Parent / Student Update
Please check out this Presentation for NCHS Students, which includes some important information on our return to in-person learning starting on 10/19/20.
Iron Parents & Guardians,
I hope this message finds you well. The time has come for us to begin the return to in-person learning for a large number of our students here at NCHS. That being said, we have nearly 25% of our students not returning to school for in-person learning and who will be remaining 100% remote for the remainder of the semester. Given the large number of students staying home, we anticipate smaller class sizes for those students who will be in the building. As a general reminder, if your student is returning in-person, last names A-K will be in the building on Mondays and Thursdays, while last names L-Z will be in the building on Tuesdays and Fridays.
As a reminder, the following schedule will be used to bring students back to school at NCHS:
Week of October 19-23: 9th graders only (plus Freshmen Mentoring Program mentors)
Week of October 26-30: 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades
Please note that we will be following a condensed Wednesday Synchronous Schedule for our HS students beginning on October 21st. This day is a time for teachers to meet synchronously with the entire class, check in with remote only students, meet with small groups, review assessments, or provide social-emotional learning support. Teachers will provide class specific information on how they will provide instruction on Wednesday. This schedule will be used on ALL Wednesdays, including those that are Late Starts.
This PRESENTATION was emailed to all students and was made available on our social media platforms. I would encourage you to review it with your students so they are aware of the expectations as we transition to in-person learning.
Transportation has notified us that they will be working this weekend to finish routing students. If you don’t have any bus route information in Infinite Campus, please check it again on Sunday night as they will be working through this all weekend.
In general terms, visitors are not allowed in the building as we are working to limit our occupancy. There are a few exceptions to this, such as parents who need to attend an in-person IEP meeting, or the UPS driver delivering a package to the office.
Student Health Certification
Unit 5 parents must complete a screening/certification process for your children every day they come to school for in-person learning. The screening includes a check of symptoms and also asks about contact with those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Unit 5 is launching a self-certification app to help with the process. You can download the app, called UNIT 5 SAFE, at the Apple or Google store. Here is a LINK to download the app. If you do not want to download the app you can use this WEBLINK to self certify your student. Here is a VIDEO to demonstrate the app. The app is available in both Spanish and French.
Parents will need to complete a separate form for each student. We ask that parents try to complete this 30 minutes prior to the start of school. Students who have not been certified will be pulled from classes until they can be screened by an administrator.
Every student is required to wear a mask when inside the school and while riding on a school bus. Masks must fully cover the mouth and nose. They may be removed while the student is eating lunch or when outside the building for PE, lunch, or a class so long as social distancing is observed. If students refuse to wear masks while in the building, then they would need to move to 100% remote instruction.
Need a great spot to catch up on what's going on at the school and show support for the staff and students? Join us on the remote IronPride PTO meetings via zoom! We always have a report from Dr. Chapman and a teacher representative as well as opportunities to review requests from the school.
Join Zoom Meeting - Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 839 5044 3831
Dates & Times (6:30-7:30 pm)
October 19, 2020
November 16, 2020
December 2020 – No Meeting
January 25, 2021
February 22, 2021
March 15, 2021
April 19, 2021
May 17, 2021
Watch for our online spirit wear store coming in a few weeks! Please add Normal Community High School Spirit Club to your AmazonSmile account as another way for you to help support our school. It is a free service through your Amazon Account. See below for instructions.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com on your web browser or activate AmazonSmile on your Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android phone (found under settings on your app). On your browser, you may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. When you’re using the app, always check for the “AmazonSmile” logo to ensure you’re activated for AmazonSmile.
Safety Protocols at NCHS
Our custodial staff will be cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often than on a normal school day. These surfaces would include door handles, bathroom faucets, cafeteria tables, etc. Each classroom is equipped with a spray bottle of disinfectant, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. Teachers can spray desktops and other frequently touched surfaces as needed with this disinfectant. Items such as SMART board markers will be disinfected between uses. Signage will be posted on the floor and walls reminding students to stay socially distanced. To the best of our ability, students will be assigned seats at least 6 feet apart from each other. Students will be expected to wipe down their individual work area. We will provide the necessary supplies. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting supplies are available for use in each classroom.
With the exception of students in pool-based PE classes, students will not utilize the locker rooms. As a result, students will also not be dressed in a traditional PE uniform as they normally would. Locker rooms will only be available for the purpose of using the restroom. If you did order PE clothes earlier in the summer from Minerva, they will be here for pick up once school begins.
