Welcome to District 162! Comprised of seven schools, we serve students from pre-K through 8th grade, serving the communities of Matteson, Richton Park, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, and University Park in the south suburbs of Chicago.
This week in SD 162
District #162 School Closure Information Updated March 31, 2020
On March 31, 2020 Governor Pritzker announced that all public schools will be closed through April 30, 2020. The Illinois State Superintendent has outlined two singular priorities for all students statewide and District 162 intends to ensure that these priorities are met for all of our students and families:
- Ensure all students’ nutritional needs are met: The district will continue to provide breakfast and lunch meals to any student between the hours of 8am and noon Monday through Friday. Effective Monday, April 6, 2020, the following sites will be providing meals: Arcadia, Indiana, Richton Square, Huth and the District Office. Matteson School, Sauk School and Illinois School will no longer be used for meal pick-up due to their close proximity to other locations. Please practice social distancing in accordance with the Governor’s order and CDC recommendations when picking up meals.
- Ensure all students have access to remote instruction through whatever means possible: Teachers and administrators have been busy developing distance learning plans for all of our students. District #162 has lessons online and is delivering paper packets to the porches of families that have indicated they do not have available internet connectivity or devices. These materials are being delivered in two-week increments. The most recent delivery was made on Monday, March 30, 2020 and the next delivery of packets will be delivered on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Teachers are reaching out to families on a regular basis to assist wherever possible. We are so grateful to all of our families and students that continue to actively participate in learning at home. Our teachers and administrators are committed to providing the best educational opportunities during these unusual times.
We have updated our Question & Answer document below for the latest information. Please take a moment to review this as it will answer most questions.
- Will the District be making-up these days?
- The Governor announced that schools are transitioning from “Act of God Days” to “Remote Learning Days.” All these days count toward the school year, and absolutely no days need to be made up.
- Will BASE still be operating during the closing?
- The Governor’s mandate is to close all school buildings to students and, as such, BASE will not be operating in District 162 schools during the mandated closure period.
- Is the district looking at changing its Spring Break Schedule?
- The district will continue to provide education materials and learning opportunities to all students during the spring break dates.
- Will the district be providing meals to students during this time?
- The District made arrangements with its food service provider, Preferred Meal Systems, to provide a “grab and go” type breakfast and lunch to all students Monday through Friday during the statewide school closure period. Students DO NOT need to qualify for the Free or Reduced price meals program to receive the meals without cost. Students may go to Arcadia, Indiana, Richton Square, Huth, or the District Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. each weekday day to pick-up the meals and take them home. The district is not allowed to open its lunchroom facilities for the meals to be consumed on-site. Per the Governor’s order, families picking-up meals must practice social distancing when picking up meals.
- Will the district office be open or will there be any staff at district buildings?
- The district office will be open each day from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. At least one administrator will also be in attendance at each of the school buildings that are serving meals during these hours for the duration of the mandated closing.
- How will the closure impact the administration of the Spring 2020 State-mandated assessments such as the IAR and Science assessment?
- The Illinois State Board of Education has cancelled the administration of the IAR exam for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Will Illinois School be holding a lottery for students who want to enroll in the 2020-2021 school year?
- The district will need to hold a lottery for admission at Kindergarten, 5th grade and 6th grade. District administrators will be meeting soon to determine a date and process for conducting the lottery.
- Is the district still planning to hold IEP meetings during the closure period?
- District staff will be contacting families of students with scheduled IEP meetings to discuss various options for holding those meetings.
- What is the district doing to prepare for the safe return of students when the Governor’s order is lifted?
- The district hired 12 additional temporary custodians who have been working diligently alongside existing building maintenance staff to perform a comprehensive deep clean and sanitization of all District 162 schools prior to reopening. The district installed hand sanitizing dispensers in strategic areas throughout its schools and has a good stock of disinfectant wipes for use on shared computers between uses with replacement products on order. School personnel and the nurses assigned to each building will continue to monitor absences of both students and staff and instruct students on proper hygiene techniques including handwashing, not touch faces, etc.
- Will there be any school sponsored trips taking place for the remainder of the year?
- As previously announced, the 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. as well as the Disney World trip for band students have both been cancelled. Refunds for the Disney World trip were mailed to parents on March 31, 2020. The tour company for the Washington, D.C. trip, Tour Services, is working with its insurance company to get refunds issued as soon as possible.
This is an unprecedented situation and we recognize that you may have more questions. Administrators will be available at school buildings that are serving meals as well as at the district office from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer any other questions that you may have. As always we will update you as we learn any new information.
Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Superintendent
Matteson School District 162
The administration of Matteson School District 162 is aware that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is on the minds of the members of our community based upon media coverage relating to the virus. Accordingly, we want to share with you the following guidance that we have received from Northwestern Hospital regarding actions that all of us can take in order to protect ourselves to the greatest possible extent from the spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, or any germs that may be present in our environment:
1) WASH YOUR HANDS. Soap and water is fine. You should be lathering the soap for about 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ once or twice in your head or, if you prefer, out loud). You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). You don’t need to wash obsessively frequently, but wash before you eat anything, and after you’ve been out in public.
2) DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE. On average we touch our faces 3-5 times per minute! Germs on your hands get transferred to your mouth, nose, or eyes, where they gain easy entry to your body. Really focus on not touching your face.
3) Sneeze or cough into a disposable tissue and throw it away and wash your hands, or into your elbow - not your hand!
4) Avoid non-essential international travel. This is an evolving situation but minimizing risk seems to be a good idea.
5) Isolate yourself if you get sick - do not give other people what you have, even though it’s much more likely to be the flu (which is still circulating widely in the US) than coronovirus. If you must go out, wear a regular surgical mask to avoid infecting others. If you have concerns that you have been exposed to COVID-19 (fever, cough, and either exposure to someone confirmed to have the virus or recent travel to China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, or Italy), call your doctor to discuss next steps.
6) We do not recommend wearing masks if you are not sick. Studies of the flu have shown that mask wearing in otherwise healthy people does not decrease the rate of illness, mainly because people do not wear them correctly, take them on and off, reach under them to touch their face, and contaminate themselves taking off the mask. In addition, there is currently a global shortage of masks due to people hoarding them: meaning people who are ill and healthcare providers may not have the equipment they need to take care of sick people.
Matteson School District has purchased foaming hand sanitizer dispensers that have been installed in all our schools outside technology labs, lunchrooms, and school offices in order to provide our students and staff members with multiple opportunities to cleanse their hands throughout the day, in addition to washing their hands with soap and water. District 162 has also required that, before returning to work in District 162, any employees who have traveled outside the United States during the past 30 days must provide documentation that they have been tested for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and are not infected with the virus.
Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Superintendent
Click the video player below to watch the South Suburban Choir Gala Live stream tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.
The concert will begin promptly at 7:00PM. Merry Christmas!
Want a great way to get more involved in your child's school? Join the school's Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO). Information on how to join the PTSO for your local school can be found on your school's homepage. PTSO membership is open to all parents of District 162 students.