Back-to-School

Updated 9/25/2020

Given the changing nature of state and federal health guidance for schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Trier High School has been developing plans for a number of learning scenarios in the 2020-2021 school year. On August 12, Superintendent Paul Sally presented his Comprehensive Reopening and Operational Plan for 2020-2021 , which includes a Reopening Ladder with steps for different learning scenarios the District may move up or down throughout the year.

New Trier's goal is to have students learning in school as often as possible while providing a safe environment for students and staff.

This page will be updated frequently throughout the summer with the latest information on topics including our new block schedule, health and safety protocols, extracurricular activities, and other important topics. Please note that our planning is fluid, and some plans may change if circumstances change. We also will email families and staff and reach out to students on Canvas with important information during the summer. The Frequently Asked Questions page also will be updated regularly as new questions arise. If you need to update your email address on file, please contact  registrar@nths.net

MESSAGES TO NEW TRIER FAMILES REGARDING BACK-TO-SCHOOL PLANNING

September 25, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

We are pleased to announce that New Trier High School will move to Step 4 on its Reopening Ladder starting Oct. 6, meaning that in-person instruction for 25 percent of students each day will begin as planned on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Please refer to the letter we sent you on Wednesday for all of our return-to-school information, including which days students will attend based on their last names, safety procedures, transportation, lunch, and other information. As a reminder, we post all of these letters on our Back to School page .

Parent Webinar Sept. 30

We invite you to attend a webinar about New Trier's return to in-person instruction hosted by Superintendent Paul Sally, Winnetka Campus Principal Denise Dubravec, and Northfield Campus Principal Paul Waechtler on Wednesday, Sept. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Please register in advance here. The session will be recorded for those who cannot attend.

Abiding by State Health and Safety Guidelines for Activities Outside of School

As we have stated throughout this school year, we are all in this together. In order to be able to keep our campuses open and bring students together for instruction and extracurricular activities, we are relying on the entire New Trier community to maintain safe practices and follow guidelines established by state and local health agencies regarding travel, restrictions on large gatherings, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and quarantining.

We have received several questions regarding our health and safety procedures for students who may be participating in club/travel sports or activities outside of school. We know these activities are important to our students and in many cases are a part of their identity.  The Illinois Department of Public Health  has issued Sports Safety Guidance for three categories of sports/activities: higher risk, medium risk, and lower risk.

At this time, "higher risk" activities can run non-contact drills and training, "medium risk" activities can run intra-team scrimmages, and "lower risk" activities may, if mitigation measures are taken, participate in competitions within their conference, league, or region. Travel outside of Illinois for competitions is prohibited at all risk levels. The New Trier Athletics Department is strictly adhering to these guidelines in determining allowable activities and drills for our student-athletes in different sports on campus. We expect and hope that clubs and travel teams are doing the same.

To come to campus, New Trier students must follow state guidelines related to COVID-19, including the Sports Safety Guidelines. We will be updating our Ruvna health screening process to include questions about sports safety. To be clear: If a student is participating in a club/travel sport or activity that is violating IDPH guidelines, that student may not participate in on-campus instruction, athletics, or extracurricular activities for a two-week quarantine period after their last day of participation. Students can continue to attend classes remotely during any quarantine period.

We recognize that there is disagreement over IDPH's categorization of risk level and allowable activities for different sports. We will follow IDPH's guidance as it changes. As long as a club or team abides by the state's guidelines, students can continue to participate in that activity and still come to school. However, everyone at New Trier must be honest on our health screener and follow the state's COVID-19 health guidelines if we want our campuses to remain open. We have a robust remote learning program, and any family may opt for 100 percent remote learning at any time.

Thank you for helping keep our entire New Trier community safe as we move forward with plans to bring more students back to campus. We hope to see you at our webinar and look forward to welcoming back 25 percent of our students on Oct. 6.

