COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 4/20)
Posted on 03/20/2020

Waukegan Public Schools COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated:  April 20, 2020


Waukegan Public Schools has prepared the following questions and answers to share with its families, staff members and interested community members drawing from individual inquiries received to date.  Please note that any of the answers provided may change at any time based on subsequent public health events and local, state, and federal guidance or orders. We will be updating this document periodically. 


An additional document for staff with questions related to compensation has been developed. Please note: The District is following its regular pay practices during its closure from March 16, 2020 through April 3, 2020.  


If you have a question, we encourage you to check the FAQ first to see if it already has been answered. If not, you may submit your question here.  



GENERAL QUESTIONS


Q: What day are schools going to reopen? 

A: On April 17 Gov. Pritzker announced that schools across the state will be closed for the reminder of the 2019-2020 school year.
Updated: April 20, 2020 


Q: How will we be notified about additional changes to schedules or important information?

A: The District will continue to notify families and staff of changes to the schedule via our mass communication system. This includes emails, texts and automated phone calls. We also encourage everyone to follow updates on our web page and social media channels.

Updates: April 20, 2020 


Q: Will we have to make up the missed school days? 

A: Based on the March 17, 2020 Joint Statement of the Office of the Governor, the Illinois State Board of Education and other education related organizations, Act of God days will not need to be made up.  However, this could be superseded by a later directive. 

Answered: March 20, 2020

Q: How will Remote Learning look like in District 60?
A: Our Division of Academic Supports and Programs has developed a Remote Learning Site, with information, assignments, resources, and expectations for parents, students and staff to ensure students remain engaged in learning while school cannot be held. Staff had an opportunity to preview the site last week in preparation for Remote Learning Days. The Remote Learning website, which is updated regularly, contains resources, lessons, and activities that will be used during Remote Learning days. These lessons and activities are broken down by grade level and content areas, including core subjects and encore classes. Paper versions of assignments are also being developed. 
Answered: April 6, 2020

Q: How will grading be calculated during Remote Learning?
A: Grading should be done with equity and support. The recommendations on grading are based upon the principle of no educational harm to any child (Pre-K through twelfth grade). The emphasis for schoolwork assigned, reviewed, and completed during the Remote Learning period is on learning, not on compliance. Grading should focus on the continuation of learning and prioritize connectedness and care for students and staff. All students should have the opportunity to redo, make up, or try again to complete, show progress, or attempt to complete work assigned prior to the remote learning period in that time frame. A student’s cumulative grade may improve during remote learning, but should not end lower than the student’s grade on March 13, 2020. During remote learning, incomplete assignments and assessments should be recorded as incomplete rather than 0. No “F or Failing” grades will be assigned during remote learning.
Answered: April 13, 2020

Q How will student attendance be calculated during Remote Learning Days?
A: Remote Learning Days count as student attendance days in the calculation of the school year.  Individual student attendance on these days, however, will not be applied to the school's annual attendance percentage nor towards the student's absenteeism or truancy rate.  It is of great importance that all students participate during these remote learning days to continue their learning and not fall behind in their academic progress. The Office of Student Outreach will conduct well being checks for students who have not participated in 3 or more consecutive days of remote learning in order to determine if a student continues to reside in our district, lacks a device and access to the internet, or has physical and emotional health needs preventing them from participating during this time period. All well being checks will be via call, email, and/or text.  A Google Form will be made available for teachers and administrators to refer students who have not started participating in remote learning or those who have stopped participating. 
Answered: April 13, 2020

Q: How will tech support be provided to students and staff who are having issues with their Chromebooks or district-owned devices?
A: With staff and students relying heavily on technology, our Information Technology team is available to assist with technical support. Staff and students needing assistance with their District-issued computers or Chromebooks can schedule support by following directions outlined here.
Answered: April 13, 2020

Q: How can students that don’t have the school district Chromebook obtain one?
A: Much of the work featured on the site can be completed online. Students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to access the lessons using their District-issued Chromebook devices. To bring much-needed technology to more of our students, our 15 elementary schools are lending Chromebook devices to students. Elementary school parents with questions about technology are encouraged to reach out to their child's principal.
Answered: April 13, 2020

Q: Will the 3rd quarter still end on March 20? How/when will grades be entered? 

