Thursday, January 13, 2022

Feedback please

Your feedback is wanted, needed, and deeply valued!  The Illinois 5Essentials Survey opens today.  This survey is a tool that schools across the state use to gather feedback from families, students, and staff regarding the culture and climate of their school community.  Your feedback is anonymous and completely confidential.  This information is reported out in aggregate as part of our state report card and factors into our overall school rating.  Here is a link to the 5Essentials survey.  Thank you for sharing your insight on this school year to help us learn, grow, and continuously improve.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

We got this!

 “On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” 

- Gregory S. Williams


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Gratitude

 A tremendous thank you to the incredible East Prairie staff!  Our ability to navigate this school year, and support children in their academic learning and emotional wellbeing wouldn’t be possible without the incredible care, creativity, and commitment of our educational team.  This group of exceptional educators has done an outstanding job under some very trying circumstances. 

If you have the opportunity, please take a moment to express your gratitude to someone who supports your child(ren) and family.  Thank you for helping to spread kindness and care!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

2022 Update & Information - school resumes on 1/3

Dear East Prairie families,


We hope the last day of 2021 finds you, and those you love, happy and healthy!  We trust your family has enjoyed the extended time over winter break together, and wish you all the best in the year ahead! 


We are reaching out with additional information headed into the New Year, and looking forward to students resuming in-person learning on Monday, January 3, 2022.  


Health & Safety Remain Our Utmost Priority


We are mindful of the increase in COVID-19 cases resulting from the Omicron variant, considerate of  transmission in our community, and the overall ongoing fears and concerns associated with this Pandemic. Since the Pandemic began, we have remained flexible, agile, and responsive to the needs of the moment. We remain educated on and fully support public health advice.  As policy and guidance change, we have quickly embraced these changes in support of learning for each child, every day.  While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its recommendations for the length of quarantine time for those who test positive or are considered close contacts, please note that this guidance has NOT changed timelines for schools as of today - including staff, faculty, and students.  Schools are continuing to utilize the IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance.  We continue to work closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Skokie Health Department (SHD), and will share with you relevant updates as we move forward.


While we remain confident in our mitigation measures, we also encourage you - out of an abundance of caution - to test your child(ren) prior to their return to school.  While this is certainly not required, it is yet another measure that can be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children, families, staff, and community.  

 

To open our school safely come January 3rd, with guidance from ISBE, IDPH, and SHD we encourage staff, students, and families to:

 - Get vaccinated.  Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging.  Discuss vaccination with your child’s pediatrician.

- Get boosted.  Boosters are critical to combatting new COVID-19 variants and staff, families, and any students already eligible should get boosted. 

- Get tested prior to returning to school on January 3rd.  Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.  However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur.  With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.  The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and testing.  PCR and SHIELD are recommended tests (instead of the RAPID test) because of their higher level of accuracy for detecting COVID transmission.  Given that there may be delays in receiving results, we encourage families to test 2-3 days before January 3rd.  Please find a list of local testing locations at the end of this message.

 

We remain committed to continuing our multiple layers of mitigation in order to support in-person learning:

 

- promoting COVID-19 vaccination (including boosters) for those eligible (see FDA vaccine fact sheet for more information: https://www.fda.gov/media/153717/download)

- consistent and correct use of masks 

- physical distancing

- screening testing and symptomatic testing

- optimal ventilation

- handwashing and respiratory etiquette

- staying home when sick and getting tested

- testing and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine

- routine cleaning with disinfection under certain conditions

- forgoing snack times for the timebeing.

 

SHIELD testing


SHIELD testing will take place the Monday we return from break, January 3rd.  Given ongoing variants and the winter months ahead we will continue to SHIELD test everyone who currently participates.  If you would like to change this status for your child please use the attached form.  If your child is already opted out and you would like them to get tested, please reach out to Nurse Hannah (hsahyouni@eps73.net).  


Thank you for keeping your child home if they have symptoms or are not feeling well.  The ongoing diligence of our community will help to keep everyone safe and in-school.  


Looking Ahead  


We will continue to prioritize health and safety protocols, as well as, constant communication as we enter another phase of the pandemic.  School and district offices will reopen on Monday, January 3rd.  We look forward to welcoming our students back for in-person learning on this day as well.


Please reach out to our team with any questions or if there is anything that we can do to support your child(ren) or family at this time.  Whatever 2022 has in store for us, we are confident that we will continue to rise to the challenge, and do our best to learn, grow, and have some fun along the way!


In partnership,


The East Prairie team


COVID testing is available at the following locations: 

- Prism Health Holiday Inn Skokie Clinic 5300 W. Touhy Av., Skokie 224-420-9639 

- COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing at Walgreens (appointment required) 5600 W. Touhy Av., Niles 847-588-1704 

- PCR COVID-19 Testing 7514 Skokie Boulevard #7, Skokie 847-530-4994 

- Skokie COVID Test Center 3941 Oakton Street, Skokie 847-410-7385 

- PCR Testing Skokie Medical Laboratory 8305 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie 847-983-8856 

- FREE COVID Care (directory of testing locations) 

- Illinois Department of Public Health (List of all testing sites) 

- Skokie Health Department (List of all testing sites)

Friday, December 17, 2021

Looking Back, Looking Forward

 Despite every hardship this past year, our East Prairie community has committed itself to transforming our school to fully serve the unique needs of every child.  With an open heart and open mind, we have taken significant steps to work together in new ways that more fully support kids, families, staff, and our entire school community!  We have developed and refined systems, structures, practices, and mindsets that are supportive of learning, relationships, and kids!  And while not easy, it has certainly been impactful!

We head into 2022, prepared for the unexpected and with a continued commitment to excellence.  With case levels again rising, a new variant upon us, and ongoing stress, strain, and mental health crises across our society we know how important our collective work is.  We remain dedicated to upholding healthy and safety procedures that ensure the wellbeing of our kids, staff, families, and community.  We will continue to prioritize relationships, connection, and explicit instruction of tools and strategies to support emotional health and wellbeing.  All of this while continuing to live our mission and “ensure the highest levels of learning” for all.

Again, thank you for your commitment, care, and above all trust each day to make this our reality.  We hope that Winter Break provides your family the opportunity to hit pause, rest, and recharge.  We hope each day is filled with much happiness and time with those closest to you.  Whatever 2022 has in store for us, we are confident that we will continue to rise to the challenge, and do our best to learn, grow, and have some fun along the way!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Superintendent's Day!

Student Council wanted to honor Dr. Goldberg, so they created our very own Superintendent's Day (there is no formal one like there is for principals and school boards!) to surprise him.  The kids were most excited to not only celebrate Dr. Goldberg, but to also see inside his office :)

Thank you Dr. Goldberg for your commitment to and care for the kids, families, teachers, staff, and community of East Prairie!