Applause Updates & Reminders
Updated: 3/18/20 2:00 PM
Applause Updates & Reminders
Updated: 3/18/20 2:00 PM
I pray that this email finds you well. We are doing our best to continue to offer school, as we also follow the guidelines set by the CDC and the governor of Illinois. I am so impressed with the way we have made the switch to remote learning. I want to applaud our teachers for all their extra effort over the weekend and throughout this week. I also want to applaud our parents for embracing the situation and helping your children stay engaged in their education.
I want to clarify that, at this point, we are closed through March 30. Before the governor mandated closing, we had said we would reopen on March 30. Please note that has been pushed back to March 31 at this point. I hope that we will be able to re-open on March 31. However, please understand that this is a very fluid situation, and we may have to extend the closure beyond March 30. We will do our very best to keep you informed.
Based on the CDC guidelines, I would like to address some questions we have been receiving about upcoming events.
- The senior mission trip is postponed. We are investigating options for later in May, but will not be able to make plans until we know more.
- Celebrate Westlake will not happen as planned on April 24. We are looking into other options for ways to celebrate all that God is doing at our school and thank our donors. We will let you know as soon as we develop a plan.
Finally, I would like to encourage all of you to be very intentional about social distancing. It’s not really about keeping yourself healthy, but about slowing the virus so that our healthcare system can meet the needs of the sick. More importantly, please pray that God would be at work and use for good what the enemy intended for evil. Pray for wisdom for our government leaders and healthcare professionals.
Family Friendly Reminders
- Attendance is taken daily between 9-9:30 for Elementary and at each class for Secondary students.
- Teachers are available by email between 9:00 – 3:20 every day – please reach out to them with questions, they’re ready and willing to help!
- There is flexibility in the day for our elementary students. Receive grace, as parents you’re not “expertly equipped” to teach at home. We’ll definitely be grading this week’s homework, but understand that many parents are still working their full-time jobs from home AND trying to teach one or multiple kids at home.
- We’ll be returning to school on Tuesday, March 31st (as far as we know now).
- If you find yourself needing access to technology, please email Laura DeReus. We will do our best to connect with the necessary resources, especially if this continues beyond March 30.
Remote Learning Details
Updated: 3/13/20 6:30 PM
We have made the decision to close our school doors through March 27th and move to a Remote Learning model. Students will be expected to complete course work for the week of March 16 – 20. The following week, March 23 – 27, is Spring Break and no course work will be required.
Are you looking for additional resources to aid you in your remote learning? We’ve compiled a list of FREE resources to help you and your student thrive during this time away from school.
Remote Learning Resources
Below are the specifics regarding our remote learning plan:
For elementary students, teachers will send an email each morning to give the assignments for the day. Students should respond to that email by 9:00 a.m. to let teachers know that they are in attendance. Elementary students should also notify their teacher when they have completed their work for the day. Teachers will be available via email from 9:00 am – 3:20 pm. Your child’s teacher will communicate with you directly regarding what to expect each day.
Google Classroom will be the primary medium for communication and the exchange of information between students and teachers. Additional internet resources may be used as well, such as IXL, Renweb/FACTS, Photopea (an online app for graphics), Vista Higher Learning (a Spanish app) and others as the teacher directs.
- Some teachers will choose to have a live classroom experience that would include audio and video. This would be done through the Google Hangouts Meet. Students would get an invitation via their Google email that would provide a button to join the class.
- Teachers will be monitoring Google Classroom and available for communication via email or Classroom during normal school hours (9:00 am – 3:20 pm). Students should email teachers from their school Google accounts.
- Assignments will be posted with a due date and time. They should be submitted through Classroom, unless otherwise indicated by the teacher, by the due date and time. There will be no penalty for late work but it is important to note that all work will have to be completed to meet the requirements of a course. Upon the return to the campus classroom, NEW material will be covered which will put a double burden on a student who returns without having completed Remote Learning assignments.
- Although grades may be attached to returned assignments, Renweb/FACTS should be considered the final source for all grades.
