Thursday, March 19, 2020
Dear Illinois Superintendents,
This afternoon I shared a
with you outlining our three major priorities during the Pandemic directed school closures and the general impact on society.
As a recap, here are the three priorities for our leadership and planning moving forward:
- Feed and care for the extended safety, health, and welfare of students, families, non-student children, staff, and community at large.
- Communicate clearly; share coherent, organized and controlled messages with your staff, students and community.
- Provide for the continuity of learning in Illinois.
At his press briefing today, Governor Pritzker indicated that, while the schools are closed until March 30, 2020, parents should be prepared in the event that the closure needs to be extended. The Governor plans to have daily briefings.
Our time for preparation is
IASA Recommended Priorities:
- We want to help everyone stay calm and focused.
- We want to prepare to mobilize the IASA Board of Directors for greater and broader communication.
- We want to prepare for the possibility of a longer-term response since the health experts are indicating that COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state and we need to get ready.
- We want to prepare and share consistent and timely messages.
- We want to support the continuity of learning in these changing times.
Priority 1 - General Welfare
- Now is the time to feed and care for the extended safety, health, and welfare of students, families, non-student children, staff, and community at large.
- Now is the time for superintendents and local officials to engage with local EMA- Emergency Management Administration representatives, including representatives from, but not limited to, the local health department, police, fire, hospital, township, community.
- Now is the time for Superintendents & administrative teams to plan for new approaches to this Pandemic as we take care of the communities we serve and ourselves so that we can support others.
- Now is the time to contemplate the need for supporting the community needs with such things as food distribution or healthcare resources.
Priority 2 - Communicate Clearly
- Now is the time for members to review the Illinois Schools Step Up Toolkit and get ready for varied communications.
- Now is the time for all of us to have consistent, timely, and coherent messages.
- Now is the time for us to share daily and weekly communications - stay informed.
Priority 3 - Continue Education
- Now is the time for us to stay in touch and engaged with our families and our students.
- Now is the time for us to plan for new ways to manage and navigate a potential longer-term closure.
- Now is the time for us to get more creative as we plan to keep our students engaged socially and academically.
We're all in this together.