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Weekly Update from Superintendent Heid: August 18, 2017

Parents and Guardians,

I trust that you and your child have had an excellent start to the school year.

There will always be some issues that require resolution, especially at the beginning of a new year. I want to thank you for your patience while your particular issue is addressed.

Transportation:

Our pick-up and delivery times continue to improve. Our transportation team worked throughout the week to load “alternate” delivery requests (e.g. after school care provider) to ensure they will be reflected in Infinite Campus (IC) and that new routes will be ready for Monday, August 21st. Please check IC to ensure that the changes are accurate and please review any changes with your child. If there is an error please contact Mrs. Donna Bordsen at 847-551-8300 or via email at Donna.Bordsen@d300.org

Westfield families - Longmeadow Parkway construction will be beginning additional concrete work along Sleepy Hollow Road. This phase of the project will result in some lane/road closures as “concrete will be placed on Longmeadow between White Chapel and Sleepy Hollow (starting August 18th).  No traffic will be allowed [northbound] on White Chapel after 6 AM, for the next few weeks (source: The Village of Algonquin).” Obviously, this will result in some traffic delays. We will provide an update as new information becomes available. 

Chromebooks: 

We successfully deployed Chromebooks to our students in grades 1-12 this week. Students have been working to reset their passwords and complete the Chromebook Academy. The academy includes information on courses, content, internet safety, our Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP), the process to request access to a blocked application, and how to request assistance.

Eclipse Update:

Please recall that only students in grades 5-12 will be allowed to participate in the actual viewing of the solar eclipse. As a reminder, I have copied some of the information from my message to you from August 8th.

Student safety is our highest priority and District 300 is taking precautions to ensure the student safety on August 21. Precautions include:

  •  All physical education classes (K-12) will be held indoors, regardless of the time period.
  • Outdoor athletic practices, marching band, and other events will be delayed until after 3:30 p.m. Practices may begin indoors or coaches/instructors may opt to cancel practice if proper advanced notification is provided to students and families.
  • While classes are not to hold outdoor events on August 21, teachers who choose to incorporate the partial eclipse into their lessons may take classrooms outside to observe the solar eclipse so long as:
  1. Teachers obtain a parent-signed permission slip for students to participate in the eclipse event. Please know that this is an “opt out” form which means that a student must return the form in order to be excluded. 
  2. Teachers follow the safety guidelines from NASA and or other approved agencies.
  3. Teachers provide the proper safety eye-ware for students to watch the eclipse. The district is providing approved glasses for students and staff to use during the partial eclipse.
  4. Teachers connect the eclipse event to a lesson taught in advance of the eclipse. The lesson(s) and activities will discuss the relevance and history of the Great American Eclipse as well as all safety precautions to observe when watching the eclipse. 

Community Events:

The DeKalb Public Library, in conjunction with STEM Outreach from Northern Illinois University, have planned free events for the community.  The events for all ages to celebrate the Great American Eclipse are:

  • August 18, 6:30p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Nature of Light - an interactive demonstration program for all ages at the library.
  • August 21, noon - 2:30 p.m. - Community Solar Eclipse Viewing in collaboration with NIU's Department of Physics and the Society for Physics Students, at NIU's Davis Hall Observatory and telescopes in the fountain court just east of Davis Hall (weather permitting). Parking available for $5 in the Visitors Lot off of Carroll Ave.
  • August 21, 6:30 p.m. - STEM Cafe: The Mystique of the Solar Eclipse: Superstitions and Myths for Adults and History Buffs, Two Brother's Roundhouse, 205 N Broadway, Aurora.:

Dismissal on Monday:

The partial eclipse will not end until approximately 2:40 pm. As such, elementary students will follow a staggered dismissal process. Car and bus riders will be held indoors until their bus or car arrives. This will delay student pick up in the car rider lanes and impact all bus routes. Walkers and bike riders will be dismissed normally.

I am asking for your assistance in reminding students about safety when not wearing glasses. Sun glasses will not protect a student from harmful UV rays. However, students are safe so long as they do not stare/look at the partial eclipse. In addition, staff at Staerkel Planetarium have confirmed that by dismissal, the sun will be between 60% to 70% of its normal status, and students will not be able to stare at the sun directly due to its brightness. 

If you are concerned, please work with your school to make arrangements for your child to participate after school with Circle of Friends or to make alternative arrangements to be picked up. 

Glasses:

We sourced our glasses from LUNT Solar Systems. This vendor provides a high-quality product and is one of The American Astrological Society’s reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers. Knowing that some of you may have purchased your own glasses here is the complete list of recommended sources: 

·       American Paper Optics (Eclipser) / EclipseGlasses.com / 3dglassesonline.com

·       APM Telescopes (Sunfilter Glasses)

·       Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film)

·       Celestron (EclipSmart Glasses & Viewers)

·       DayStar (Solar Glasses)

·       Welding filters with shade 12 or higher 

·       Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses)

·       Lunt Solar Systems (SUNsafe SUNglasses)

·       Meade Instruments (EclipseView Glasses & Viewers)

·       Rainbow Symphony (Eclipse Shades)

·       Seymour Solar (Helios Glasses)

·       Thousand Oaks Optical (Silver-Black Polymer & SolarLite)

·       TSE 17 (Solar Filter Foil)

Student Participation:

As I shared in my original email, staff participation was voluntary and based upon their comfort and appropriateness of the activity. Below is a summary by school level for your reference. 

  • Elementary School – Students in 5th grade will participate in the outdoor viewing.
  •  Middle School – All students will participate. However, grades/teams will rotate outside and students will not be outside for the entire partial eclipse event.
  • High School – Students will participate through their science classes.

We are unable to expand the opportunity beyond the present schedule. We ordered final quantities based upon the number of classes that indicated they would participate as our vendor could not support our request for 21,000 glasses.   

Absences for the Eclipse:

The state establishes guidelines pertaining to absences. While a child’s absence on Monday, August 21st may not be classified as “excused,” they will not be penalized academically for missing the day or the afternoon. 

As a parent, I understand that there will be times that you feel that your family’s participation in an event outside of school is valuable and necessary. We respect those decisions and while the absence may be marked as “unexcused” there are ways to ensure that a student is not penalized academically. In most instances, you can notify the school to work with teachers and inform them of a prearranged absence. When this occurs, our staff may work to provide an alternative assignment or allow the students to complete assignments within a specific period of time upon their return.

 

District Office
Phone: 847-551-8300
Fax: 847-551-8413
Community Unit School District 300

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2550 Harnish Drive
Algonquin, IL 60102
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