Dear IMSA Family,
Today I am sharing with you my third update on the status of IMSA since March 17, 2020. As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off-campus, and the intellectual and social engagement of our students. We are taking decisive, informed action to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the continuity of our educational mission.
Recognizing the financial impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on our IMSA families, we will be prorating student fees to reflect the reduced extracurricular offerings as a result of our campus closure. For those families doing installment payments, we will be disabling the April and May payments so you will not see those charges. For families that have paid in full, you will receive a refund for April and May fees prorated in the same manner. We will be finalizing the process for stop payments and refunds in the coming days.
In the same vein, we have established the IMSA Emergency Student Relief Fund.
With this fund, we hope to provide emergency financial assistance to low-income student families for essential expenses as well as access to technology for remote learning.
Our goal is to ensure that every student in our community can continue to experience IMSA’s robust educational program from home, regardless of their financial situation. Please join us by visiting
IMSA’s Emergency Student Relief Fund
to learn more and to make your donation now.
It is business as usual (albeit far from ordinary circumstances) for IMSA employees, staff, including faculty, RC’s, counselors, etc., who are working remotely. Prior to beginning remote working, we tested our systems in advance of this current situation to ensure that we could operate from remote locations for as long as necessary. All staff who are able to work remotely are doing so. Additionally, we continue to pay our staff whose role prevents them from working remotely. Engagement is very high. We held a Zoom Town Hall Meeting for staff, including faculty, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and were joined by 171 staff members. Our highest attendance ever at a Town Hall.
We are still discussing the future of summer activities and events, including commencement, and will share decisions with you by next Friday, April 3, 2020. Also, as a reminder, remote learning and working is in effect until the end of the Spring Academic year.
From an outreach perspective, IMSA's Center for Teaching and Learning is offering a virtual "
Ask A Specialist" program
by appointment for parents, teachers and students across the state to get one on one help with content questions, remote teaching strategies/tools, parent as teacher support, and any other needs. This PreK-12 service will allow parents to reach out and ask questions about how to help their child with the school work. Hours of operation are from 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. In addition,
IMSA "Snack Boxes"
have been developed by grade level bands to provide STEM lessons and activities that have been vetted and are free to anyone. This resource has pulled together the hundreds of sites and resources that different organizations are now offering. A new
will be available each week, and all of the previous weeks will be available linked in an archive.
As a final note, I want to make you aware of a dedicated helpline that has been created by the State of Illinois to help families connect with child care resources and referral agencies for emergency child care. The toll-free number is (888) 228-1146.
Please continue to take good care of yourselves and each other. We’re all in this together.
José M. Torres, Ph.D.