A: The third grading quarter has effectively ended. Grades will be entered when we return, and  Parents can expect Q3 report cards following our return. An automated message relaying this information has also been posted in our Parent Portal.

Answered: March 20, 2020


Q: How will the closing of schools affect the school year, the continuation on to the next grade and graduation?

A: At this time, districts are awaiting guidance from the Office of the Governor and Illinois State Board of Education on the impact that school closures will have on a variety of items including but not limited to promotion, graduation, and testing. We will be providing updates as  information becomes available.

Answered: March 20, 2020


Q: What steps is the District taking to clean/sanitize buildings while schools are closed?

A: While schools are closed custodial staff are busy thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces and touchpoints at every building per product recommendations.

Answered: March 20, 2020

Q: What information can be shared about the employee that tested positive for COVID-19?
A: On March 26 the District released a statement about an employee assigned to our administrative office who tested positive. You can read the statement here.
Answered: March 27, 2020



PARENT/ STUDENT QUESTIONS


Q: Where do I go to download my child’s learning packet?

A: Packets are available by grade level on the District’s learning packet web page.

Answered: March 20, 2020 


Q: Can I still pick up packets?

A: Packets can no longer be picked up at your assigned school, but they are available online.

Updated: March 25, 2020


Q: Are the learning packets mandatory for students? 

A: Packets are not mandatory at this time; however, students’ completion of the packet can only sharpen their skills and knowledge and also may improve their grades. Current guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education states that student work completed during the Act of God days can only increase a student’s academic standing.  It cannot negatively impact the student. Therefore, we strongly encourage all students to be sure to complete work in the packets. We are also encouraging parents and students to continue to supplement their learning through reading and other activities related to academics. The Illinois State Board of Education has provided families with a list of additional free resources.

Answered: March 20, 2020 


Q: How can students work on the packets when they download it online?

A: Waukegan High School has additional information on how students can access and complete the work online using their Chromebooks. Click here to access information.  

Answered: March 20, 2020 


Q: Are meals being provided to students during the closure?

A: Yes, meal distribution events are held each week, and are generally announced prior to the week. A current list of 111 distribution sites can be found here.

Updated: April 20, 2020



STAFF QUESTIONS


Q: Does our insurance cover COVID-19 related medical testing?

A: Waukegan Public Schools opted-in to allow PPO, HMO and HSA covered employees and dependents to undergo COVID-19 testing when found medically necessary per CDC guidelines.  As per Blue Cross Blue Shield, testing for COVID-19 that is medically necessary under CDC guidelines will be available with no advance approval; no copay; and no deductible. 

Answered: March 20, 2020

 

Q: How should language liaisons, secretaries, and safety staff submit their hours for Monday (3/16) and Tuesday (3/17)? Form B?

A: All employees asked to work at school sites for education packet distribution on Monday, March 16, 2020 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020 should document their hours on Form B and submit to their building Principal.

Answered: March 20, 2020


Q: Are we able to stop in our classrooms and get personal items and/or class related items so we can continue to work at home while keeping in touch with our students?

A: Only essential staff will be working during this time to prevent disinfected areas from becoming contaminated. Item retrieval events have been set up for March 30- April 1, for staff needing to retrieve items from their classrooms necessary for facilitating remote instruction. Staff with questions should reach out to their principals.

Updated: March 30, 2020


Q: I requested time off during this time prior to school closures.  Will my absences in the Absence Management System be credited/adjusted?

A: The Human Resources Division will make adjustments as needed regarding time off requested.

Answered: March 20, 2020

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