- Coloring or drawing
- Imaginative play
- Do something you’ve been avoiding
- Clean up your room
- Do age appropriate chores
- Fix something broken
- Take care of pets or plants
- Cook or bake
- Write a letter to someone
- Play board games with a family member
- Tell jokes or riddles
- Build a fort and tell stories in it
If you are going to need transportation for the MS-HS meetings that are being held next week (August 24-27), please text 312-884-1398 by 5:00pm TODAY and give us the following information: name, address, and what day you will need transportation.
Lunches and breakfasts will be available at each building from 11:30 to 12:30 each day of remote learning. Anyone who plans on utilizing this service, please send an email to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org depending on where you will pick up your meal. This is how we will develop a lunch count for each building. Please tell us what days you will utilize the service, and how many student meals are needed.
Today the A-C Central Administration was notified that several staff members have been exposed to a probable Covid-positive person. As a result of IDPH guidelines, this will require the quarantining of several key members of our staff, and we will not be able to open school for in-person instruction on Friday as planned. You can expect to hear from your building principals soon as they lay out the plan to distribute material to students ASAP. So to be clear, A-C Central will begin the school year with Remote Learning until further notice. Lunches will be available from 11:30-12:30 at each building as they were this past Spring. Students who attend classes at SASED Central, PORTA, and LaFayette will still follow those school’s plans.
I have recevied some questions recently about how home schooling and/or extra curricular particiation would work. I am posting Board Policy on the issue so everyone understands the answer to this question. Please remember, Home schooling is different from Remote Learning - Remote Learning is where A-C Central is still delivering all the curricular content, and the child is a registered student of A-C Central. Here is the Homeschool Particiation Policy:
7:40 Nonpublic School Students, Including Parochial and Home-Schooled Students
The District accepts nonpublic school students, including parochial and home-schooled students, who live within the District for part-time attendance in the District's regular education program on a space-available basis. Requests for part-time attendance must be submitted to the Building Principal. All requests for attendance in the following school year must be submitted before May 1.
A student accepted for partial enrollment must comply with all discipline and attendance requirements established by the school. He or she may participate in any co-curricular activity associated with a District class in which he or she is enrolled. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student accepted for partial enrollment must pay all fees, pro-rated on the basis of a percentage of full-time fees. Transportation to and/or from school is provided on regular bus routes to or from a point on the route nearest or most easily accessible to the nonpublic school or student's home. This transportation shall be on the same basis as the District provides transportation for its full-time students.Transportation on other than established bus routes is the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s).
Below is the Return to School Plan that was contingently approved by the Board on July 15, 2020. Please know that there will be modifications to this plan as the state's guidance on these issues change regularly. Also know that I believe we have already found a way to modify the MS-HS class rotation plan to allow Ag, Art, Industrial Arts, Band, and PE classes to meet regularly, and for students to see all other classes in person much more frequently than originally thought.
Thank you for your patience,
Tim Page, Superintendent
A-C CENTRAL CUSD #262
Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's World
RETURN TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION PLAN
July 15, 2020
Beginning March 17, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker ordered that all Illinois Public Schools Districts must close buildings due to the impending threat of COVID-19. Since that time, the State of Illinois has released the Restore Illinois Plan, which gradually returns all industries to normalcy. In Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan, schools can return to some in-person instruction, limiting this instruction to groups of ten people or fewer. In Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the schools “reopen” with no more than fifty individuals in one space. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) “strongly encourages” schools to return to in-person learning at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. By blending the learning models of our schools, utilizing consistent learning platforms, and providing adequate resources and professional learning opportunities to staff members, we will continue to provide academic support and continuity to our students. It is important to note that these requirements and guidelines are subject to change pursuant to updated public health guidance, changing public health conditions, and further directives from the ISBE.
Illinois State Board of Education Guidance – Phase 4 (In Person Learning)
On June 23, 2020, the ISBE released guidance for schools to use in planning for returning to in-person learning. Requirements from the ISBE are:
- Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings; ● Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
- Require social distancing to be observed, as much as possible;
- Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and,
- Require an increase in school-wide cleaning and disinfection.