Sincerely,

Paul Sally, Superintendent

_____________________

September 23, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

New Trier is preparing for a potential move to 25 percent hybrid learning beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 6. While that decision will not be finalized until Friday after the Reopening Advisory Board, administration, and Board and Education have reviewed the COVID-19 dashboard for our area , we know our families need time to prepare for a return to school. This letter includes information about safety, logistics, and schedules once in-person learning begins. 

Schedules

The return to school will be gradual to give us time to test and adjust our safety measures. 

Students who have opted for hybrid learning generally will attend school for two consecutive days (a Blue Day/Green Day pairing) every two weeks. The first weeks of this schedule have some challenges with days off, so students in the A-E and F-K schedule do have irregular pairings in this first month. The schedule was developed to balance classrooms, and as it progresses, the days in school for all groups will even out given holidays and other days off.  Assuming that New Trier moves to Step 4 on the Reopening Ladder and stays on that step through early November, the in-person instruction days by first letter of last name will be: 

  • A-E: Oct. 6, 7, 27, 28
  • F-K: Oct. 20, 21; Nov. 2, 4*
  • L-Q: Oct. 8, 9, 22, 23
  • R-Z: Oct. 15, 16, 29, 30

*No in-person pairing Oct. 13-14 because of a mandated state testing day for seniors on Oct. 14; Nov. 3 is Election Day holiday

The District's online calendar will indicate which groups are in person each day. Families of students who have been identified by the District as needing additional support will receive a separate email by the end of this week. 

Transportation

School bus service

Families who opted for school bus service will receive an email on Friday with bus stop, pick-up, and route information. The District will follow up next week with a reminder about safety precautions that students must follow to ride the bus. 

Student parking

Seniors who purchased student parking permits for first semester will receive information about parking next week. Students who do not have permits may park in the South Happ Road parking lot at the Northfield Campus for free and take the shuttle to the Winnetka Campus. 

Shuttle buses

New Trier will run shuttle buses between the two campuses before and after school as well as at times during the school day. A schedule can be found on the Transportation web page . Capacity will be limited, and students must follow safety precautions including wearing a mask at all times to ride the shuttle buses. 

Pace buses

Due to the pandemic, Pace has discontinued its "school day only" service. Some regular routes continue to serve New Trier's campuses. Information is on the Transportation web page and the Pace website.

Lunch Service

New Trier will not offer breakfast service, and lunch service through Quest Food Services will be limited to one grab-and-go lunch bag option per day. Meals must be pre-ordered by 9 a.m. each day. The coffee bar at the Winnetka Campus will be closed. Families need to set up a new account through RevTrak and use www.myschoolaccount.com to pre-order. We will send families a separate email with a unique verification code to set up their accounts. Instructions can be found here. 

Students will swipe in to designated areas on each campus during free periods and lunch periods, and capacity in each area will be limited. Students may remove face coverings only while eating and drinking. 

Ruvna Health Screening and QR Code

Parents will be emailed/texted a unique health screener that they must fill out each morning that their student will be on campus for instruction or extracurriculars . The screener will generate a QR code that must be texted or emailed to students each day for them to present on campus via their phone or iPad. Students must display this code to be allowed on campus. More information is available here.  

Teacher Accommodations

Some teachers with accommodations will continue to teach remotely when hybrid learning begins. In these cases, an adult supervisor will be present in the room to assist with connecting the remote teacher to the classroom and to monitor student behavior. Teachers who will be remote will follow up with individual classes. 

Safety Procedures 

The health and safety of students and staff is New Trier's highest priority. We have made numerous changes at both campuses to protect the health and safety of everyone in our buildings, including upgraded filters in our ventilation system, protective barriers in classrooms and offices, tents and designated areas for lunch and free periods, health screening, signage, and additional safety measures detailed here. 

