Updates from Dr. Chapman
I hope everyone is doing well! Homecoming was a great success last week and we had great levels of participation in all of the activities planned. Special thanks to all of the parent volunteers who assisted in making our Homecoming a success. Certainly large events, such as the Homecoming Dance, aren’t possible without your help! Speaking of your help, do you or someone you know have an interest in being a teacher, teaching assistant, substitute teacher, sub teaching assistant, sub custodian or sub food service in Unit 5? If so, please apply here and please share with anyone you know who might be interested!
Food Service Update: We wanted to make you aware of a change to the breakfast program we currently offer at both U5 high schools. Currently, all students receive free breakfast regardless of eligibility status. However, after consultation with the Illinois State Board of Education and given that we do not participate in the National School Lunch Program, we can no longer offer free breakfast to all high school students in Unit 5. This change doesn't affect items being sold during breakfast or lunch, but rather means that starting Monday, October 4, 2021, high school students will be charged for breakfast according to their eligibility status. Students who are currently free or reduced will continue to be free and reduced. Please refer to the Unit 5 Food Service website for price and high school meal program information.
If you have any questions, please direct them to:
JoAnna Rewerts, MS, RD/LDN
Director of Food and Nutrition Services
McLean County Unit District No. 5
1999 Eagle Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309.557.4437 l Fax: 309.557.4538
Lifetouch School Photos: If your child took their school photo during walk-in registration, you will be receiving a packet mailed home to place an order. Picture re-takes will take place on October 5th and 6th in Room 52 here at NCHS. If your student didn’t have their picture taken during walk-in registration, or needs to retake their photo, this would be their last chance. This is also the picture that goes into the yearbook.
Drop Off/Pick Up Lanes: We understand that the NCHS parking lot is congested before and after school and we are doing our best to keep everyone safe during drop off and dismissal. During drop off in the morning, please only use the circular drive in the front of the school and stay in the right hand side of the drive along the sidewalk. Pull up, drop off, and drive through. Do not pull up in the left hand lane at all as this blocks our student drivers from getting into the parking lot. During pick up, please make sure not to block any of Raab Road or the entrances/exits to the parking lot. The best option is to park in the lot and wait for your student to exit the building to your car. Thank you for helping us in our efforts to keep our students and families safe!
Parent/Teacher Conferences: Conferences will be held on Friday, October 22nd (no school on this date for students). These conferences will be held virtually using Google Meets. However, if you have an exceptional circumstance and require an in-person conference, that can be arranged with the individual teachers. A separate email with more information about how to sign up for conference times will be on its way to you soon!
Final Exams: Final Exams are scheduled for December 15, 16, and 17 using this BELL SCHEDULE. Any student (9th-12th grade) who has an A in a class will be exempt from the final exam for that class. Teachers will notify students no later than December 14th if they are exempt or must take the final exam for their classes. Students do not need to be present at school on December 15, 16, or 17 for the periods they have lunch, Study Hall, or are exempt from that final exam.
Athletics: Registration for winter sports is now open. All athletes interested in participating in basketball, boys swim, cheerleading and wrestling must have a current physical on file in the AD office and registered at the 8 to18 website. We have had some incredible success with our Fall athletic teams so far and we’re looking forward to winter sports just around the corner!
NCHS Weekly Announcements: As we begin to bring back many of the clubs and extracurricular activities that we had before the pandemic began, please encourage your students to check our website. Specifically, the weekly announcements are located in a bubble in the middle of our NCHS Homepage. Here is a direct link where you’ll find all of the announcements, in order, from the beginning of the year. In case your student misses the Monday morning announcements, they can always check here for upcoming events and opportunities to become involved here at school.
Social Media: Don’t forget to like our NCHS Facebook page, follow Dr. Chapman on Twitter @NCHS_Principal and/or Mrs. Maurer @nchironmen. These are great places to follow along with some of the great things happening with students and staff in our building!
Without question, the transition for many of our students back to full-time, in-person learning has been a challenge. Honestly, it’s a challenge for everyone involved. We appreciate your patience as we all work together to get ourselves back in the groove of a more traditional school experience. As always, we appreciate your partnership!
Dr. Trevor Chapman
We are off to a great start as we begin to wrap up our first full week of school! Please see below for some important information from NCHS:
Promise Council : The history of Promise Councils in Unit 5 schools began in 2009 with one elementary school. Over the years, by adding additional Promise Councils at schools, hundreds of children have benefited from the support of caring adults in our community. This year makes the 5th year for the Promise Council at NCHS and we need your help. The main goal of a Promise Council is to remove barriers to learning so that all students, regardless of socio-economic status, have the opportunity to achieve success and graduate from high school.
Already this year and as the year progresses, the staff at NCHS will identify items (food, clothing, household items, shoes, personal hygiene items, etc.) that students need. If you are interested in assisting the Promise Council to fill the student needs such as the ones listed, among others, please consider adding your information to this simple FORM . Our goal is to create a list of individuals who are willing to receive email requests to assist with fulfilling the requests. When a need arises, a mass email would go out to everyone with details of the request. Sometimes the request will be accompanied by an Amazon link so you could order items online and they would ship directly to NCHS! Other times it might be something like pillows, or bedding as a student may need that at home. Your email address will be kept confidential and only used for the purpose of the NCHS Promise Council. If you filled out this form in past years, please fill it out again. We are starting with a clean slate this year. Thanks for considering!
