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Neil Milbert, Freelance Reporter
3:26 am CDT March 24, 2020

District 30 Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley will strive to keep students updated with the district's plans during “this new, temporary normal” in which the nation attempts to control and cope with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

In accordance with a directive from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Northbrook/Glenview schools will be closed at least until Wednesday, April 8. 

Prior to the cessation of classroom instruction on March 17, teachers and staff laid the foundation for e-learning that will begin on Tuesday, March 31. 

“To reflect on lessons learned from our first week of e-learning and to allow our curricular teams time to plan for continuing e-learning, March 30 will be a planning day for teachers,” Wegley writes in a board briefs email sent to the D30 community. 

“Many of our teachers are using Google Hangouts successfully to maintain face-to-face time with their classes,” Wegley said. He directed parents to refer to the district’s website to learn more about how district officials are structuring e-learning and other tools that families are using to maintain social connections with others while following social-distancing guidelines.

“Over spring break, a few of our teachers have compiled some low-tech, high-connection activities for our students and families to consider.” 

Wegley pointed out that the Glenview/Northbrook COVID-19 Task Force is generating updates and maintaining the glenviewnorthbrookcoronavirus.info website, and he expressed his gratitude for the collaborative efforts taking place during this evolving situation.

The superintendent has given students what he calls “a Global District Assignment” during spring break, consisting of activities that “are encouraged but not required.” 

There are four components to the assignment:

 “1. Life-Skills: Demonstrate that you have learned to do laundry (whites and colors), or clear the table and do dishes for your family after dinner.

“2. Gratitude: Complete (the) Gratitude Treasure Hunt.

“3. Curiosity? Do you play an instrument? Are you developing your painting skills? Are you interested in learning more about programming to create apps? Are you wondering what dark matter is? Spend at least two hours doing something you absolutely love.

“4. Activity: Time yourself running five laps around the perimeter of your house or post the maximum time that you can complete a wall sit.”

Students will be asked to detail the assignments they complete in a short post.

If the school closures are extended, the district will likely add planning days for its teachers, Wegley said. For each planning day, students will be asked to complete a “global” assignment. 

The superintendent concluded his message by wishing all of the District 30 teachers and staff “a calm and rejuvenating spring break, knowing full well that this will be a unique one.”

“I encourage you and your children to pause, unplug as much as you can and be fully present for each other,” Wegley said. “This will be a time we will share with future generations. We will continue to need to support one another as we navigate to the other side.”

 

Staff projections

The Glenview/Northbrook District 30 Board of Education received a rundown on 2020-21 staffing projections at Wescott, Willowbrook and Maple Schools at its March 18 meeting.

A total of 60 core sections among the three schools are projected. Wescott and Willowbrook are expected to remain at 21 sections each, while Maple will add one seventh-grade math class to meet growing enrollment, bringing the number of sections to 18.

The district’s class-size standards will be maintained.

 

ROUND IT UP

A brief recap of Board of Education action:

Dr. Melissa Hirsch, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, reviewed the District 30 e-learning plan that will substitute for classroom instruction during the school shutdown necessitated by the COVID-19 emergency. The plan received emergency approval from the state on March 13.

The board granted Jennifer Schmidt’s request to transfer from her position as a special education teacher at Willowbrook to become the family and consumer sciences (FACs) teacher at Maple next school year.

The board approved the hiring of Andrea Manning as Wescott’s art teacher for the 2020-21 school year. Members also approved Katie Peterson’s request to return to full-time teaching next year.

Three resignations effective in 2020-21 were accepted — Katie Greenwalt, second-grade teacher at Willowbrook; Ben Clemons, Maple band director; and Julie Urbanis.

• The board also authorized the district’s mandatory and optional fees.

• Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley reported Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued an executive order that relaxes the Opening Meetings Act regulations and will allow the Board of Education to hold virtual meetings. The board’s April 7 meeting has been cancelled. Its next meeting is scheduled for April 23.