Please Note: This Illinois Schools Step Up Toolkit was updated 3.20.20. We added a stay at home template letter, new letters from superintendents to families, a list of phone numbers for food banks across the state and more continuity of education resources.
Dear IASA Member, 

The need to communicate with your community and staff during this unprecedented time is critical as we navigate through this period together.

To support your communication efforts, the IASA COVID-19 Swat Team has created a new Communications Toolkit that includes template letters of communication messages created by school districts, resources to assist with helping provide a continuity of education and other tools that might be helpful during this time.

In addition to helping you with communications, these letters are also a valuable resource to let you know the various ways your peers across the state are stepping up to serve students, as well how they are handling operational matters within their district.

We recognize this toolkit does not include as many school districts as we would have preferred. However, consider this a living toolkit that we will continue to update as more letters and information become available and as the situation evolves.

If your district has created a letter that would be valuable to share with your peers or you want to share resources to add to the toolkit, do not hesitate to email Jason Nevel at IASA .
Stay at Home Template Letter
On Friday March 20, Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order for residents to stay at home and to postpone the reopening date for schools. Click the link below to access the template letter. The document is in view only and you will need to copy and paste into a new document in order to edit. A Spanish and English version is available.
Letters and Messages Superintendents are Sharing
Communicating With School Families About School Closure
Click on the link to view letters superintendents across the state are sharing with their school families about closure plans.
Communicating with Families About Continuing Education
Whether your district has an e-learning plan or not, many school leaders are sending home letters to families about ways to continue education away from school. Click the link to view letters about how schools plan to continue education with students.
Communicating with Staff
Superintendents need to be in regular communication with staff during this unprecedented time. See messages created by your peers.
Communicating with Your Board
Superintendents will need to present COVID-19 plans at a Board of Education Meeting. Here are some examples of presentations created by Illinois superintendents.
Communicating with Students About What's Happening
In addition to sending letters to families, superintendents can send messages directly to students who are experiencing a lot of emotions due to the cancellation of school and extra-curricular activities.
Communicating with Families About Food/Resources
Schools across the state are making sure students in their communities are not going hungry. See how districts are sharing information about where and how food will be provided.
Or do you need a phone number for food banks and soup kitchens across the state. Click Here for a complete list.
Just looking for a template to send a message to families, students or community members? Smore has made templates available for free to educators to help communicate. Click Here
If you are in need of overall guidance on how to handle communications related to COVID-19, the National School Public Relations Association has released a guide. Click Here
Template Letter if Student/Parent Tests Positive
If a student in your district, or possibly county, tests positive for COVID-19, superintendents will want to send out a letter notifying parents. Here is a template to use for that situation.
School District COVID-19 Web Pages
Here are a few examples of how school districts across the state have set up web pages dedicated to sharing updates about COVID-19.
COVID-19: Who to call about testing?
The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a one-page flyer that has information that can be shared with your community about steps to take if someone has questions about COVID-19, what to do if they believe they have respiratory symptoms and who to call if they need medical attention.

In addition, mobile testing sites are being set up in communities across the state. To determine if mobile testing for COVID-19 has been set up in your community contact your local public health department and nearest hospital.
To help schools continue to offer some continuity of education for students, a number of electronic resources are available. This list is not exhaustive and will be updated as we become aware of more tools and resources available to educators.
Illinois Resources
Teacher/School Resources
Education Websites
News Articles