March 16, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians of Project ECHO Alternative School and STARQuest Academy,
Thank you for your extraordinary support over the past several days, as we have worked together to protect our communities during the growing Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. To further safeguard Illinois from the spread of virus, Governor JB Pritzker has declared mandatory school closures for all buildings, both public and private, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.
This mandatory closure takes effect Tuesday, March 17. Currently, we are scheduled to reopen on March 31. All days missed due to COVID-19 shall be considered Act of God days and are not required to be made up.
Free breakfast and lunch will be available beginning Tuesday, March 17 for anyone 18 and under. These meals will continue to be available Monday through Friday ending on Monday, March 30:
- Please contact your home school district office or school website for designated times and locations for distribution.
- Meals are for pick up only, Grab n’ Go!
- If you are ill or unable to pick up from the designated pick up areas, please contact your child’s school to make arrangements.
We are committed to keeping students engaged in their learning during this statewide school closure. Teachers are developing educational activities and resources in order to provide a continuity of education. It is our hope to keep students engaged in learning throughout this closure. If you have any questions regarding your student’s work, please email your child’s teacher through TeacherEase or call the school at (618) 983-6628, Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 1:00pm.
Teachers will be in contact with you via phone and emails to ensure that we have the most up to date contact information for you and your students.
We will inform you about mandated state assessment dates (IAR & SAT) when we receive updates from the State Board of Education.
To supplement our services during the Act of God days, the Illinois State Board of Education has compiled a library of resources at www.isbe.net/keeplearning and the teachers ECHO/STARQuest Academy have also attached a list of various resources to keep the students engaged in learning.
Concern over this new virus can make children anxious. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Adults should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. Children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk, so the focus of conversation should be concrete instructions about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Teaching children positive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infections can help reduce anxiety. Please talk with your children about precautions they can take to stay healthy, including these recommendations by the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health:
- Avoid gathering in public places – especially in close proximity or others.
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best, especially if they are visibly dirty. An alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a suitable alternative. Consider showing your children one of these videos about proper handwashing technique: www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are able to stay home. Avoid travel if you can.
- Try to limit who you and your children interact with to the same people you typically are around.
To reduce anxiety students and families should:
- Avoid excessive media coverage of COVID-19.
- Take care of their bodies. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
- Spend time outside – fresh air and exercise is one of the best things you can do over the next few weeks.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with friends or family members. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Use your technology and social media for good purposes-support one another and show that you care for one another.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
We will continue to inform you as quickly as we can about any further changes to school services. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school.
We appreciate our partnership in keeping our students and community safe and healthy.
Lorie LeQuatte, Regional Superintendent of Schools
Educational Resources To Utilize At Home
- Moby Max Information on free services: http://press.mobymax.com/mobymax-to-provide-all-k-8-schools-and-school-districts-closed-by-covid-19-with-free-internet-learning-software
- Share My Lesson: www.sharemylesson.com
- National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/resource-library/?q=&page=1&per_page=25
- Field Museum: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/educators/learning-resources/plantsanimals
- Lesson Planet: https://www.lessonplanet.com/
- The Learning Network: https://www.nytimes.com/section/learning
- Statistics in Schools: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis/2020census/2020-resources.html
- EdEx: https://www.edx.org/
- Global Digital Library: https://www.digitallibrary.io/
- Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Learning Equality: https://learningequality.org/kolibri/
- Many MORE Great Resources—→ https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t3r618pd8MAi6V87dG2D66PtiKoHdHusBpjPKXgm36w/htmlview?sle=true#gid=0
S.T.A.R. Quest Academy – Regional Safe Schools Program is an educational program that provides an off-campus learning environment for disruptive students, age 12-15, in grades 6-8 whose behaviors could result in expulsion, or long-term, or multiple suspensions from school. Students must be administratively transferred from their local schools and must meet at least one of the eligibility criteria. Generally, students are enrolled for the length of the pending expulsion or suspension and then return to their schools.
For more information, please contact:
Mailing Address: PO Box 303, Johnston City, IL 62951
17428 Route 37
Johnston City, IL 62951
1102 W. 10th St.
Metropolis, IL 62995