COVID-19 Updates

This page will be maintained regularly with school related  COVID-19 information. 


November 20, 2020

Schools have emailed out and posted their building schedules on their websites. 

Manteno Elementary School

Manteno Middle School

Manteno High School

November 19, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I know that many of you have been following the Governor's conferences and the new IDPH recommendations. Over the last week, we have been meeting to review numbers, trends, and consult with outside agencies. The spread of the virus continues to cause great concern across the county.

Our entire staff has pitched in to cover classrooms, assist where they can, and go above and beyond. It has truly been a team effort. We are quickly approaching scenarios where we will be unable to provide appropriate coverage in our buildings. This coupled with the increasing positivity rates has forced us to revisit the plan we shared earlier. 

Tomorrow marks the completion of 14 weeks of in-person instruction. That is a celebration when there were so many unknowns at the beginning of the year! Our students have greatly benefited from being together and building classroom communities. We are proud of the collective efforts it took to make this happen. The changes we are making are made knowing we have done what we needed to do for our school community. 

It is with this in mind that we have decided to look at the big picture and how to keep our momentum moving forward. We have made the decision to move to remote instruction beginning on Monday, November 30th through Monday, January 18th. We are hoping that by taking this pause we can open our schools back again on January 19th and continue until May. There will be no remote learning over our scheduled holiday break. Specific schedules will be coming soon from each building and also from our special education department. We will also be sending information out on food service during the break. 

When you initially look at the calendar, it looks like a significant amount of time on remote under the new schedule. When we broke down the days, it is a transition to remote learning for 19 student attendance days. We are hoping that by allowing for the pause, it will bring our staffing patterns to a consistent level and contain the spread of the virus in our region from affecting our schools.

We know that there is magic in the holiday season and we will be working together to make sure the academic and social emotional needs of our students are being met over the extended pause. 

We appreciate your understanding as we make these changes based on what is in the best interest of our students and staff.  We are so grateful for all of the grace and patience you have shown us in this challenging year!

Stay well!
Lisa Harrod

November 16, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I hope this letter finds you doing well and enjoying the beginning of the holiday season. 

I want to take a moment to recognize the efforts of our Manteno School District family for going above and beyond in providing our students with an outstanding academic experience while working to navigate the challenges of 2020. I cannot say enough about their dedication and commitment. Each administrator, educator, and staff member has worked tirelessly to get it right!

I am writing to alert you to a change in our schedule due to trying to limit the potential spread of the virus after the Thanksgiving holiday and assist us with staffing appropriately. 

Monday, November 23rd is a Remote Learning Planning Day and the students were scheduled to return to school on November 30th. We will now be moving to an Adaptive Pause and moving our district to remote learning from November 30th - December 4th. Our buildings will be open for our students beginning on December 7th and hopefully we will hold in-person instruction until the scheduled beginning of the holiday break. 

Please look for information to follow from the buildings on remote learning schedules and additional correspondence from the Special Education Department concerning programming for students with special needs. 

We remain flexible and know we may need to pivot at any time. The above plan will be in place barring any mandates or further restrictions from the Governor or IDPH. 

Thank you for your patience as we work together in the best interest of our students!

Have a wonderful week!


Lisa Harrod
Superintendent


November 13, 2020

Calendar Update - We will be utilizing a Remote Learning Planning Day on Monday, November 23rd. Students will not be in attendance on this day. This will be utilized for planning purposes in the event we are forced to transition to remote learning after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Parent/Teacher Conferences will continue as regularly scheduled on November 23rd and November 24th.
November 9, 2020

Due to staffing patterns and reduced substitute availability, Manteno High School will transition to an adaptive pause beginning Wednesday, November 11th.   Students will follow their normal daily schedule remotely during this adaptive pause. On Tuesday, November 10th, the school will remain open and follow the regular daily schedule.  In-person learning will resume on Monday, November 30th.  To clarify, Manteno Elementary and Manteno Middle School will continue to deliver in-person instruction.


