Strategies to Deal with Realities
In response to feedback in a survey shared with IASA membership last month, the IASA COVID-19 Transition Team has scheduled a series of virtual meetings via Zoom on December 17, January 6 and January 11 to allow members to share concerns, ask questions, learn strategies to deal with realities and help shape advocacy efforts on key issues schools face moving forward. 
This past summer, IASA provided a listing of COVID-19 Back to School Resources in the August issue of Leadership Matters. One of those resources was UV-C disinfection technology through R-Zero. We are pleased to introduce R-Zero as a new IASA School Service Member. Click Here to learn more.
POC Testing and CLIA Waiver: Webinar and Podcast
IASA hosted a webinar with Gower 62 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Victor Simon, on Monday, December 7th. Gower has had a full-day, full student body, in-person learning model in place since August 21st, and the district is currently utilizing COVID-19 point of care rapid antibody and point of care rapid antigen tests on-site that are carried out by district staff with some early success. The district has also deployed an at-home, saliva based (rRT-PCR) test kits, which are analyzed off-site. Participants received an email with materials and links referenced in the webinar. The Gower School District's Return to School webpage is another resource where these materials have been posted as a way to share with colleagues interested in developing an on-site testing program of their own.

On Monday December 14, IASA recorded a follow-up podcast with Dr. Simon and Dr. Paul O'Malley , superintendent of Butler SD #53. Click Here to listen to the podcast.
COVID-19 Testing Kits
In response to feedback from members, IASA met with suppliers to see if there was a way to provide COVID-19 testing kits to schools across the state at an affordable price.

We want to share information for you to consider about one way your district can acquire COVID-19 tests to help keep students and staff safe in your buildings. The document linked below, "COVID-19 Testing Strategies," includes information from the supplier about testing options, pricing, testing scenarios and implementation.