We need students and families to be vigilant to protect the health and safety of everyone and campus so we can keep school open. This includes: 

  • Wearing a well-fitting mask properly at all times while on campus
  • Staying home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, have traveled to an at-risk state, or have participated in a "higher risk" sport or activity as designated by the IDPH.
  • Being honest on health screening forms. Students who are not honest about symptoms, travel, or activities may be reassigned to 100 percent remote learning and will not be able to participate in on-campus activities. 
  • Completing the COVID-19 course and taking the Trevian Pledge

General Information for On-Campus Days

  • Students should bring headphones or earbuds along with their iPads every day so they can participate in Zoom or other activities with remote classmates. 
  • Students may not come to campus during the school day on their remote days. If they are participating in a sport or extracurricular activity, they should not arrive to campus before that activity begins. 
  • To avoid large groups of students congregating on campus, we ask that students depart school as soon as they are done with their classes, sports, or activities for the day. Students who end their day with a free or lunch period may go home after their last class. 

100 Percent Remote Option

Families may still opt for 100 percent remote learning at any time by filling out our online form . Anyone who already selected this option must remain in remote learning through November 4. Any families who wish to stay with their original selection (hybrid or remote) will not need to do anything to remain in that selection for second quarter. Families who selected 100 percent remote learning first quarter and wish to switch to hybrid for second quarter should email adminservices@nths.net requesting the change. 

We are very excited at the prospect of welcoming our students back to campus for in-person learning. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Denise Dubravec                               Paul Waechtler               

Principal, Winnetka Campus             Principal, Northfield Campus

________________________

Sept. 10, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

As New Trier prepares to welcome more students to its campuses in the coming weeks, we must assure that students are aware of the expectations and responsibilities that come with attending school in person this year. 

To that end, we have created a Canvas course on COVID-19 and New Trier's safety procedures that ends with students signing our Trevians Care for Trevians pledge. Now more than ever each student and their family - along with administration, faculty, and staff members - must commit to doing their part both on and off campus to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our Trevian community. The due date for completing this course and signing the pledge is Thursday, September 17th. 

The COVID-19 Principal's Course was developed to help educate students on the science behind the virus in the hope that the more they understand, the less likely they may be to engage in risky behavior. Additionally, we want to communicate our policies and guidelines and to help prepare students for what to expect when they return to our campuses.  

Through the Principal's Campus Connect Canvas site, students will access the COVID-19 course and step through the lesson content in sequence. After completing the course, they will be asked to commit to the Trevians Care for Trevians pledge. A PDF of the COVID-19 course is attached to this email.

We also are creating a peer-to-peer video that will give an inside look at what to expect at school this year, such as how to enter campus or keep social distance in the hallways. We hope to share that video in the next few weeks. 

Thank you for your help and support in keeping our community healthy so we can offer in-person opportunities for our students safely throughout the year.

Trevians Caring For Trevians Canvas Course

Sincerely, 

Denise Dubravec                                                         Paul Waechtler
Principal, Winnetka Campus                                       Principal, Northfield Campus

_________________________

Sept. 4, 2020

Dear New Trier Parents/Guardians:

The Illinois State Board of Education is requiring all schools to implement daily health screening for any students and staff who plan to be on campus. To comply with this guidance, New Trier has implemented an electronic daily health screener called Ruvna. Per state guidance, only parents/guardians may fill out this screener, not students themselves.   

Daily Ruvna Screener Notification
Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8 , all parents will receive an email and cellular text message at 5:20 a.m. Monday through Saturday with a unique link to answer a few brief health screener questions for their student(s). This time was chosen to account for our earliest on-campus practices. The parent/guardian of any student participating in on-campus athletics or activities must fill out this screener prior to their student arriving on campus. Once hybrid learning begins, parents must fill out the screener during each of their students' on-campus learning days. 

Parents only need to complete the screener if their student is scheduled to be on campus or participating in an extracurricular activity in person that day . If your student will not be on campus or participating in an extracurricular activity in person that day, you do not need to complete the screener.  If you have multiple students at New Trier, you will receive only one message with unique links for each student.  

Silencing text notifications
Please see the links at the end of this document for information on how to set text messages from a contact to "do not disturb" if you choose not to be alerted when the daily screener arrives.  Parents whose student is currently in quarantine due to COVID-related symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID will not receive the screener notification until they have been cleared to return to school activities.