While we cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19, we will work to mitigate risk and related issues. The following document outlines the specific procedures and plans for A-C Central CUSD #262.
An amended version of the original school calendar will be passed July 15, 2020. It contains a full day Teacher In-Service, August 17, three Remote Learning Planning Days August 18, 19, and 20, and student attendance will begin August 21. November 3 becomes a state mandated holiday, and the end of the year will not change. Please be aware that this calendar is subject to change based on guidance or directives from ISBE, IDPH, the Cass County Dept. of Health, or the Governor of the State of Illinois.
All students will be offered the opportunity to be present in school buildings. Students should not arrive any earlier than necessary. Physical interaction will be limited to fifty people or fewer in any location. All students and staff members will be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing, as much as possible. In Person Instruction will be offered 5 days a week with the following schedule:
Elementary: 8:20 – 1:20
MS-HS: 8:15 – 1:15
Transportation will be provided for all students. However, buses will have a maximum capacity of fifty people. Parents are encouraged to provide transportation to their children and avoid the school bus. School staff members will certify that students are symptom and fever-free prior to entering school buildings or boarding school buses. Remote Learning will be an option for any student who is not comfortable attending school in person. PARENTS SHOULD NOT LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN AT THE BUS STOP BEFORE THEIR STUDENT IS ADMITTED ONTO THE BUS. ANY STUDENT WHO FAILS THE SYMTPOM SCREENING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RIDE THE BUS, and PARENTS MUST TAKE THE STUDENT HOME.
Parents will be given the option of not having their student attend school in-person during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. If families choose this option for their children, they will be enrolled in a Remote Learning setting. This will not be an option for Pre-Kindergarten students.
Attendance will be taken each day of the Phase Four Learning Plan. Families will be required to report student absences daily. Questions may be asked regarding illness symptoms. Unexcused absences will be recorded for students who are absent without a report.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Protocols and Procedures for all Students and Staff:
- In accordance with ISBE guidance, staff members will be required to self-certify they are symptom- and fever-free prior to reporting to school buildings. Any staff member with confirmed symptoms and a temperature of over 100.4℉ will not be allowed to enter a school building or board a school bus.
- All students will be screened for symptoms and temperature prior to entering school buildings or boarding school buses. Students will be asked if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and if they or their family has been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Any student with confirmed symptoms and/or a temperature of over 100.4℉ will not be allowed to enter a school building or board a school bus. Parents or guardians will be responsible for ensuring their children return home safely.
- Face masks will be required of everyone entering a school building or vehicle. No mask, no entry, no exceptions without medically certified exemptions.
- Families are asked to report all absences to schools, when children are ill, and report any symptoms to school personnel. Families may be asked questions regarding symptoms. Any student with symptoms or who is confirmed to have COVID-19 will be reported to the IDPH for additional surveillance and tracing.
Students/Staff Exhibiting Signs and Symptoms:
A separate quarantine location will be identified at each school for students who become ill or exhibit signs and symptoms of illness during the school day. The location will be monitored by staff members if a student is ill. If a student is quarantined while at school, no other persons will be allowed in the vicinity of the student. Parents will be required to pick up their child from school if they become ill.
Any student or staff member who has confirmed symptoms (i.e. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, temperature, etc.) of COVID-19 will be required to be absent from school buildings for ten days after symptoms were confirmed and be seventy-two hours fever-free or with two confirmed negative COVID-19 tests done at least 24 hours apart. Ill students with a confirmed negative COVID-19 test will be subject to current policies and procedures for illness as identified in the Student Handbook.
Following quarantine, all students and staff members will be required to check-in with the building administrator prior to returning to class. Appointments to meet with the school principal will be required, and individuals must certify they are symptom- and fever-free prior to entering school buildings. Additional health screenings may occur prior to meeting with the school principal.
During Phase 4, no more than fifty persons will be allowed in a space within the schools at a time. Social distancing will be practiced whenever possible. All persons within a school building will be asked to maintain an appropriate distance from each other to reduce the risk of infection.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All people in school buildings will be required to wear face coverings while indoors. Additional protective equipment will be provided to school personnel as necessary.