Homework for Absences : Please understand that the district is no longer allowing students to "remote in" to their classes. Therefore, when a student is absent, it is that student's responsibility to contact the teachers to receive make up work. In many cases, the materials and assignments will be posted in Google Classroom. However, there are some items that are not able to be shared online. In such cases, the teacher will place the materials at the Greeter's Station at the front entrance. Any family member or friend is welcome to stop by the Greeter's station during school hours to pick this up. Please make sure to confirm if the teacher has placed the items in the Greeter's Station prior to coming out for pickup.
Traffic Congestion : We appreciate your patience as you navigate to and from NCHS each day. It's been nearly a year and a half since we had all students back in the building, full-time. This, in turn, means that over 2,200 students are arriving at school in a personal vehicle or school bus each day. With only one entrance and exit to our student parking lot, maneuvering to and from school is a challenge. We also know that in the minutes before school starts that Raab Rd. is often backed up around the corner onto Airport Rd. towards Grove Elementary. We are essentially a large suburban high school situated in a rural setting with limited access points.
I mention this all to provide context for our challenge. With this, I would offer two suggestions:
Leave home earlier to allow more time to arrive at school on time. I consider the time period between 8:05am and 8:40am to be the busiest time of the morning in and around NCHS. Our building is open for zero hour at 7:25am, so arriving at school earlier than 8:30am is completely acceptable. Directing traffic on Raab Rd. would not assist with the flow of traffic because we need to allow 26 buses, twice daily, to enter and exit our bus lane and make their way down Raab Rd.
Consider coming down Raab Rd. from the east off of Towanda Barnes Rd. as a different option. I know Raab Rd. can become congested coming from that direction as well, but at least this provides a different option to even out the traffic coming from the west.
Again, we thank you for your continued patience. Unfortunately, like many suburban locations, traffic is unavoidable, so please plan accordingly based on your family's schedule.
Attendance Line : Just a reminder to please call the attendance line if your child isn't going to be present at school or if you need them released before 3:30 pm. This number is (309) 557-4450. The administrative assistant who takes attendance messages processes absences and early releases all day as they come in. However, please note that if we don't have at least 30 minutes to process the phone call and issue the pass for delivery, there may be a delay in your child exiting the building. We deliver passes as quickly as possible given the size of our building and number of students we have enrolled. Students must obtain a pass and check out with the greeter station, so please do not text or call them to meet you in front of the building without first calling the attendance line. Also, given that our greeter's station area is very small, you do not need to come in the building to get your student. We will send them out the front door right after after they check out with Ms. Sharp!
Remember, please do not send your student to school if they have symptoms of COVID 19.
Masks : As a reminder, masks must be worn by everyone (students, staff and visitors) while inside NCHS and while riding on a school bus/activity van. The only exception to this rule is when students are outside for PE or during lunch time. Our students have done a great job with this so far! If your student was to forget their mask at home, they can stop by the main office upon arrival at school and we'll provide one to them.
Athletics : If you're interested in our athletic schedule, please take a look at our 8to18 site. It will provide you with up to date schedules for all of our events. Masks must be worn by athletes and spectators for all indoor athletic events. Masks do not currently have to be worn outside by spectators or athletes.
We are off to a great start so far! We were all so fortunate to see all of our students, back in person, and ready to learn. Our Ironmen did an awesome job during our Code Red Evacuation Drill as well!
All Parents: Just a quick reminder that our "Back to School Night" is next Thursday, August 26th beginning at 6:30 pm. You will follow your child's schedule in the order of their day (Bell Schedule) so you can meet their teachers and learn more about the courses they are enrolled in. Please bring a copy of your child's schedule with you or download the Infinite Campus Parent Portal app on your smartphone as the schedule can be accessed there as well. We'll begin promptly at 6:30 pm with their first-period class.
Senior Parents: Feeling a little overwhelmed with your Senior student about what to do first this year with college applications, financial aid and more? Join Mrs. Karrin Hawkins, NCHS College & Career Counselor, at 6:00 pm on August 26h, for "Kickstart to College for Parents". This session will be held in the Cafe and will give parents of Seniors a quick look at what's to come this final year! Email Mrs. Hawkins (email@example.com), with any questions.
Hope to see you on the 26th!
We are excited to start the new school year with you all! Here are some important pieces of information as we begin:
1. Here is the First Day Bell Schedule for August 18th.
2. August 18th will also be our Code Red Evacuation Drill to Eastview Christian Church in the afternoon. This is noted on the bell schedule above.
3. Masks are required for everyone while inside the building. This includes students, staff, and any visitors who might be entering NCHS.
4. Students and families will not need to self-certify before school each day as you did last year. Please ensure that you do not have any COVID symptoms and to call your student in if they are feeling ill. The nurse will follow up, as appropriate.
5. Provided is a link to the 2021-22 School Year Plan. This information is intended to keep the Unit 5 community informed and reflects the most recent changes in guidance by the CDC, IDPH, ISBE. Please know, these plans are subject to change as the situation evolves. We greatly appreciate your flexibility, patience, and support as we work to ensure the health and education of the entire Unit 5 earning community.
6. As a reminder, Back to School Night is going to be held on August 26th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Parents are invited to come and walk through their child's schedule and talking with their teachers along the way. There is no requirement to attend, but certainly encouraged!
We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!
Next, here is a Welcome Letter that I prepared outlining some plans for the school year, some important dates/times to mark on your calendars as we begin the year, opportunities to follow us on social media, and a recap of our walk-in registration process.
We look forward to seeing you all soon!