eLearning is not scheduled over Spring Break and will resume on April 6th & 7th. Plans are underway for an expected extension on school closures.
Tomorrow, our second week of eLearning in Gower will come to a close. Our 92% of K-8 student participation and engagement over this period is amazing. It is reflective of a School Community that is invested in the continuity of education and illustrates that Gower is full of dedicated students, families and staff. We have provided over 350 meals through our Breakfast & Lunch Grab n Go Program to date and will continue this service through Spring Break and as long as our school closure continues. Our Principals have shifted to become school e-ministrators without delay. Our Teachers have done a remarkable job balancing their teaching responsibilities in Gower while serving as a resource to educators in other districts where eLearning hasn’t been tried before. And our Staff continue to provide remote support to help our essential on-site staff carry out the most basic services. It is often said plainly that leaders lead. They aren’t afraid to run into the unknown. And from my perspective, as seen on the ground and throughout this public health crisis, Gower School District is full of them.
Starting on Friday, our families will begin their Spring Break and we know that it will be far from a typical one. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order issued on March 20th, many of our families have changed their plans. As much as we believe in the continuity of education, we recognize the importance of our families across the Gower Community being able to use the time afforded during Spring Break for themselves – and outside of an eLearning schedule. Furthermore, if we do return to school this year – even if it is in mid April or sometime in May – we want to preserve as many days to be in front of our students as possible. We know our Community is under an inordinate amount of stress. None of this is easy. Be encouraged to use the upcoming week to address the most basic needs of your family; immediate, extended, or otherwise. I like to remind folks I work with in the education field that ‘it’s Maslow before Bloom to get to Hattie’, which is educational jargon – and applicable for anyone right now – for ‘taking care of the individual personal stuff before getting technical with all of the academic stuff.’
As of this moment, our schools will remain closed and our eLearning program will continue on Mon., April 6th and Tues., April 7th. Our eLearning program is likely to continue through at least Thursday, April 9th, 2020 as an extended school closure is possible (Friday, April 10 is scheduled as a non-attendance day for students). I am not making a formal recommendation for an extended school closure at this time. I understand that there may be some frustration in reading this. However, as stated previously, and out of a strong respect for ongoing collaboration with the DuPage Regional Office of Education, as well as the DuPage County Health Department and other area school district leaders, school closures related to COVID-19 in our school district will continue to be made in a coordinated fashion.
It is my hope to have additional clarity on this by Friday if not sooner. I have requested an update multiple times, pushed extremely hard in doing so, and will continue to call for an expedited and uniform decision that maximizes the safety and well-being of our community and is respectful to our families in terms of ongoing planning and preparation.
Our Grab & Go Breakfast and Lunch Program will continue until further notice and in accordance with the most up-to-date public health recommendations. The hours for this pick-up program are 8:30-10:00 a.m. and will remain at Door #1 at Gower West. Our staff is focusing on providing non-perishables through the continuation of this program as we continue to work with our food service partners and suppliers throughout this situation.
Please contact us with any further school-related questions or concerns and be sure to leave a voice message.
Gower West School Office – (630) 286-4925
Gower Middle School Office – (630) 286-4933
District Office – (630) 286-4929
Stay Informed & Connected: Continue to monitor the local community village websites of Willowbrook and Burr Ridge as they have been providing community updates. And please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and/or the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD), websites for updated information and be sure to follow their latest recommendations.
There is no eLearning scheduled on Friday or throughout Spring Break next week.
eLearning is scheduled for Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 7. As stated, an extended school closure is likely.
This situation continues to be a rapidly evolving one. Further updates will be provided should the current situation in our school district change and posted to the District News Page at http://gower62.com/district/.
Take care of yourself and each other.
Superintendent of Schools
COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Update – March 25, 2020; 12:00 p.m.