Students need to have a pair of tennis shoes to be worn during PE, which can be the same pair they wear to school. Also, students should dress in clothes that allow for movement in PE classes. The plan for PE is to be outside as much as possible for the rest of the semester. We realize that the weather can be chilly, especially in the morning hours, but we also want to provide as much activity as possible outdoors. We are very hopeful this provides much needed mask breaks for our students if they so choose to do so. As a reminder, students can remove their masks outdoors so long as they are 6 feet apart, practicing safe social distancing.
Masks must be worn while inside, even during PE class. PE teachers have modified all activities for the health and safety of our students to ensure that students aren’t over exerting themselves with masks on. Also, teachers have created a process for sanitizing PE equipment between students and/or classes.
To start in-person learning, there will be only hot grab-and-go lunches for students wishing to eat a school lunch. There will be no a la carte options. Signage will be posted throughout the cafe on the floor and on the walls reminding students to stay socially distanced. Tables and chairs will be removed to accommodate a 6ft. distance between students eating. Students will be facing the same direction. Other areas will be utilized for students to eat lunch such as the atrium, fish bowl, and multi-purpose room. We have also acquired several picnic tables that are placed outside our bus lane doors and in front of the building that students may choose to eat at as well.
Unit 5 Food and Nutrition Services will continue to fuel health futures as we move into the 2nd quarter. Meals will continue to be free of charge for the 2020 - 2021 school year.
Unit 5 will continue to offer Curbside Meals during the 2nd quarter for both hybrid and remote students. Curbside meal distribution will only be available on Wednesdays starting next week, with the first distribution on October 21, 2020. Because we will no longer have Monday meal distribution, tomorrow, Thursday, October 15, 2020, all children will receive 4 days of breakfast and lunch meals. Click the link to learn more about our 2nd quarter Curbside Meal Program and the Curbside Meal Schedule. Cedar Ridge, Sugar Creek and Normal Community West High School will continue to be pick up sites between 10:30am and 1:30pm. We are adding additional bus delivery locations. The bus delivery schedule will be updated on the Curbside Meals ( Comidas en la Acera) webpage on Monday, October 19th.
Students that have opted for hybrid learning can receive a free breakfast and lunch on the days they attend school in person. Please see the information located on our website for the onsite breakfast menu (desayuno) and onsite lunch menu (almuerzo). Lunch will be served in a grab-and-go container and will contain all items on the menu. All food will be individually wrapped to accommodate allergens and vegetarian preferences. As students return to school, the menu will be limited to one meal option. Junior High and High School students can use their student IDs to purchase additional meals if they have money in their foodservice account. Initially, ala carte items will not be available for purchase.
Parent/Teacher Conferences & Election Day
Due to the unusual circumstances of this school year, Parent/Teacher conferences have been postponed. October 23rd will now be a regular attendance day for students. The Illinois State Board of Education announced earlier this year that schools will be closed on November 3, 2020 for election day. Therefore, no remote or in-person learning will occur on November 3rd.
Just a reminder to continue to call your students in for medical appointments, trips out of town, illness etc., just as you have done in the past. Again, our attendance line is 309-557-4450.
Note: When you call into the attendance line, you will need to include the reason for the absence and indicate ALL symptoms your child is having such a sore throat, fever, cough, etc. Please be advised that if your child has any COVID-19 symptom they MUST have proof of either a negative COVID-19 test or written note from their healthcare provider stating an alternative diagnosis BEFORE returning to school. COVID symptoms include fever, headache, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, congestion/runny nose, new loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea, fatigue, muscle or body aches.
Please note that these procedures were developed based on guidance and protocols from Unit 5, along with careful planning by our administrative team. As we move forward with hybrid instruction, we expect that we will discover some of these procedures need adjustment and correction. When that happens, we will modify what we are doing to better meet the needs of our school community and communicate those changes out accordingly.
We would like to thank our Ironmen families for the grace and kindness that you have shown us over the past several months. Your kind words are a reminder of how special the NCHS school community is. So many of the NCHS staff are also working moms & dads, grandparents, and caregivers. We understand the struggles that your family is going through with remote learning, childcare, and the other changes that COVID has brought to our lives. We hope that you are able to give yourselves some grace too!
Dr. Trevor Chapman