Health Screening Questions and QR Code to Text/Email to Student
Parents are required to check that their child's temperature is below 100.4℉ each day .  The survey questions will ask if the student has any symptoms of COVID-19, if they have a fever, have traveled to one of the restricted states in the past 14 days, and finally if they have a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to someone with the virus.

If the parent answers "no" to all the screener questions, they will receive a QR code with a note that reads: " You are cleared to come to campus or participate in extracurriculars today.  Please present this QR code at the school entrance or to a coach or sponsor when you arrive."   You must text or email this code to your student for them to show on campus.  Students without a mobile phone should have the code emailed to their school email address and students will present their QR code on their iPad.  

If the student has any symptoms on the list or has answered yes to any of the questions, the screen will display these instructions: " One of your symptom(s) or responses has been identified by the Cook County Department of Health as potentially related to Covid-19.   If you are a student-athlete, please contact Dale Grooms at 847-784-2297. For all other students, please contact Health Services by calling 847-784-2111."  

If your student is too ill to participate in remote learning, please also contact the Attendance Office by completing the Report an Absence Form or by calling 847-784-2286 (Winnetka Campus) or 847-784-7533 (Northfield Campus).  If you need technical assistance from New Trier staff with Ruvna please email NT_Health_Screen@nths.net or leave a message at 847-784-6540.

Additional Resources
Please watch this video for step by step instructions for completing the screener. 

General screening information for parents from Ruvna Health

________________________

Northfield Campus Message to Families:

August 25, 2020

Dear New Trier Freshman Families,

I am excited for the Class of 2024 to start their high school experience. We all want this year to get off to a good start, so I wanted to share information about the first day of school. 

Teachers will open their Canvas courses by 5 p.m. today. Canvas is our learning management system where teachers post syllabi, assignments, and other information; all students learned about Canvas during their iPad self-orientation. Make sure your student logs into Canvas on their iPad. Teachers will share information on Canvas about how to join class on the first day of school.

Over the past few weeks some schedule changes were made to balance classes. PowerSchool has your student's correct schedule. The integration of Canvas with PowerSchool will be completed at 3 a.m. Wednesday. Therefore, for a few students there may be a discrepancy in the Canvas courses they see tonight. If this is the case for your student, don't worry. Canvas courses will be correct by tomorrow morning when they are ready to begin their classes.

As a reminder, we have an extended adviser room on the first day of school, and that schedule is attached. 

Sincerely,

Paul Waechtler
Principal - Northfiled Campus
New Trier High School

First Day of School Schedule

_______________________

Winnetka Campus Message to Students:

August 25, 2020

Dear New Trier Students,

Welcome Back!

Teachers will open their Canvas courses to students by 5 p.m.  today.   Teachers will share information via  Canvas  on how you will connect with them on the first day of school.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a great year!

Mrs. Dubravec

________________________

August 19, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! We are excited to begin another year of learning and growth for your students, no matter what our year may look like. All of us at New Trier wish that we could celebrate this new year in person with pep rallies and adviser gatherings, but please know your student's teachers, advisers, coaches, sponsors, and our entire staff are working hard this year to create connections and provide a smooth transition back to school. 

Students will begin school on Wednesday, August 26 on an adjusted Trevian Day schedule with an extended adviser room . That schedule along with our Trevian Block Schedule - Winnetka and a calendar for the first weeks of school can be found below. As outlined in our Reopening and Operational Plan , all students will learn remotely until at least Sept. 18. Our Reopening Advisory Board will analyze metrics and trends to help determine when it is safe to move up steps on our Reopening Ladder to gradually bring students and staff back onto our campuses, prioritizing students with special needs first. We will notify families in advance of our decisions and provide instructions for the different days students will be able to attend classes on campus. 

