March 18, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

Thank you so much for what you have been doing to help keep your children's learning on track during this global crisis. We are all balancing so much in our lives right now, and your partnership with New Trier has never been more important or more valued.

Today we sent the following note to all students through their Canvas account after hearing some common questions from them and from you over the past few days. Guidance from our state health and education officials is ever-evolving, and we are doing our best to keep up. There are two important messages below: 1) Student learning happening now is important; and 2) Students need to help our community by practicing social distancing. 

We are having a virtual all-staff meeting tomorrow afternoon (a first!), and I expect to have more information to share with you either late tomorrow or early Friday, particularly about our plans after spring break. Please remember that our COVID-19 web page is frequently updated and is your best source for information specific to New Trier, particularly as our email system experiences delays.

Dr. Paul Sally
Superintendent, New Trier High School

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Dear Students,

First, thank you for all the work you have been doing to make the start of Trevian Remote Learning a positive experience. Advisers and teachers are proud of your engagement, patience, and flexibility during this transition to online learning. This note will answer some of the questions we have heard from students so far. Please regularly check our COVID-19 web page for the latest updates on our school closure, event postponements or cancellations, FAQs, and other information. 

We also want to speak directly with all of you about how important it is for students to abide by social distancing. That means you should not be physically getting together in groups - no study groups, hanging out at each other's houses, etc. We encourage you to stay connected through various programs and apps. We know it's hard. Your parents know it's hard. But please make it happen for at least the next two weeks so we can "flatten the curve" and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

Again, thanks for all you do and Go Trevs!  

Q: Do Trevian Remote Learning Days count as school days or not? 

A: The Governor has called the period from March 17-30  "Act of God" days, which means they don't count toward state attendance records and do not have to be made up at the end of the year. However, the state has made it clear that schools can run remote learning classes during this time and should do their best to keep students' education moving forward. Our Trevian Remote Learning Days are meant to make sure that you can keep up with your coursework even while you are at home; concepts you are learning now will be important building blocks for continued progress in your classes. 

Q: Will the work I do during Trevian Remote Learning Days affect my grades? 

A: The Governor's guidance is that work assigned during the mandated closure of March 17-30 can be graded but will only count if it helps a student's overall grade. Right now, that guidance applies only through March 30. The state has not indicated what rules may be in place for grades if schools need to be closed for an extended period, but we expect that teachers will be able to assign work that can impact grades. All of the work you are doing now, just like the work you would be doing in classes held at school, is important so you can keep up with your courses and be prepared for future work and assessments.  

Q: What should I expect if school is closed beyond spring break? Are we likely to come back to school after spring break? 

A: First, the closure is likely to be extended and we will update you as soon as we know more.  We are waiting to receive more guidance from the state.  As you know, many schools have announced closures for 1 or 2 more weeks than we have.  This week, both teachers and students have set a good foundation for remote learning. When we resume after spring break, I expect the state to allow local schools to have work assigned that can impact grades, and our teachers are ready and have the flexibility to implement assessment and grading fairly. I think everyone realizes that assessments may look different in the coming weeks, but you should expect all of the work you do will move your learning and understanding forward, and some of the work you complete remotely is likely to be assessed in a way that will impact your grade.

Q: Can I provide feedback to the school on the Remote Learning Days?

A: Many of you have already provided feedback to advisers and teachers.  Thank you.  In addition, as a school we will be reaching out to all students and parents to get more feedback.

Q: When will I hear more information from the school? 

A: We are committed to keeping students, parents, and staff updated as often as possible.  We are having a virtual staff meeting tomorrow, and I will update you after that.  A few questions that we will provide answers for are: What about 3rd Quarter grades?; What about long-term assignments that were due last week?  Does the school have contingency plans for honoring our amazing senior class if the closure extends significantly? What will happen to all the events, performances, activities, and competitions that are planned for the rest of the year? Some of the answers, unfortunately, continue to be unclear as we assess the scope of the pandemic in our community, but we promise to communicate important decisions with you as they happen.

Mrs. Dubravec, Winnetka Campus Principal    
Mr. Waechtler, Northfield Campus Principal