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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

This page is designed to provide District 38 parents, students, and staff, the latest information regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 and our school community. Please be aware that we will continue to closely follow situational updates from the CDC, the IDPH and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and apply guidance from these organizations as we monitor the situation and plan for preparedness in support of the health and safety of our students and staff.

News posted in order of appearance, most recent first.

May 15, 2020

On Thursday, May 28, families will have an opportunity to pick up student belongings and other items that need to go home with students for the year. The following processes have been developed in accordance with guidance from Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education.

In order to complete this process in the safest, and most efficient manner possible, families will be able to drive up in front of the school and volunteers will place the bagged items into your car. In order to make this process move smoothly, please read the following information carefully:
  • Pick Up Date - Thursday, May 28
  • 8:30 - 9:30 Families A - C
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Families D - H
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Families I - L
  • 12:30 - 1:30 Families M - O
  • 2:00 - 3:00 Families P - Z
  • We ask that you please come during your designated time slot. If you are unable to make your designated time slot or are unable to pick up your materials on this day, please try to coordinate with another family. We are unable to provide an alternate pick up date at this time.
  • A mask or face covering is required. You can find guidance on the use of masks for the State of Illinois HERE.
  • Plan to drive to pick up your belongings. Please do not walk to the building so that traffic and flow can be coordinated.
  • We ask that the names and grades of your children be clearly displayed on the passenger side of the windshield. Please also indicate whether you would like the materials placed in your back seat or trunk. You can use THIS TEMPLATE or make your own.
  • To manage the flow of traffic we ask that you drive northwest on Essex, west on Warwick, and southeast on Abbotsford to pull up in front of the school (see map below). Please be considerate of not blocking the driveways of homes on this path.
  • When you are in front of the school, a volunteer will check the names in your windshield, get the bags of your students, and place them in your back seat or trunk.
  • The contents of the students’ bags will include locker and desk contents. Other items may include PE locker contents, yearbooks, class pictures, medications, and items from the lost and found.
  • Students in grades JK - 7 will keep their technology and other school materials (library books, textbooks) home over the summer. These items will be collected in the fall.

Families of 8th-grade students ONLYPlease pack up the following items in a plastic bag with your student’s name clearly marked on the bag to return during the materials pick up process. You will be asked to exit the car briefly and put these items in a designated location on the sidewalk. Please do not hand the items directly to a volunteer and we ask that you wear a mask or face covering.

  • 8th grade only - iPads and chargers
  • 8th grade only - Textbooks
  • 8th grade only - Library books
  • 8th grade only - athletic uniforms
When you get your students’ belongings home, we encourage you to recycle (papers, plastics), reuse (school supplies in good condition), and donate (outgrown clothes).

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, May 28, for materials pick up. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Susan White at

May 8, 2020

Important Update on End of the Year Communications

With Governor Pritzker’s announcement on April 17, 2020, that schools will remain closed through the end of the year, I am sure we all felt a collective sense of disappointment at losing our opportunities for closure this year through graduation, class celebrations, and traditions. The good news is that we continue to have students, staff, and a community defined by empathy, flexibility, resilience, and high standards. School closure is our opportunity to save lives and keep more people safe. When we look back at the sacrifices we made at this time, we will feel proud.

We have the resources, ingenuity, and a sense of purpose to meet the demands of Remote Learning through the end of this school year. The following information, which was presented to and reviewed by the Remote Learning Steering Committee which includes parent, community, teacher, administrator and student representation, will let you know what you should expect to hear about in the coming days and weeks - what we will be communicating and when. These future communications will address learning, support, end-of-year events, and procedures. The Remote Learning Steering Committee will be monitoring New Trier Township schools, State of Illinois requirements, and the needs of our Kenilworth community as we determine each of our next steps in this fluid situation.

When the Stay-at-home order was extended through the end of the school year, schools were given up to five Remote Learning Planning Days to use at any time to prepare for and refine their approaches to remote learning. These days were given to us in order to allow teachers to design plans that minimize instructional loss and provide opportunities for students’ academic, linguistic, and social-emotional growth. In addition, we had Teacher Institute time scheduled that we did not or will not use in March and May in order to maintain continuous remote learning for our students.

We have concluded that these Remote Learning Planning days will be best used thoroughly closing out our school year, as well as, planning and preparing for the summer and fall using the most up-to-date guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and our Governor. Therefore, report cards will be distributed on our last day of synchronous student instruction which will be June 2, 2020. Teachers will use June 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9, to review the curriculum adjustments that were made during this remote learning time period, articulate between grade levels, build class lists and transition plans for each subject area that will inform instructional plans for summer programming and the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, we will use this time as a faculty to prepare for various scenarios which may be in place in the Fall of 2020. We understand that parents and students may want to continue learning during the first week of June and therefore will prepare choices for student engagement through June 9, although our teachers will not be available for synchronous learning opportunities.

We understand that there are still many outstanding issues that require communication before the end of the year. Below is our scheduled timeline to provide communications, so please continue to check your email for this important information:

Week of May 11: Communications about Eighth-Grade Graduation and Events
  • Information about the eighth-grade promotion ceremony, car parade, and other promotion logistics for June 4
  • Information about the eighth-grade play, and awards ceremony
  • Annual Parent Climate Survey released (condensed)

May 18: Communications About Procedures, Events & School Closure
  • Information about procedures for personal belongings and materials pick-up
  • Information about end-of-year events, including eighth-grade promotion
  • Information from Dr. Leali about how learning progress will be reported at the end of this 2019-20 school year

May 26: Remote Learning Survey
  • This survey is being designed by our Remote Learning Steering Committee to gather feedback from students, staff, and parents.
  • Feedback will be used to identify possible revisions to Remote Learning delivery for the future

May 26: Student Locker & Materials Pick-up
  • May 26 - May 29 personal belongings and materials pick up
  • Relevant Summer resources/activities and information about Summer School/Extended School Year

June 1: Any updates we can provide based on the phase of the Illinois governor’s Restore Illinois Plan in relation to school (tentative)
  • 2020-21 school year approaches to address students’ learning progress, including collaboration with New Trier.
We hope this letter makes clear what we will be communicating and when, so our communications come in digestible amounts. We know that other questions will arise, and we are committed to providing you answers as best we can. For now, thank you for your patience and support.