A few items of note: 

  • Join me along with Paul Waechtler of the Northfield Campus and Superintendent Paul Sally to discuss New Trier's Reopening Plan during our Parent Webinar tonight at 6:30 p.m. This webinar will give an overview of the reopening plan followed by a Q & A session. Please register in advance by visiting our Reopening Plan Webinar registration page . The session also will be recorded and posted on our website.  
  • Your student's schedule and book list can be found in the PowerSchool Parent Portal . To view 1st and 2nd semester classes along with the book list, click on the 20-21 Year Schedule located on the left side navigation list.
  • Some teachers are putting together kits for students to have hands-on experiences during remote learning. Teachers may send instructions to students via Canvas for them to pick up these pre-packaged supplies and materials at the Winnetka Campus during the first few weeks. Teachers will communicate clearly if extra supplies are needed. 

New Attendance Reporting Procedure for 2020-2021
This year parents reporting an absence, late arrival, or early dismissal will need to either log into the PowerSchool Parent Portal and click on "Forms" or call 847-784-2286. An email to your student's adviser will no longer suffice. For the health and safety of all students and staff, we must ask additional questions for every absence. More information about the absence procedure can be found here

Daily Screening Form for Student Extracurricular Participation
Parents/guardians must fill out a Daily Health Screening Form Questionnaire in advance for each day your student plans to come to either campus to participate in extracurricular activities. Students will need to show the email receipt for submission of the form before they can come on campus. Students participating in Athletics need to continue to fill out the separate Athletics form . Once hybrid learning begins, we will switch to a new health screening and check-in system; we will send you a separate email with more information about that system. 

Student Guidebook
Also attached to this letter is our Student Guidebook for 2020-2021 , which includes information about services available at New Trier as well as school procedures and students' rights and responsibilities. School policies apply regardless of the learning scenario, and special circumstances such as requiring students to wear face coverings on campus or to follow our Zoom guidelines fall under existing rules and regulations. 

I wish all of our students and families a wonderful beginning to the 2020-2021 school year. 

Sincerely,

Denise Dubravec

Principal, Winnetka Campus

__________________

Aug. 14, 2020

Dear New Trier Parents and Students:

We hope this email finds your family doing as well as possible during these challenging times. Thank you for your patience as we worked on schedules this summer to prepare for different learning scenarios this school year. Your student's schedule and book list are now available through your parent portal in PowerSchool. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Log into  PowerSchool Parent Portal
  2.  To view 1st and 2nd semester classes along with the book list, click on the 20-21 Year Schedule located on the left side navigation list
  3. To view your student's current week schedule, click on "My Schedule" located on the left side navigation list.
  4. If you have questions about your PowerSchool Parent Portal user account or are having trouble logging in, please contact the Data Team at  PowerSchoolSupport@nths.net

As you know, we will be using the  Trevian Block Schedule  during this school year. This schedule has been balanced to help keep class sizes at the appropriate levels as we take steps toward a gradual return to in-person instruction. Once we determine that circumstances can allow us to bring students back on a hybrid schedule, different cohorts will rotate between in-school and remote instruction based on the first letter of their last names. We will inform parents in advance of the days each cohort will attend school once we have moved up a step on our  Reopening Ladder  and begin to bring students back. In a full hybrid scenario (50 percent of students in school, attending in person two days a week), the cohorts will be split among last names A-K and last names L-Z, with some students with special needs identified to attend school more often. Trevian Days (most Mondays) will be remote. 

Because we may have different learning scenarios throughout the year, the schedule is a bit more complicated to read than in the past. We also will be severely limited in our ability to grant schedule change requests. 