- Daily student attendance will be taken by each student logging in and contributing to the stream for the day.
Although this is a different format for learning, we expect that students and courses will continue to see good progress through the curriculum.
- If your child was absent on Friday, you may stop by the office on Monday to pick up their books and materials. The school office will be open from 8am – 4pm.
- If you, your child or someone your child comes into contact with tests positive for COVID-19, please email Chelsea Schopper. Be sure to include a call back number.
If you have paid for before or after care for next week, your account will be credited in April.
Thank you for your flexibility as we move forward. I will be praying that the God of peace keeps each one of you in his care as we all do our best to continue to serve God and love others.
In His Service,
To see all updates regarding Westlake’s response to COVID-19, please visit westlakechristian.org/COVID-19.
School Closing Through March 27th
Updated: 3/13/20 3:00 PM
We have made the decision to close our school doors through March 27th and move to a Remote Learning model.
Our teachers have already been communicating with their students on how to proceed with school at home. As we stated in the email this morning, all textbooks and Chromebooks (for secondary students) will be sent home so our students are able to complete their coursework remotely.
Please watch for an email later today with specific details on how to engage with Remote Learning. Our Faculty and Staff are meeting immediately after the school day to work out all of the specifics.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate the constant changes due to COVID-19.
In His Service,
We are so grateful for our school community. If the school cancellation presents any problems for your family, consider reaching out to other parents via our Parents’ Association Community Page.
Perhaps there is another family out there who may be willing to help your family over this next week. Let’s support each other in this season.
All Extracurricular School Events Postponed until March 30th at the earliest
Updated: 3/13/20 — 12:55 PM
As our Administrative Team continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, we are choosing to protect our own families and the surrounding communities by postponing all extracurricular school events until March 30th at the earliest.
We will continue to educate our students through the traditional classroom model inside our building at this time, however, we are watching what the surrounding school districts and IDPH recommend. Please be sure to closely follow all communications from our school as this situation continues to change day-by-day.
Postponed School Events
- All athletic games and practices will be postponed until after spring break. May other schools in our conference are making this same decision, so it will not solely affect our team.
- The Daddy Daughter Dinner will be postponed until May. We know our dad’s and their girls were very excited to gather tomorrow, but we believe it’s best to keep them all healthy and postpone until May. Watch the PA page for updates and an official rescheduled date.
- All Open Houses & Parent University Events will be canceled until further notice. While we would love to open our school to potential families and those looking to grow in their parenting, we can’t in good conscience continue these events at the risk of spreading anything. If you had invited friends or family to either of these events, please be sure to let them know they can watch our Discover Westlake page and ParentU page –updates will be posted there.
- The Sophomore/Junior trip to Washington DC & NYC are rescheduled until the fall. As that region seems to be a hotspot for COVID-19, we don’t see it as wise to take our students to that area. Parents of students in that grade will receive communications in the future outlining our plans for the fall.
- The Senior Mission Trip — We are currently investigating other options for this trip. We haven’t made any official decisions to postpone the trip or cancel it altogether. Please keep an eye out for updates regarding this trip.
What You Can Do
- Continue to pray with us for the health and safety of our school.
- Walk in faith and confidence that this virus is not a surprise to God and he ultimately holds us all.
- Look for ways that you can serve those in your community: drop off a fresh roll of toilet paper, check on those in the 60+ community, gather for prayer in your homes if your church’s services are canceled. Let’s be a light in the community amid such tension and fear.
- Finally, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Don’t allow fear to sweep in and take you off mission. Put on the armor of God and walk as the wise.
Potential for Remote Learning
Updated: 3/12/20 — 9:05 AM
Dear Westlake Parents,
As the COVID-19 Virus continues to be an issue, we want you to be aware that we may be required to close school for a time. Our desire is to continue with regular class next week. However, given what we are hearing from area public schools and from surrounding states, we feel it is wise to prepare for plan B. With that in mind, we will be sending all textbooks and Chromebooks home with students today. Our teachers will discuss remote learning with their classes, so that all students are prepared to do school from home if needed. We will make every effort to continue the academic program that is in place. We want our students to be able to finish the school year at the regular time, and we want all of our seniors to be able to graduate. Further information about remote learning procedures will be sent out in the event that we actually need to close the school.