In partnership,

Dr. Lisa Leali
Kenilworth School District No. 38
(847) 853-3822

April 23, 2020

Attendance Procedure Change

As we are now several weeks into Remote Learning, we believe we are able to resume the majority of our attendance practices that were in place prior to March 16. Therefore, beginning Monday, April 27, we will no longer ask families to enter attendance into the online form each morning.

Instead, all students will be presumed present unless reported absent to We have asked our teachers to continue to monitor student engagement and to work with students and families when a student is not participating as expected.

We will remove the “Attendance” link from the Remote Learning website, and teachers will remove “Attendance” from the grade-level documents. We will also update the attendance procedures on the Remote Learning website and Remote Learning Guidelines document.

We thank you for your partnership as we continue to refine our Remote Learning systems.

Technology Use Update

As we continue our journey together with remote learning, our primary concern remains the health and safety of our community members. With that in mind, we want to help you make sure that student use of our devices is both socially and emotionally safe. To date, there have been few reports of incidents involving inappropriate use of technology. This is a credit to you, our students, and our collective practice of the Four Cornerstones in the Sears community. To continue this success and prevent future occurrences, we want to take this opportunity to review expectations.

Over the weekend the Zoom app will be deleted from all student iPads and will need to be re-downloaded through Self Service on the iPad. When re-downloaded, students will no longer be able to initiate Zoom calls and will only be able to use Zoom for teacher initiated calls.

As you may know, 6th through 8th graders and their families signed a 1:1 Device Usage and Agreement Contract. This contract spells out the responsibilities and restrictions for using school-issued devices. We want to remind parents and students that this agreement remains in place for remote learning and recommend reviewing it at this time. While we filter adult content, you should be aware that students do have access to a wide variety of materials that you may believe are not appropriate for them. In other words, they can surf the net. In addition, we continue to work with Zoom to make that platform as safe as possible. Because we have chosen Zoom as our school’s primary mode for synchronous learning, we want to reserve it for that use only. We understand that students want to connect. That is natural, and we encourage it. However, we ask that students do not set up their own zoom meetings on a school-issued device. There are a large number of devices and software that can be used for that purpose with parental approval.

Under normal circumstances, our Junior Kindergarten through 5th graders do not bring their devices home and, therefore, do not have an agreement in place. It is not our intention to have all students and families now sign the agreements linked above. However, we do ask that you review the agreement and discuss the expectations (and those about Zoom above) with your students.

We understand that most of us were not prepared to suddenly become the teacher, household tech team, and system monitor. With that in mind, we have put together some information that will help you manage your student’s use of the school’s devices at home.

Please review the information below. If you have questions or need help in further restricting your child’s device, please contact Sears Tech Team

Remote Learning Tutorials

4) PowerSchool

April 17, 2020

Illinois Schools Will Remain Closed for Rest of School Year

Today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools would continue to be closed for the remainder of this school year. We will rely on guidance that the State will be generating during the days and weeks ahead. This news is unsettling for everyone in The Joseph Sears Community, but we know this decision was made to protect our students, families, and teachers. We will be working to make the end of this year as gratifying as we can for all of our students, especially our graduating eighth-graders.

Remote learning will continue, and as a schoolhouse, we will listen to all of our families and respond to the various needs of our learners. This new type of education has been challenging for all of us, but together we can continue to make it more meaningful and impactful for our students throughout the coming weeks.

Over the next few days, we will be planning for the remainder of the school year. We know you have questions about curriculum, transitions, activities, performances, grades, and traditions, and we will be collaborating as a township, administration, faculty, and staff to provide the answers. We will be looking to build in more ways for us to connect, grow, and laugh together even as we are apart.

We understand the next few months will not be easy ones. Flexibility and patience will continue to be essential. We will be patient with students and families, knowing that a home environment is not the same for learning as being in school. We ask the same from you in return, understanding that our teachers are balancing instruction with taking care of their own families. By banding together to support our students through a very uncertain time, we will find strength in each other as a community.

Please stay well and look for updates within the next week.

April 9, 2020

New! Remote Learning Guidelines and Schedule

Thank you to our entire community for your support as we have been reinventing our schoolhouse for Remote Learning. Your notes of encouragement and support, as well as your feedback and suggestions for improvement have been well-received as we continue to work on improving this experience for all of our students and families.

Today, we are releasing Remote Learning Guidelines for our families. Here you will find an outline of our Remote Learning plan, which reflects your feedback. There are many issues addressed in this document, including schedules, grading, live and pre-recorded instruction and more, and we hope you find it helpful as we navigate this challenging time together. Also, in order to hear more about some of our current challenges and plans to improve, please take a minute to watch this brief video message. It is our sincere hope that Remote Learning remains a positive, healthy and connected experience for our community.

Remember, there is no Remote Learning on April 10. We will see you back on Monday, April 13, 2020. Don’t forget to keep checking our Remote Learning web page for morning announcements, instructions for logging attendance and weekly lesson plans. Also, please check out the Joseph Sears Giving Back Project if you’re interested in a service learning opportunity for your family.

Important Links:

Remote Learning web page
Remote Learning Guidelines
Staff Directory
Contact Us
Tech Support Form

March 2020 Communications