How to read your student's schedule:

  1.  Please use the following link for a tutorial on how to read your student's schedule:  https://youtu.be/HdTaLxasE-I
  2. You may use the attached schedule worksheet for Northfield and Winnetka to write your student's specific classes within the appropriate time slots.
  3. Click here for Northfield worksheet
  4. Click here for Winnetka worksheet
  5. We recommend that you keep a copy of the school's Bell Schedule ( Winnetka Campus  or  Northfield Campus ) as you review your student's schedule. This will allow you to compare the time of the day with the classes your student will attend either in-person or remotely. 
  6. The schedule does not include classes and clubs such as: Senior Project, Reading & Writing Center Tutor and Math Center Tutor. These courses will be added to the student's schedule at the beginning of the school year.
  7. Your student's book list is also provided on the parent portal in PowerSchool. Please refer to the bookstore link:  https://www.bkstr.com/newtrierstore/home  for their online sales information. All book sale items will be available online for home delivery. Walk-in book sales will not be available this year.

Schedule Change Requests:

  1. If there is an  error  in your student's schedule, please contact:
       a. Northfield students: Natalia Katsinis -  katsinin@newtrier.k12.il.us
       b. Winnetka students:   adminservices@nths.net
  2. Because staffing requirements were based on your student's original class registration requests, additional courses cannot be added to your student's program even if there is a free block available. The new daily block schedule was meant to add additional free time to your student's day. 
  3. Requests to change your student's schedule will be extremely difficult to process. In order to process a schedule change, the following criteria must be met:
       a. All level changes must be approved by the department chair of the specific course.
       b. If approved, there must be an available seat under the total class maximum AND will not exceed the seat capacity for that specific room to ensure social distancing and safety protocol.
       c. Even if a student has chosen to learn remotely, we must adhere to the above criteria to prepare for the eventual return to "in-person" learning.
  4. Schedule change requests must be initiated through your student's adviser, who will work with Administrative Services to see if a change is possible. 
  5. Please understand the unique nature of this upcoming school year will severely impact the ability to change classes. Requests we have typically processed in the past will most likely not be possible in order to maintain the balance we have assigned to classrooms to assure social distancing during in-person instruction.

We look forward to seeing your student in person in the near future, but until then, we hope all of you will have the best possible start to the school year. If you have questions, please email  adminservices@nths.net  or contact your student's campus assistant principal.

Take care and be safe. Go Trevians!

Gail Gamrath
Northfield Assistant Principal for Administrative Services 
gamrathg@newtrier.k12.il.us

Mike Lee
Winnetka Assistant Principal for Administrative Services
leemi@newtrier.k12.il.us

_____________________

August 13, 2020

Dear New Trier Families, 

Last night, the Board of Education approved New Trier High School's Reopening and Operational Plan for the 2020-2021 school year . Dr. Paul Sally sent this plan to all families as a PDF on Tuesday night so you could review it in advance of the Board meeting. 

Since that time, we have updated the plan to correct some broken web links and a chart regarding the potential return-to-school scenarios for students receiving certain Special Education services. We expect that our plan will continue to require some modifications, so we will make all updates to our website rather than sending you additional PDF documents. Please check the website for the most updated version.  

Parent Webinar on Wednesday, August 19

Principals Denise Dubravec of the Winnetka Campus and Paul Waechtler of the Northfield Campus, along with Superintendent Paul Sally, will host a live webinar to discuss New Trier's Reopening Plan on Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. This webinar will give an overview of the reopening plan followed by a Q & A session. Please register in advance by visiting our Reopening Plan Webinar registration page .The session also will be recorded and posted on our website.  

100 Percent Remote Learning Form Due Saturday, August 15

If you want your student(s) to participate in 100 remote percent learning for the first quarter of the year (August 26 - October 30), please complete the 100% Remote Learning Opt-In form below by this Saturday, August 15. Families who select the remote option will be given the opportunity each quarter to continue with a remote schedule or select a hybrid option if we have not resumed daily in-person instruction.

Thank you to all families who have written with your ideas, questions, and concerns about our plan. No reopening plan will give us the kind of school year our students deserve, but you can be assured that we will continue to work toward the best possible solutions to help our students connect, grow, and thrive throughout this school year.

Sincerely,

Niki Dizon

Director of Communications and Alumni Relations

PRIOR COMMUNICATIONS TO FAMILIES FOR 2020-2021