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Staff Report
11:09 am CDT March 20, 2020

New Trier will extend its closure through Monday, April 13, to limit the exposure to COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

The high school canceled classes March 13 and began e-learning March 16, although no confirmed COVID-19 cases have been found in the district.

Spring break will go on as scheduled next week, and Monday, March 30, will be staff work and professional development day with no remote learning, according to a letter signed by Superintendent Paul Sally on the school’s website.  

Instruction for students through Trevian Remote Learning will resume on Tuesday, March 31. 

“We continue to be amazed by our students’ commitment to remote learning and their quick adjustment to a new type of instruction,” Sally says in the letter.

There is another staff work and professional development day scheduled for April 13; school officials will follow-up with information as that day approaches. 

“The planned staff work days will allow our faculty time to continue to develop different tools for learning, including videoconferencing, remote assessments and the use of other apps that will keep our students engaged from home,” Sally says. “I would like to acknowledge the hard work, innovation and creativity of our staff and teachers, who had a very short period to completely rethink the way they engage students and are putting those students first even as they balance the needs of their own families.”

The Winnetka Public Schools District 36 has also extended its closure through the end of the day April 13, according to its website. 

  

More information from New Trier High School:

Student Grades

Third quarter grades will be issued in PowerSchool on or near the original timeline, which was shortly after spring break. Please remember these are not grades that will appear on student transcripts; instead they simply indicate progress so far. There will be plenty of time for students to improve grades in the fourth quarter.

Test Make-Ups

For third quarter grades, school officials have asked teachers to not count work that may be waiting for students in the test make-up center. That does not mean they do not need to make up this work; teachers will let students know how to make-up tests in the future or may provide an alternative depending on the subject and the length of the school closure.

Missing Assignments

If students have missing assignments through March 12 that can be made up remotely, they need to submit that work to teachers immediately. Students should work with teachers to see what assignments they need to complete.

Remote Learning Grades and Structure

The governor’s guidance is that work assigned during the mandated closure of March 17-30 can be graded but will only count if it helps a student’s overall grade. Right now, that guidance applies only through March 30. School officials expect flexibility from the state to be able to grade all student assignments and assessments completed remotely after spring break. They are looking at the daily schedule to see how they can help teachers offer real-time instruction (such as Zoom meetings) more regularly with their classes. They should have more information to share about this possibility after spring break.

Events for Seniors

School officials are working to make sure they can appropriately honor senior students, the Class of 2020. Graduating high school and preparing for the next step is an exciting time and deserves celebration. Please know that all scheduling adjustments are tentative based on state and local guidance.

Junior-Senior Prom

They have tentatively rescheduled Prom from Saturday, April 25, to Saturday, May 16, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The original date falls within the Governor’s ban on gatherings of 1,000 or more people through May 1. They will rely on continued guidance from state officials about this new date. Families should not make non-refundable transportation or other plans based on this new date.

Commencement

Right now, Commencement remains as scheduled for Sunday, May 31. They are in contact with the Sears Centre Arena for contingency plans should they need to move that date.

Senior Project

Senior Project is on hold at this time. Ms. Duffy and Mr. Belford will provide more information via email to students who registered.

Other School Events

Coaches, directors, sponsors and leaders are all looking at ways to celebrate the hard work of students who had performances, competitions, banquets and other events scheduled during the school closure. They know it will not be possible to make up all of these events, but they will let you know about any updates as soon as they can.

AP/State SAT Testing

The College Board announced that it is exploring ways to support students in AP classes, including the possibility of taking AP tests at home if needed. Updates are linked on New Trier’s COVID-19 webpage. The State Board of Education has indicated that the federal government is providing waivers for state-mandated assessments. ISBE is still determining the next steps for Illinois.

Feedback

In the coming days, school officials will email students and parents a link to provide them with input on Trevian Remote Learning Days.