December 18, 2020
Dear Tonica Grade School Families and Staff:
Well, we have completed the first half of this school year and learned many things about the resilience of students, dedication of the TGS staff and understanding by parents regarding a learning process that was unknown to us during these uncertain times. The amazing cooperation and dedication to student learning is very evident at Tonica and something for us to be proud of and celebrate.
Our goal was to offer in-person learning to all students in a safe and healthy learning environment. We met and exceeded that goal by providing a blended model of both IPL and RL offered to all students. When we did transition to all remote learning, we had over 97% attendance and engagement by our students. Staff did a great job preparing students for remote learning, putting together the learning materials for students and our cafeteria staff is praised for their remote, lunch to go process. In addition, building services made sure spaces were clean, sanitized and ready for return along with office staff managing school operations.
In November, the Tonica Grade School Board of Education adopted metrics and set of decision making steps to guide us either into or out of remote learning fully as a school or partially (certain grade levels).
- Level 1 Transition – Executive order from the Governor or an order from the State Board of Education or Illinois Department of Public Health to cease IPL and transition to RL.
- Level 2 Transition – The LaSalle County Health Department issues an order, guidance or suggestion to shift to partial or full remote learning based upon local or regional conditions such as positivity rates and the level of ‘close contact quarantines’ that would occur from being a close contact within the school.
- Level 3 Transition – Conditions at Tonica Grade School such as high levels of students sent home with symptoms on consecutive days; positive case(s) of C19 within the school and the number of close contacts to those case(s); and/or staffing levels do not permit in-person learning or operations for services. A Level 3 Transition to RL could involve singular, several or all grade levels. If a younger grade transitions to RL then older siblings could also transition to the hybrid RL if needed.
Now for the second half of the school year. Tonica Grade School is planning on returning on Monday, January 4th to our blended model of In-Person Learning for those that were IPL prior to the November 16th transition to all Remote Learning. Remote Learners prior to Nov. 16th would continue in RL unless contacting the school to transition to IPL. Students that were IPL prior to November 16th but continued in RL the week of December 14th are anticipated to return to IPL on January 4th unless a parent contacts the school and requests continued RL. Please understand that circumstances may change between now and January 4th. If we need to be in RL right after break we would send that notice as soon as possible to also include a planning day for staff with no RL instruction.
I urge all of us in the Tonica Learning community to practice social distancing and follow the Centers for Disease Control and IDPH COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Over break if your child exhibits any one symptom of COVID-19, has a household member exhibiting a symptom, or if there is a positive test result in the household needs to contact the school over break so we review the IDPH guidelines regarding school. Email Mark Zimmer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for our very successful school year thus far, have a safe, healthy and enjoyable break and see you all in 2021.
Mr. Charles Schneider, Superintendent