May 8, 2020

As we move toward the end of the 2019-20 school year, our team continues daily work to create meaningful educational experiences, connect with students, and revise upcoming events whenever possible. We also keep a close eye on news coming out of the state and federal government and the Center for Disease Control, as our focus begins to shift toward starting the 2020-21 school year under a new normal.

As released on Tuesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker has offered a detailed explanation of the different phases our state will move through as we collectively “Restore Illinois.” Please see our linked community collaboration letter which details this plan and its impact on schools and municipalities. What we know at this time, is that we are in phase two statewide, where social distancing is required, stay at home orders remain, and only essential services continue. In terms of school-specific implications, we have the following updates:

Student Belongings and Pick-Up/Drop-Off of Materials
GBN and GBS each have developed plans, in compliance with Health Departments and CDC guidelines, to facilitate the drop off of books, athletic equipment, and library and academic obligations, as well as the collection of student belongings, yearbooks, and caps and gowns (for seniors). June 1, 2 and 3 are reserved for seniors, with freshman, sophomores and juniors scheduled for June 4 - 9.  

On Monday, May 11, students and parents will receive an email with detailed, school-specific instructions and an online sign-up form for a specific date and time to access campus. Students will be required to wear a facial covering, maintain social distancing, and must not be sick or displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Students are asked to remain in their cars until directed to enter by District staff. Parents, if accompanying a student, must remain in their cars as a way to keep the number of people in the buildings as low as possible.

Athletic Camps
As a result of guidance from the Governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health, all summer athletic camps for the month of June have been canceled. A decision has not yet been finalized regarding the possibility of offering camps during the month of July. Recognizing that any camp offerings for this summer will require modifications, we have decided to process refunds for all athletic camp registrations that have been paid. There is no need to request payment, as it will be in the form of a check or credit card refund (based on the payment form that was utilized), expected the week of May 15. Should the school district be able to offer athletic camp options this summer, a new registration process will be conducted.

Food Relief for Families in Need
Families who currently qualify for free or reduced lunches when school is in session may apply for benefits through a program called Pandemic EPT SNAP. For additional information and the application process, please see the state’s online brochure: Pandemic EPT SNAP Benefits

We thank you for your continued resilience, grace, patience and understanding, especially during this pandemic. If anything, our Governor’s detailed plan gives us all hope – for the first time in a couple of months, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and at a minimum, know the requirements to get through this situation. And, we will… together.