April 17, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

By now you have likely heard the news that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all Illinois schools to remain closed for the remainder of this school year. Like you, we are heartbroken that we will not be able to meet with our students in person for the rest of the year. This is not the end to the school year that they or we imagined. I've tried to convey some of what we all are feeling in this brief video message .

We want to assure you that learning and recognition of our students' hard work will continue despite these difficult times. We as a community will get through this together, and we will put our students first as we always do. We already have seen the resilience and creativity of our students, staff, and parents in our new remote learning environment, and we will continue to refine this new way of teaching, learning, and connecting in the weeks to come. We continue to work closely with our sender schools to ensure consistency for families as well as a smooth transition for current 8th grade students. As always, our COVID-19 web page is the best place to find updated information. This note provides the latest information we have about the next few months given the governor's order.

Trevian Remote Learning

We will continue to follow our Blue/Green/Grey Trevian Remote Learning schedule for the remainder of the school year. A calendar for the rest of the year is available on the web page. Pending official approval from the Board of Education, the new last day of school for students will be Friday, June 5. During the week of June 8, staff will be planning for summer school, the reopening of school in August, and modifications to the 2020-2021 1st quarter curriculum to adapt to 4th quarter remote learning.

The remote learning grading processes shared with students and families will remain in effect through the end of the school year. We will not have traditional finals but are working with teachers to determine flexible and meaningful ways to assess learning for the year and provide closure to students. We also will be reviewing feedback from our recent student, parent, and staff surveys to look for ways we can improve remote learning.

Summer School

Summer school will begin as planned on June 15. At this time, we are planning to deliver instruction remotely for academic courses. We will monitor health guidance about our ability to offer in-person instruction at some point during the summer. Students who already have signed up for these courses will receive instructions about their format closer to the beginning of summer classes. Students will still be able to earn credits for graduation requirements, and work will be graded in a typical manner. Registration for summer school courses will continue through May 8 . Some courses are already full, but students may be placed on a wait list. Seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis. To register, please visit the Summer School web page . If you have questions or wish to withdraw your student because of these changes, please email adminservices@nths.net .

We are still reviewing plans for summer athletic and experiential courses. Our ability to run these courses may depend on state guidelines regarding group gatherings as well as our ability to provide meaningful instruction remotely if we cannot hold in-person instruction.

Athletics

New Trier's decisions on athletics are governed by the Illinois High School Association. IHSA has been updating its website , and we expect they will have a new set of FAQs given the governor's order closing schools for the remainder of the school year.

Spring sports coaches are working with our Athletic Department to determine how to honor and celebrate our athletes, particularly senior athletes, with virtual awards ceremonies. They will provide information as it develops.

Events for the Class of 2020

We know that the cancellation of the remainder of the school year is particularly devastating for our seniors, who have been looking forward to the traditions and celebrations that come with the significant milestone of graduating from high school. We will honor our seniors with some special surprises in the coming weeks as well as in person when it is safe to resume large gatherings. Celebrating this class and its accomplishments is important to all of us.

We sent a message to parents and students of the Class of 2020 last week outlining our planning for senior celebrations and events. The governor's order changes those plans in these ways:

  1. We no longer will be able to hold Prom. The dates we had planned fell within the school year and are no longer feasible. We are so sorry to have to cancel this formal dance.
  2. The last day of school for seniors will remain as scheduled, May 21 .
  3. Senior Awards, scheduled for May 28 , will take place virtually. More details to follow.
  4. Commencement cannot take place on May 31 as planned. We plan to mark that original date in a special way and continue to hold out hope that our back-up date of July 12 will allow us to gather together at the Sears Centre. If large gatherings are still prohibited in July, we will hold a virtual commencement on July 12 and will plan a future sendoff for the Class of 2020.

General Events and Activities

All scheduled in-person events and performances for the remainder of the school year will be cancelled or postponed until Fall 2020. As mentioned above, much to our disappointment, we must cancel Prom for this year.

Given a work stoppage at our publisher, we are unable to complete our Trevia yearbooks this school year. We anticipate rescheduling Trevia Day for Fall 2020 to distribute the 2019-2020 yearbooks. We will communicate distribution plans for seniors when we have more details.

Post-High School Planning

Post-high school counselors continue to schedule virtual meetings with families of juniors and seniors. Please check the Post-High School Counseling Updates page for information specific to the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. In addition, our Testing Updates page has information on ACT, SAT, and AP testing.

Special Education

All students with IEPs will continue to receive special education services in the remote environment. In the upcoming weeks, your student's case manager will be sending an individualized remote learning plan that has been tailored to meet your child's needs.

Students for whom Extended School Year (ESY) is recommended by the IEP team will be contacted by their case manager no later than the end of May to identify a remote learning plan for those services. For more information regarding special education services for the remainder of the school year, visit the Special Education Updates web page.

Mental Health Resources

In a typical school year, we would connect struggling students with our Social Work Department. The challenges of remote learning, however, have made it difficult to provide support beyond those students who were receiving IEP services prior to our closure. As a result, we have asked local agencies for assistance, and they have offered to help during these challenging times. You can find a list of these agencies and the services that they are providing here .

We know the next few months will not be easy ones. Flexibility and patience will continue to be essential. By banding together to support our students through a very uncertain and unsettling time, we will find strength in each other as a community.

We miss our students immensely, but we hope our schools can continue to provide some structure and connection for our families in the coming months. Please stay well and look for updates from us as we continue to develop our plans for summer and the remainder of the school year.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Sally

Superintendent