October 21, 2020

Hello,

I hope this message finds you doing well. I am writing to share a few things as we work to navigate the next phase of in-person instruction. 

As you may know, the CDC expects the next 6-12 weeks to be extremely challenging as the impact of the pandemic widens. This is something that we have been planning for and is anticipated. The increase in numbers should not cause alarm and we are here to answer any questions you may have. While we are continuing in-person instruction, we realize that we should ask all of you to be prepared for a number of scenarios that we may face at any time. 

We will be watching the state metrics that may force us to return all students to remote learning after a declaration by ISBE in conjunction with the Governor's office. If this should happen, we will be working with increased accountability measures and implementing different procedures after reflecting on how to strengthen remote instruction. 

If we reach a point where we have exhausted our ability to place subs in our classrooms due to an increase of COVID-19 numbers or staff members required to quarantine increases in a rapid manner, we may institute what ISBE calls an "adaptive pause". This means we may move our students to remote as we work to deep clean our buildings. We would also be planning to have our students return as soon as it is safe to do so. 

As we move forward in the year, we are trying to create opportunity and modify the things we love most about student activities, special days in buildings, etc. We are working hard to present a sense of community in both our in-person and remote instruction. 

Thank you for all of your support and for being a part of what we love most about our district!

Lisa M. Harrod


October 13, 2020

Good Evening,

I hope this message finds you doing well and enjoying the nice weather!

I am writing to let you know about changes to our procedures for parent/teacher conferences and a change to our calendar. 

This year our parent/teacher conferences format will be virtual. There will be no in-person conferences due to the timing of the meetings before the Thanksgiving holiday. Please look for further communication from each of our buildings. 

We also wanted to make you aware of a significant change to our calendar. We were originally scheduled to have classes resume on Tuesday, January 12th. Every decision we have made has been placing the safety of our students and staff at the forefront. To this end, we have decided to build in a natural quarantine and resume in-person classes on Tuesday, January 19th. There are a few reasons we have chosen to move forward with this plan:

- During this time, we will have our buildings professionally deep cleaned. 
- We are hoping by moving to the natural quarantine, we can see a lessened impact of COVID-19 and reduced quarantining of close cases upon resuming school after the holidays and travel. 
- This extension of days does not lengthen our calendar at the end of the year and school will still be releasing on time pending any use of emergency days.
- While we cannot be certain of any one plan working to reduce the path of this virus during the winter months, we are taking precautions we feel are in the best interest of our community. 

We are doing everything that we can to proactively plan for sustaining in-person instruction. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to problem-solve ways to keep our students and staff safe with all the challenges and restrictions we have faced. 

The new schedule for resuming classes after winter break is as follows:

Monday, Jan. 11th: Virtual Teacher Institute Day
Tuesday, Jan. 12th: Remote Learning Planning Day (Students Not In Attendance)
Wednesday, Jan. 13th: Remote Learning Planning Day (Students Not in Attendance)
Thursday, Jan. 14th: Remote Learning Day*
Friday, Jan. 15th: Remote Learning Day*
Monday, Jan. 18th: Martin Luther King Day (No School)
Tuesday, Jan. 19th: School Resumes
*Students will be receiving more information directly from their teachers on the structure for these remote learning days. 

Thank you for all of the support you have shown our district. It is noted and appreciated. There is nowhere else we would rather be! We have proven we are absolutely stronger together!

Have a wonderful week!
Lisa Harrod


September 3, 2020

Dear Parents,

We wanted to take a moment to address a few things regarding contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. If you have not reviewed the IDPH chart that we have posted as a resource, it contains the information we must use when dealing with confirmed or suspected COVID cases.

When there has been a positive case of COVID in a home, or a person is in close contact, they must quarantine for 14 days. The only exception to this is individuals who are isolating and have not been in contact with others since they became symptomatic or tested positive. The other residents (siblings, etc.) in the home of a close contact are considered a contact of a contact and do not quarantine unless there is a confirmed positive case.

