NOTE: Superintendent Dr. Nicolas D. Wade sent the following letter to the District 401 community on March 28, 2020. To translate the letter into a foreign language, go to the top right corner of this page where the Google Translate button (titled "Select Language") is located, and choose from the menu of available languages. Links to all of Dr. Wade's letters and other District 401 COVID-19 communications can be found at our Update Center.
To: All Stakeholders of Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401
Re: Another Update on the District's E-Learning and Operations
While the governor's executive order mandating school closures concludes on April 7, the District has been proactively planning for the mandated closure to be extended or even for the District to make its own decision to close schools during this unprecedented health crisis. The District is also aware that many of its stakeholders are concerned about the immediate and long-term effects of this crisis affecting annual events such as prom or graduation. The District continues to balance what it is (un)officially being told by local and state entities, the concerns and general feedback it is receiving from its stakeholders, and its essential programming and operations.
As such, there will be items within this update that involve decisions made on matters that extend beyond the governor's executive order. The decisions are meant to provide some guidance, direction, relief and/or clarity to a myriad of school and District functions.
High School and Middle School Events
While we are not officially canceling the current graduation dates set for Elm Middle School and Elmwood Park High School, we have already determined an alternative date for high school students, family members and staff to put on their calendars:
- Elmwood Park High School — June 29
A decision regarding graduation practice and the Senior Luncheon will be determined at a later point. An alternative date for Elm Middle School graduation has yet to be determined, but a decision will be communicated when it has been reached.
It will be communicated at a later point when it is decided to officially cancel the current graduation dates.
Below are the high school events and their new dates:
- National Honors Society Banquet — June 18 at Elmcrest Banquets
- Varsity Banquet — June 22 at Elmcrest Banquets
- Honors Breakfast — June 25 at Elmcrest Banquets
- Prom — June 26 at Victoria's
We want to thank the venues for being understanding of the current situation and willing to work with us to provide students an opportunity for these important events. Should the health crisis continue through the summer, the District will reevaluate.
Our staff will be posting by 9 a.m. resources, assignments and/or activities on Google Classroom (grades 3-12) and SeeSaw (K-2) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We continue to receive a lot of incredibly wonderful feedback from parents, students and staff about this experience, and the District continues to believe in providing opportunities for continued learning and engagement.
The Illinois Assessment for Readiness (IAR) will not be taken this school year due to the state's approved waiver for accountability measures in adhering to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Nurses at each school have contacted families about whether or not they wish to pick up their child's prescribed medication.
If a student has prescribed medication in the nurse's office and it is decided that it needs to be picked up after the fact, please reach out to the school's respective nurse.
As mentioned before, thank you for your continued patience and faith in what our school district can provide to the greater Elmwood Park community. Please continue checking out our Update Center and follow us on Twitter:
- Dr. Nicolas Wade — @DrNicolasWade
- Elmwood Park CUSD 401 — @epcusd401
- Early Childhood Center — @ecc401_cubs
- Elmwood Elementary School — @ew401_panthers
- John Mills Elementary School — @jm401_trojans
- Elm Middle School — @elm401_cougars
- Elmwood Park High School — @ephs401_tigers
It is anticipated there will be additional developments statewide before the governor's executive order concludes on April 7. As these developments become public and accompanied with guidance, the District will communicate it out to all stakeholders. The District is proactively planning ahead about student access to lockers, staff access to classrooms, packing up classrooms for all of the summer moving and construction work, student device collection, reevaluating dates and offerings associated with the Summer Academy, student registration for the 2020-21 school year and so on.
Again, thank you to everyone as we continue to navigate.
Dr. Nicolas D. Wade
Superintendent of Schools