UPDATE: According to GHS Principal Shane Owsley, there will be no student attendance on Monday March 16th at CUSD #7. Buildings will be open from noon to 6 for students to get their books and distance learning packets.
All Illinois schools, both public and private, will close from March 17 through March 30 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered Friday, March 13.
“We’ve seen what happens in places that didn’t move with urgency,” Pritzker said on Friday. “I ask all of you not to hesitate to do the right thing for your family, your friends, and your community. One small step at a time, we will get through this together.”
Gillespie CUSD 7 Superintendent Joseph Tieman issued an announcement on Thursday morning saying he had been in contact with health and education officials to monitor the situation including e-learning plans. By Friday afternoon, Gillespie school district had a two-page off-site education emergency plan added to the district website and Facebook page.
Gillespie High School Principal Shane Owsley relayed Gov. Pritzker’s order to the community via social media Friday evening saying the schools will close March 17-30. Owsley added the school is expected to reopen on Tuesday, March 31 and all students should be attendance on Monday, March 16.
According to Gillespie CUSD 7’s off-site emergency plan, students will be provided tasks from teachers equating to no more than five hours of participation, all grading for off-site learning days will be pass or fail, and all teachers will be available between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. via their school email address. All the staff email addresses are easily accessible on the district website.
The emergency plan also detailed the district’s breakfast and lunch programs saying the programs will continue operating on off-site learning days on a drive-up basis. Elementary students wishing to receive a meal may access BenGil Drive and a meal will be brought to the vehicle in to-go containers. Middle and high school students wishing to receive a meal may access the bus lane currently situated behind the building in the bus lane and a meal will be brought to the vehicle in to-go containers. Students who qualify for free and/or reduced lunch will continue to receive their provisions while the reduced rates will be 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch and full pay rate will be $1.50 for breakfast and $2.20 for lunch.
After the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) canceled its remaining winter state series postseason tournaments over concerns related to the covid-19 pandemic, which include boys basketball, scholastic bowl, drama and group interpretation, music organization, debate and journalism, the organization specified athletes should not practice or compete with non-school (club/travel) teams if spring season is suspended or they will be ineligible for the high school team if and when the suspension is lifted.