May 2, 2020
Dear Rich Township Students, Families, and Staff:
As we enter the final month of the 2019-20 school year, I would like to extend my gratitude to those who have continued to support our students and community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our faculty and staff have shown an incredible amount of creativity and dedication to serving our students through our remote learning plan, our emergency food service program, and access to socio-emotional resources. Additionally, I would like to thank our families for their patience, understanding, and support as we continue to navigate through these difficult times.
Effective May 1, all Illinoisans are required to wear a mask when entering public spaces where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. The CDC recommends everyone over the age of two to wear face coverings in public. Governor Pritzker also issued a modified stay-at-home order today that lifts some restrictions for businesses and parks, which you can read HERE.
We will continue to update you with all the changes throughout District 227 as it relates to end-of-year events and activities, personal item retrieval, and important information regarding the 2020-21 school year. Please read the following communication in its entirety for additional updates.
As I have previously stated, we are working to ensure that our senior class has an opportunity to be celebrated and commemorated through a modified or virtual graduation and prom. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced this week that in-person graduation ceremonies of any kind are not allowed at this time. This directive extends to drive-through graduation ceremonies or events where students come in small groups to the school or another location for a photo or to walk across a stage. In accordance with the recent guidance from ISBE, we will continue to plan for a modified or virtual graduation and prom.
Next week, we will provide a detailed timeline for our graduating seniors with important information and key dates. As a reminder, the last day of senior classes is Friday, May 8.
We know that you are experiencing transitions in your learning right now, and we are proud as a school community of the way you have adapted during these times. As we prepare for the last month of remote learning, we want to encourage our students, and families to continue to engage in instruction every day.
Our students have been benefitting from the multiple opportunities to improve their skills.
Click HERE to view the May 2020 Remote Learning calendar.
As we enter the third calendar month of the stay-at-home order and continue to adjust to what is now considered the “new normal”, I would like to share some helpful tips to help keep students on track for academic success.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person AP exams have been canceled, and the College Board is offering the opportunity for students to take AP tests at home instead. Testing will begin on Monday, May 11 through Friday, May 22.
Click HERE for updated information from regarding the exam expectations, exam schedule, exam features and timing, and exam security. AP teachers will be sharing this information with their classes.
Personal Item Pick-Up and Drop-Off
When Governor Pritzker announced on March 13 that all Illinois schools were to close to help contain the spread of coronavirus, none of us could have imagined the extent of the closure. Due to the abrupt closing of our schools, many students have items and books remaining in their lockers. Students also must return books or other items before the conclusion of the school year.
Students will be assigned specific days and times to retrieve their belongings and drop off books and other items. Building administrators will contact students directly with their particular date and time.
The dates for student pick-up and drop-off are:
Student Schedule (No Mondays)
• May 12 – May 15
• May 19 – May 22
In an effort the reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and adhere to social distancing guidelines, students will not be allowed into the building.
Cap and Gown Distribution
Graduating seniors will pick up their cap and gown on the same date as the item retrieval and drop off out to reduce the number of times students interact with school personnel. Building administrators will contact the seniors directly with their particular date and time.
Our food service staff has been working tirelessly to prepare and serve food to the families in our communities. Meals will continue to be provided to all Rich Township High School students and families, Monday, May 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Rich East High School. Parents will be given five days' worth of breakfast and lunch.
Meals will be distributed at Rich East High School ONLY. Meals will not be served at Rich Central and Rich South High School campuses.
Please use the driveway off Westwood Drive in front of the school. You do not need to exit your car; the food will be brought to you.
Meals will be distributed on Monday, May 11 and May 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Rich East High School ONLY. In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no food service on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Additional Food Service Resources
Please see the below table for additional local food distribution sites. Township boundary restrictions may apply.
For information about other food service sites, you may visit the interactive map at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.
On February 18, the Board of Education approved the new 2020-21 school boundaries effective beginning July 1, 2020. The new school boundaries are important because 9th and 10th grade students will attend schools based on their address. However, 11th and 12th grade students will attend schools based on their pathways. Specifically, the upper-class students interested in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathway will attend the STEM campus (currently Rich Central). Conversely, students that want to pursue fine arts, business and communications will attend the Fine Arts and Communications campus (currently Rich South).
If you are interested in knowing the school that your child will attend next school year, you may enter your street address into the interactive map below:
You may also view the interactive map on our website be clicking on the “about us” tab on our main page.
Historical Artifact Preservation
When the District 227 Board of Education decided to consolidate schools and athletic programs, we recognized the importance for the preserving the history of Rich Central, Rich East, and Rich South High Schools. We have developed and continue to refine our plans to preserve the historical artifacts in a way to honor the hardworking students, staff, alumni, and community members that laid the foundation for the next generation.
We will not discard of ANY trophies, plaques, awards, pictures, banners, or branded items that tells our story.
We are considering various options to provide students, alumni, and community members with the opportunity to purchase branded apparel and other items. Further information regarding this will be forthcoming.
Please note: Plaques and trophies will not be sold as we determine the best way to display them.
Building and Grounds
Our Buildings and Grounds team continues to conduct deep cleanings of all district buildings and technology, which follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The two-step process for cleaning and disinfecting includes wiping and cleaning all surfaces, and the use of an electrolyzed water and mineral solution, which creates a highly functional sanitizer and disinfectant that is applied through a misting machine used by the custodial staff.
These past few weeks have proved that we are, indeed, stronger together. We will continue to update you as new information is received on this ever-evolving basis as it relates to end-of-year activities, remote learning, and important upcoming dates.
You may also follow us on social media:
- Facebook: @District227
- Twitter: @District227 @DrJohnnieThomas
- Instagram: @district227_
- Resource Hub: COVID-19 resource hub on our district website: http://www.rich227.org/COVID-19Updates.aspx
- Illinois State Board of Education: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/covid19.aspx
Please stay safe, strong, and healthy. Once again, thank you for your support, understanding, and patience as we continue to navigate these challenging times.
Dr. Johnnie Thomas