October 25, 2020

Dear LFHS Parents/Guardians and Students, 

I hope you are well. Thank you to everyone who participated in Parent/Teacher conferences on Thursday. As you know, we implemented a new system to manage our virtual conferences. We have received a lot of feedback and we will continue to build on the positive changes we’ve implemented this year.

There was also an emergency D115 Board of Education meeting on Thursday evening. During the meeting, a decision was made to continue with in-person learning (via our e-Hybrid model/schedule) with freshmen and sophomores only. At this time, juniors and seniors will continue with remote learning. The Board of Education plans to monitor local Covid data and will meet again on Thursday, October 29th to discuss and determine potential adjustments to this plan. 

On-Site Support for Targeted Juniors and Seniors  

We recognize that remote learning is a challenge for some students. The Administration, Core Teams, and Special Education Department members are engaged in a process to identify junior and seniors students who are struggling to learn during remote learning. We are using the following criteria to identify students:

  • Multiple D/F/Is 
  • Low attendance and engagement 
  • Extensive technology challenges and disruptions 
  • Need for additional language, executive functioning, and social and emotional support
  • Requires one-to-one guidance and support to complete assignments 
  • Extreme social disconnection and isolation 

Our goals are to provide a supportive space for students to engage in remote learning, with some targeted support provided throughout the day. 

We are beginning the process of reaching out to junior and senior families to invite students to engage in on-site learning with support. If you feel that your student needs this level of support, please reach out to a member of your student’s Core Team to discuss your student’s needs. 

Core Teams 

Our Educational Services Department continues to be extremely instrumental in providing support to our students, staff, and families. If you need academic, social, or emotional support, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our Core Team members (Counselors, Social Workers, School Psychologists, and Deans) are available and are ready to help. 

In addition to our highly trained staff, students and families may also access the following resources: 

  • Text-A-Tip: Text LAKECO and your message to (844) 823-5323
  • Family Recovery Center Lake Bluff: (847) 457-6730
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1- (800)-273-8255 
  • Provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
  • Lake Forest High School Confidential Reporting Tool
  • Students can also access this resource on their Chromebooks or in the Student Portal of the LFHS Homepage
  • Zacharias: https://zcenter.org/ - (847) 872-7799
  • Provide 24/7 support for sexual abuse

LFHS Covid Notifications 

Since the start of school, we have managed a variety of Covid related situations. At this point, it is a weekly, almost daily, matter that requires our attention throughout the day and into the evenings. On a regular basis, we deal with Covid-positive cases (symptomatic and asymptomatic), close contacts, students and staff who are not feeling well, and situations associated with family members who are not feeling well. Most situations require a thorough investigation, internal risk management and mitigation, and communication with families, staff, and the Lake County Health Department. Even though we have had students and staff test positive for Covid, we have no (zero) known cases of in-building transmission at LFHS.

Our health and safety protocols have assisted with our ability to respond to situations in an efficient and effective manner. They have also provided us with a level of confidence in the things that we can control. 

We have made great strides in our Covid notification communication since last March. We have continued to learn a lot and are constantly navigating updates to the guidance. We are still working to improve our communication, especially in situations where there are multiple siblings in the school and in the case that a class is notified regarding a Covid-related situation and there are students who have selected remote who also receive the notification. As we work through these nuances, we appreciate your requests for clarification and your feedback regarding our communication. It is assisting us with narrowing our communication efforts. 

Sometimes, you may feel that we over communicate. At a time with much concern for everyone’s safety and well-being, we believe that is important to proceed with caution and transparency. 

Thank you to all of our students and parents who have communicated health concerns with us and who have participated in our internal investigations and investigations conducted by the Lake County Health Department. Your participation has assisted us in responding quickly to situations and providing timely communication and support to our students, families, and staff. It has helped us keep more of our students and staff healthy and safe.

Blended/Remote Learning Planning Day - November 18th 

Wednesday, November 18th will serve as our next Blended/Remote Learning Planning Day for LFHS faculty and staff. The Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) has granted Illinois school districts planning days to support blended and remote learning preparation and planning. This will be a non-attendance day for all students. 

Special Schedule for the Week of November 23rd (Thanksgiving Week)

  • November 23 - 24 (Thanksgiving) - We will have a Gold/Blue day on November 23 and 24. Both days will be remote learning days. 
  • Week of November 23rd Schedule (Color/BW)
Upcoming Weekly Overview

October 26 - 30
Regular e-Hybrid Schedule (Color/BW)

November 2 - 6
Special Weekly Schedule (Color/BW)
  • Non-attendance day for students and staff on November 3 (Election Day)

November 9 - 13
Regular e-Hybrid Schedule (Color/BW)

November 16 - 20
Regular e-Hybrid Schedule (Color/BW)
  • Non-student attendance day on November 18 (Planning day for faculty/staff) 

November 23 - 27
Special Weekly Schedule (Color/BW)
  • All remote learning due to a two day week (Thanksgiving Break) 
Extracurricular Activities

We will maintain our efforts to support student connection through our extracurricular offerings during the adaptive pause. Students are encouraged to reach out to the Athletic Department or our Student Activities Director to identify opportunities to participate. If you notice that your student seems disconnected or isolated, please feel free to reach out to us regarding opportunities for your student to engage and connect. We are ready to help. 

Athletic Director - Mr. Tim Burkhalter (tburkhalter@lfschools.net) 
Assistant Athletic Director - Mr. Dan Vosnos (dvosnos@lfschools.net
Student Activities Director - Ms. Ashleigh Malec (amalec@lfschools.net)

Special Student Events 

We are working to create opportunities for students to connect with each other in meaningful ways. We are also in the process of organizing different social events and activities for students to enjoy, such as the Student Council’s Fall Festival held on October 31st from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Thank you to all of our students who are partnering with us to create and organize our special events. Please check our daily student announcements, our website, and your emails to learn about a variety of upcoming opportunities. 

In closing, I will continue to provide regular updates to you, as we continue to navigate this ongoing time of change and uncertainty together. I’m looking forward to staying connected in support of our students and each other. 

Dr. Chala Holland
LFHS Principal