All classrooms and other locations throughout the school will be equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers. All students and staff members will be asked to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting locations within a school building.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 from a student or a staff member, schools will communicate with families. A-C Central requests that families and staff members also report possible cases to the school where the individual attends school or works to initiate contact tracing.
Following a confirmed case, the area of the school used by the individual will be closed off immediately, and it will not be used until after proper cleaning and disinfection procedures have been completed. If possible, windows will be opened to increase air circulation, and custodial staff will wait as long as possible to clean the location in accordance with the CDC recommendations.
Individuals who did not have close contact with the individual who is sick can safely return to school. Those who have contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of being infected will be asked to isolate at home and monitor for symptoms for fourteen days. Close contact means the individual was within six feet of the individual with symptoms for more than fifteen minutes.
A-C Central will communicate any confirmed cases with families. All personal, identifiable information will remain confidential when reporting confirmed cases.
Any confirmed case may result in the closure of all school buildings for an extended period of time as a safety precaution. If school buildings are closed due to a confirmed case, all students will transition to Remote Learning until buildings are reopened. Communication will be made with families in advance of schools reopening.
All schools and buildings will be cleaned and disinfected daily in accordance with the CDC and IDPH recommendations. All hard surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water. All frequent-touch surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water, then sanitized using approved disinfectants. Following all cleaning of classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, etc., disinfect misters will be used as a further precaution.
The cleaning and disinfection schedule will be posted in all locations in school buildings. Custodians will certify when each location has been cleaned and sanitized. Additional cleaning materials will be available for all staff members to use throughout the school day.
The Illinois State Superintendent of Schools has determined that Remote and Blended Remote Learning Days must ensure at least five clock hours of instruction or school work for each student. Students must meet all graduation and statutory requirements for curriculum (i.e. Constitution examination). Mandates are subject to change, pending further directives and developments.
A-C Central will use a shortened schedule. This will allow teachers some additional preparation time as they will be having students both in-person, and in the remote learning setting simultaneously. This will also allow more time for staff to clean and sanitize the building in preparation for the next day. The instructional schedule will be similar to our early dismissal schedule:
Elementary - 8:20 – 1:20
MS-HS – 8:15 – 1:15
Remote Learning will be offered to students who must quarantine or who choose this method over In-Person Instruction. Remote learning will be done via the Zoom platform and students will be required to be online at all regularly scheduled class times participating in the Zoom class.
Elementary Instruction will continue as normal with the following modifications:
Elementary PE will be done in a blended platform where students will be given PE activities to perform at home and return a log of these activities.
Music – will take place at school but via Zoom
5th grade will be in a self-contained class
MS-HS will report to a designated class for instruction (such as A1). When this class is complete, students will remain in that room, and all other classes will be done remotely will the students are in this classroom. Students will only be pulled out for the following classes:
PE, Band, Choir, Special Ed (Art will also pull out when possible)
MS-HS PE will take place during the day as normal, however all activities will be done in street clothes as the locker rooms will not be available.
Students will be able to contact their other teachers via electronic communication for assistance with the other class lessons.
A-C Central will return to traditional grading practices for students. Consideration on grading will be given to individual students at the discretion of the Building Principal
The education of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans will be prioritized. All meetings will occur as scheduled by Special Education Administrators and IEP Teams. These meetings will be offered in person unless the student is participating in a Remote Learning plan. Individualized Transition Plans may be developed to support students in their transition back to in-person learning.
Students at A-C Central will continue to be able to access off-campus courses (such as LTEC). Transportation will be provided; however, students will be encouraged to transport themselves, when possible.
Cafeterias & Food Service
Breakfast will be available to all students
Elementary Lunch will take place in the cafeteria as normal.
MS-HS: AC Central will provide “Grab and Go” lunches to all MS-HS students as they leave the
building. As a result of this late lunch, snacks will be provided mid-morning to MS-HS students.
All teachers and staff will take their 30-minute duty free lunch at this time as well.
A-C Central will follow the guidance and recommendations from the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for athletic events. A-C Central Administration will establish protocols and requirements for returning to practice and interscholastic competition.