If your family does not have wi-fi at home, you can pick up a hot-spot at your local library or at one of the local township offices that have them available for educational purposes. Please let the office know if you have difficulty in this regard.
If we are required to cancel school, we will communicate this to you by email, on our website, and through emergencyclosingcenter.com. Please pay close attention to these resources over the next few weeks.
Thank you for being flexible with us as we navigate uncharted territory. We are trusting God to lead and guide us. We will continue to communicate with you carefully as the situation develops. Please contact the office if you have further questions.
In His Service,
Updated: 3/12/20 — 10:00 AM
At Westlake, we take the responsibility of caring for your child very seriously. This includes addressing the growing national concern over the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Let me be clear that we are not responding to the situation in fear. Instead, we are making an effort to be proactive and prepared in the event that someone in our community may develop the coronavirus.
Please read through the following information completely so you’re aware of how we’re responding, how you can partner with us in this, and what the CDC is recommending.
What We’re Doing
- We have put additional cleaning procedures in place. Teachers will be spraying down their classrooms with disinfectant after each school day. Students are being instructed in proper handwashing and encouraged to wash their hands often. We already have hand sanitizer stations outside every classroom and in the lunchroom; we will remind students often to utilize these stations.
- We have made arrangements to provide an isolated space at school for anyone who develops respiratory virus symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- We will be collecting visitors’ contact information from anyone who signs in at the school office so that we can communicate with them should it become necessary.
- We are assessing the travel plans for upcoming student trips: both the Senior Mission Trip and the Washington DC trip. We are monitoring recommendations from the CDC regarding both international and domestic travel.
- We have appointed a point person, Mrs. Chelsea Schopper, to coordinate with the health department and other government agencies. Mrs. Schopper is a trained public health educator and is passionate about promoting a healthy environment at our school. In fact, her junior high health students are presenting handwashing lessons to our elementary students this week.
- We are developing a plan for e-learning. In the event that the Lake County Health Department recommends that we close for 14 days or more, we will have a plan in place to continue your child’s educational program with minimal interruption.
What You Can Do
- Please encourage your student to wash their hands often. We will reinforce this in school, but teaching your child proper handwashing procedures at home will help us in this effort.
- Please wash all school-related supplies: coats, hats, snow gear, backpacks, lunch boxes, and Chromebooks. Please make sure that your child brings home their water bottle daily so that it can be washed before it is returned to school.
- Please keep your child home if they are sick. As a parent myself, I am often tempted to push my child to go to school when she feels slightly under the weather. However, this spring we are encouraging parents to be extra cautious in this regard. Please review our sick policy and make every effort to err on the side of caution.
- Please contact us immediately if your child or someone your child has come into contact with is diagnosed with coronavirus. During the hours of 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, please call the school office directly at 847-548-6209. Before or after regular office hours, please contact Mrs. Schopper. Be sure to include a call back number in any communication you provide the school.
- We are requesting all students, faculty members, and staff who will be traveling over spring break complete a brief, voluntary survey indicating the destination of your flights, including layovers. The data collected will be kept confidential in accordance with HIPAA privacy laws but will prove helpful as we give due diligence to preparedness efforts.
- At the same time, in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines, all students, faculty members, and staff that travel to countries under a CDC Level 3 travel advisory will be required to observe a 14-day self-quarantine at their own home before being allowed to return to school or school activities. Please check the CDC website for the most up-to-date travel advisories.
- Please read all school communications thoroughly. If we need to close school for any reason, an email will be sent out and our Emergency Closing page on our website will be updated.
What the CDC Recommends
Please educate yourself on the recommendations published by the CDC. This information is updated regularly and is the best source of accurate information about the virus.
- Wash hands often
- Avoid close contact
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
Our administrative team will continue to review the most up-to-date guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. National Institute of Health and Illinois Department of Public Health. We encourage all of our families to do the same.