Below please find the presentations from the 
August 4, 2020, Special Board Meeting.

Notice of Board of Education Vacancy

Emmons School District 33 has a vacancy on the Board of Education. The vacancy will fulfill the final year of a four year term and will expire in April 2021. Interested parties should complete the Board Member Application and submit it to Laurie Christophersen, Board President, no later than Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Her email is The Board will interview candidates on Thursday evening, August 20, 2020. The candidate selected will be seated at the regular meeting on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. 

Eligible candidates for the School Board must: 

Be a U.S. Citizen; Be 18 years of age; Be a resident of Illinois and the District for at least one year immediately preceding the appointment; Be a registered voter; Not be a school trustee; Not be a child sex offender; Not hold another incompatible public office, Not have a prohibited interest in any contract with the District; Not hold certain types of prohibited State of Federal employment. 

Please consider helping Emmons in this very important and rewarding role! Thank you for your consideration.

SUMMER OFFICE HOURS - Mon – Thurs 9am–3pm (Closed from 12pm- 1pm for lunch)  Fri 9am-12pm

Letter from Dr. Friedman 7/31/2020
The Emmons Board of Education, Administrators, Union Leadership and Return to School Planning Committee want to thank you for your ongoing support and understanding. We have received many positive responses to our Return to School Plan and we appreciate how much you have acknowledged the committee’s hard work during these unprecedented times.

While we have tried diligently to support in-person and remote learning solutions, several new and changing factors are affecting our current trajectory. It is becoming increasingly challenging for most school districts to offer a robust in-person learning option. Here is a summary of some of the roadblocks we are facing  and attempting to navigate at this time:

While Antioch's positivity rate (cases tested versus positive cases) remains below the target rate of 8%, areas around Antioch have reported an increase in rates. For example, Kenosha and Walworth counties in Wisconsin, right across Antioch’s border,  are rated "high" at this time. This week, Chicago has added Wisconsin to their mandatory quarantine list. The infection rates in Lake County are also continuing to increase which has pushed our county into a "warning" status.

Updated guidance from the IDPH this week regarding when to quarantine will significantly disrupt on site daily learning. The draft decision tree guidance from the Lake County Health Department demonstrates how incredibly difficult it will be to keep students and staff in school. Any student or staff member who has one of the following symptoms for COVID-19 (fever, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, new loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain) will be required to provide either a negative COVID test or a doctor’s note to return to school. The list of symptoms now includes runny nose and congestion. In the event of any of these symptoms, the nurse would not be assessing students, but would simply be sending students home.  

As the need for substitutes increase due to the pandemic, we could potentially experience a shortage of substitute availability.  In June, we surveyed our substitute teacher pool inquiring whether or not they were willing to substitute in the Fall.  At that time, 95% of substitutes were willing to continue to substitute at Emmons. We asked that same question of our substitutes again this week and a much smaller percentage are willing to return at this time. Unfortunately, due to the social distancing requirements, we will not be able to combine classes when there is a shortage of substitutes. Instead, we would need to close school for the day creating a massive disruption to learning and to families.  

New guidance has changed the social distancing requirement. While the original guidelines said we were to maintain 6 feet "as much as possible", the Lake County Health Department communicated recently that, if we can not maintain 6 feet at all times, alternative plans should be developed. At Emmons, we are able to maintain 6 feet in most classrooms, not all. 

In light of this new information and shifting guidelines, we have made the difficult decision to transition to a revised plan. The majority of our students will participate remotely in their instructional day.  Our remote learning plan with enhancements will include several components which will be an improved version of our remote learning plan from last spring. This new plan prioritizes virtual synchronous learning (real-time) for all students and provides in-person support for our students who have learning difficulties and challenges. Some of the components include:

          - Virtual synchronous learning for all subjects including specials
          - In person or remote support for students with special needs 
          - Virtual office hours for student support
          - Scheduled small group virtual social-emotional check-in meetings
          - Standards based grading similar to a traditional school year
          - Student attendance accountability

We understand that the revised plan creates hardship for many families. Please understand this decision was made with much consideration and heavy hearts. We are committed to support families along the way. We will help with technology and connectivity issues. We also will be offering a limited supervised learning space for students who need a safe location for which to participate in remote learning effectively. An application and details will be forthcoming. Finally, we are in communication with Hastings YMCA and other agencies exploring the options for families in need of additional day care.

We will continue to monitor the pandemic and evolving guidelines that are grounded in science. The revised Remote Learning Plan with Enhancements will continue through the first trimester. 

Details of the plan will be shared at the Special Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, August 4th at 7:00pm. After the meeting, all documents will be public and shared with the Emmons' families. We know this announcement may cause disappointment and frustration for some, but please be assured that we are here to help you navigate this new terrain. We continue to stay committed to the safety of our learning community and to provide a quality instructional program to our students.

Emmons Administration
Emmons Board of Education
Emmons Union Leadership
Emmons Return to School Planning Committee

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    Posted Mar 16, 2020, 6:55 AM by Heather Heiden
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