Clubs and other activities may be offered to students in Phase 4 on a limited basis. Participation will be limited due to the fifty-person restriction in one location.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
Facilities Usage & Visitors to Schools
No visitors will be allowed in the school without having a symptom and temperature screening from a school staff member. Masks will also be required of all persons entering the building. Facilities usage will not be allowed by any unauthorized outside group or organization until Phase 5. Authorized outside organizations, volunteers, or consultants will be allowed in school buildings during normal school hours following a successful symptom and temperature screening. Individuals entering buildings will only be allowed at the discretion of the Building Principal. Parents or family members who are picking up their children at school will be asked to remain outside of the school or in vestibules when picking up their child from school.
Parents and family members of students will be encouraged to consult with school personnel by phone or email. All appointments must be scheduled in advance and authorized by the Building Principal.
Communication will occur through a variety of media: Schoolreach messages, social media, email, and the District Website.
JB Pritzker’s current order is to use Act of God Days through March 30. Later, the Governor ordered schools to remain closed through April 7, but he has not yet made any determination regarding how the school should treat these days regarding attendance and academics. I fully expect that we will be under some type of E-Learning mandate. I also expect that there will be yet another extension of the school closure. With this in mind, I have met with our administrative team, and we are attempting to make sure devices get in the hands of every student and that every student will have some type of access made available for them to get on the internet. This will allow all students to utilize our teachers' e-learning plans to their fullest extent including some digital interactive time with their teachers and classmates, and then we will be better able to continue progressing through our curriculum using this platform.
Also - Please know that CassComm has opened up all of their public hotspots for free. There are many local areas where this is available. Please see their webpage for these locations and remember to continue to exercise appropriate social distancing if utilizing these services.
While those plans materialize, let me leave you with this:
Lunches/Breakfasts are still being provided in a grab and go format from each building from 11:30-12:30 every weekday.
For those who received packets from their teachers before we dismissed and they have been completed, you may bring those back to the school and drop them off during the same time as lunch is being made available. We will get them to the teachers for you.
When I have more information, I will push it out to you.
Thank you and stay safe!
I hope that this message finds you well. I want to share that all Sangamon area school districts that attended the Career Fair received the message below from Mary Jo Wood, Director, Regional Office of Career & Technical Education.
AC Central had many sophomores attend this Career Fair. While the risk for contamination was low, we believe it important to share with everyone out of an extreme abundance of caution.
"Our office was given information late last night that one of our representatives at Career Day was the third person in the county to test positive for the coronavirus. She was representing the State Treasurer’s Office. There was minimal exposure as she was one booth that not many students approached. She was behind an 8-foot table with her back to the wall. Those students not approaching her and that were in the aisle in front of her table were 8 to 10 feet from her. She is recuperating at home.
Per Conversation with the health department, the health department will reach out to those who were in direct contact with her per their review and evaluation of her.
If anyone experiences symptoms they are to contact their physician or call their local health department.
Cass County: (217) 452-3057
Morgan County: (217) 245- 5111
Sangamon County:: (217) 321-2606
Menard County: (217) 632-7864
Per the Sangamon County Department of Public Health (SCDPH) along with Memorial Health System, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Springfield Clinic and SIU Medicine have issued this joint communication:
“If you have had limited contact with a person under quarantine, you do not have to go into quarantine yourself, but you should stay away from others as much as possible. “Limited contact” is defined as being at least six feet apart from the quarantined person for 10 minutes to up to two hours. If you have had contact with an individual under isolation, you should be quarantined.”
We certainly appreciate your patience as we work through this together. Thank you for your cooperation.
As the Coronavirus dominates the news cycle, we wanted to put some basic information out that will just remind everyone of how best to prevent infections. Basically, the Illinois Department of Health recommends the same procedures for avoiding other illnesses such as the common cold or flu.
The IDPH recommends the following precautions in preventing any virus:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
While we obviously encourage students to attend school regularly, it is important for parents to remember that our policy has always been and will continue to be that if a student displays symptoms such as a fever or vomiting, they should not attend school or school functions for at least 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided.
The following are informational links for schools to use:
Illinois Department of Public Health