A website has also been set up specifically for Illinois school districts as a portal to to purchase testing kits. An email address is also linked below if you have questions for the supplier after visiting the website.
Template Letters
The following are template letters to help with communications to families.
IASA Podcasts
Throughout the pandemic, IASA has recorded numerous podcasts to help superintendents navigate challenging times.
Here is the Return to Learn Parent Survey referenced in the podcast with Dr. Mary Henderson.
Information about N95 and KN95 masks
IASA shared information with superintendents from a supplier about the availability of N95 and KN95 masks. Click the link to learn more.
IASA is fortunate to have two superintendents on the Evidence-Based Funding Professional Review Panel. One of the superintendents on the panel, Gary Tipsord at LeRoy CUSD #2, created a short Q&A to help address the most pressing questions you might have about funding and EBF. CLICK HERE to read the document.
Fighting COVID: Resources for Schools
Here are some products to consider that could help districts save money keeping classrooms disinfected. Also, check out some options if your district wants to pursue COVID-19 testing.
Illinois Schools Step Up Webinar Series
In this three-part series, hear firsthand from Illinois superintendents who are leading full in-person, hybrid and full remote options this year. Each session features four superintendents from different geographical regions of the state discussing their district's in-person, remote or hybrid model.
In her weekly I on PD message, Dr. Courtney Orzel wrote on August 24 about the importance of relationships and how the best leaders are the ones who can leave their egos at the door. Click Here to read the message.
The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement has assembled COVID-19 resources to help schools support students during the pandemic. Click Here for sample scripts for teachers to use and other presentations and materials that can help your staff better support the mental health of students.
Reopening School Talking Points
As leaders of school districts, superintendents are often charged with answering questions from the media and community members. To help superintendents be prepared for these questions, the IASA COVID-19 Transition Team has created a series of talking points to consider to help respond to questions.
The IASA Board of Directors sent a message to administrators across the state on 7.23.20 encouraging school leaders to not face the challenges ahead alone. Click Here to read the message.
IASA, IEA and University of Chicago partner on COVID-19 Webinar series
COVID-19 for Educators is a series of four weekly videoconference sessions focused on providing educators across Illinois with up-to- date information about COVID-19 and best practices to consider in the re-opening of schools. Each 75-minute session will include a brief didactic lecture (different topic each week) by Dr. Daniel Johnson, Director of ECHO-Chicago and Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Click the links below to watch webinars recorded on July 23. Webinars are also scheduled for July 30, August 6 and August 13. Seats for these webinars are reserved for districts served by the IEA. Contact the IEA for registration information.
IASA legal services are expanding and IASA podcast is growing! We recently introduced the IASA Legal Podcast. IASA General Counsel Chad Watkins interviews school attorneys on critical legal issues facing schools. First topic is school liability in COVID era. We speak to attorney Dawn Hinkle of Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga, LLC.
IASA has partnered with CrisisGo for years on technology school districts can utilize to improve school safety. In response to new IDPH guidelines for the 2020-21 school year, we asked CrisisGo to develop a tool districts can use to assist with the pre-certification of staff and student temperatures and help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Click the link to learn more about the new CrisisGo’s Safety iPass.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released guidance for school re-entry. Click Here to read the document.
IASA, IPA, IASBO Joint Framework
To help school leaders in their efforts to develop a planning framework for the 2020-21 school year, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials and Illinois Principals Association have developed a new document to help plan for new challenges caused by COVID-19.
ISBE Transition Guidance and Template Letter
The Illinois State Board of Education released guidance about the 2020-21 school year. The link below is to a template letter you can use to communicate with your staff and families about the announcement. The letter is in "View Only" mode and you will need to copy and paste into a new document to modify.
The IHSA released a draft of Phase 4 Return to Play guidelines allowing IHSA teams to gather in groups of 50 coaches and students or less to conduct practices or contests. CLICK HERE to read the document.
PPE Guidance
The Illinois State Board of Education has released a chart with guidance for PPE usage.
IASA recorded two podcasts on planning and the availability of PPE in the fall with two purchasing cooperatives: Schools of Illinois Public Cooperative and BuyBoard.
IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark sent a message to members on May 14, 2020 in regards to the purchase of PPE and transition plan for the fall. Click Here to read the message.
Podcast on Collective Bargaining
The spread of COVID-19 has created a change in working conditions for educators across Illinois. In this episode, we speak to attorney David Braun of the law firm Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, and IASA Associate Director/General Counsel Chad Watkins, about collective bargaining issues related to remote learning.
Forecast 5: Illinois COVID-19 Financial Planning Webinar
Watch April 15 webinar hosted by Forecast 5 featuring IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark and IASBO Executive Director and CEO Dr. Michael Jacoby on the financial challenges school districts are facing as a result of COVID-19.
IASA Podcast with Dr. Michael Jacoby
Read a transcript or listen to a podcast with IASA Podcast with Dr. Michael Jacoby, Executive Director and CEO of Illinois Association of School Business Officials, on financial planning during COVID-19.
Sprint to Marathon Thinking
The IASA COVID-19 Transition Team has prepared a list of items school leaders should consider to help with future planning in the areas of short-term cash flow, staffing and benefits, contracts, travel, student registration, FY 21 budget preparation and the Census.
Proactive Leadership
As the mandated closure of schools continues, there will likely be new challenges school leaders will have to confront. To help you navigate through this difficult time, the IASA COVID-19 Transition Team has assembled a checklist of questions to begin to think through, as well as resources to help guide leaders through this process.
Emergency Planning: Document and Podcast
As COVID-19 continues to spread and infect more residents across Illinois, schools will be asked to take on additional responsibilities to support their communities. The time has come for superintendents to think more about emergency planning. Read questions school leaders need to be asking now.
#IL Schools Step Up Video
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Illinois: Learning Doesn't Stop Twitter Graphics
Also in Spanish
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IASA COVID-19 Transition Team Reports