According to the IDPH and the Kankakee County Health Department, we are unable to accept a doctor’s note or negative test before the 14 days of quarantine is completed. There may also be different quarantine times for each exposure that occurs, especially for caregivers. A release must be given for students to return after quarantine is completed.

Contact Tracing is a procedure that is used during the pandemic to limit the spread of the virus. If you are found to be in close contact with a confirmed case, you are required to quarantine for 14 days, even if you are showing no symptoms. This is a mandate by the IDPH and local health departments. It can be far reaching in communities. There should be no negative stigma attached to those who are in quarantine.

Please know that across the State of Illinois, there will be students who are moving to quarantine in larger numbers and those that are returning from quarantine throughout this school year. This is not a metric used in a district moving exclusively to remote learning. Any time there is a large social event where there is a positive case confirmed, whether that is a sporting event, wedding, party, etc. close contacts must quarantine. This is part of our new reality as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters. There are times where a positive case occurs but through thorough contact tracing, no close contacts have been established. Even though the number of students, staff, etc. in quarantine may be high, it does not mean they have a positive test. This is a strategy used in Illinois to limit the spread of the virus and to keep our state from a shelter in place again.

At this time, not every student or community member who has had to quarantine has been in a close contact situation at school. This seems to be a misconception. With the Labor Day weekend approaching, we are very concerned about contact tracing over the next few weeks.

There will be times where there will be a positive case in the classroom, but that does not mean close contacts have been established, it also does not mean the entire class must quarantine. This is very well spelled out in the ISBE and IDPH guidelines.

On a conference call last week with our State Superintendent of Education, she stated that ISBE was planning for intermittent closings through the fall. They have extended that through the spring. This will be based on a variety of metrics across the state. This means that districts may need to open and close as we approach flu season, the holidays, etc. We are doing everything we can to follow all procedures and restrictions to keep our schools open.

We will continue to update our chart as to the number of positive cases when we are notified of a confirmed positive case. If the number does not move, we have had no confirmation of a positive case. Two cases in a single classroom would initiate a deep cleaning of the classroom and closure for 24 hours, it does not mean that we would shut down a building. The administrators have been outstanding in problem-solving alternate locations for classrooms to go if a closure should occur.

We have people working around the clock to provide our students with the best education we can. We have worked to provide information that is easily understood and updated as soon as we receive it. This includes each time a major change has occurred. We ask that you please use caution in believing what has been posted on social media and has been interpreted. There are many phone calls we receive each day due to something inaccurate being posted on social media. We hope that things are approached with grace and out of general concern as all the things we have talked about above deal with a family’s right to privacy, health, and wellness.

Thank you for all your support!

We are better together!


August 18, 2020

Parents/Guardians of Manteno CUSD #5 Students:

Below you will find 2 documents of importance as we start this school year. These documents will assist parents/guardians in making informed decisions regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 as well as the exclusion guidance from the IL Dept of Public Health. Please review these documents and if you have further questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse.

COVID-19 Symptoms
COVID-19 Exclusion Guidance 8/17/20

Also, of great importance is to Self-Certify your children prior to having them enter the building. Please visit Skyward each morning and complete the form. If your child’s form has not been submitted, the parent will be contacted for completion.

Kimberly Couch, Elementary Nurse, 815-928-7249
Tracey Hartnett, Middle School Nurse, 815-802-7326
Erin Emerson, High School Nurse, 815-802-7405

If you have signed up as a Remote Learner and need a lunch provided, please see the directions for ordering on our website under the “Food Service-Lunch Prices” tab.
August 18, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Every morning before school, you will need to self-certify your student(s). Please log into Skyward Family Access and complete the Wellness Screening for each student (click here for instructions). If your student has symptoms, has tested positive, or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, your student should not be at school that day. Please stay home and call your school office to report the absence.

Please bookmark https://qmlativ.manteno5.org. If you need login credentials, select the "Forgot username or password" link on the login page. The wellness screening can be completed via web browser or through the Skyward Mobile App. Please contact the school office if you have any questions. 


August 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you are having a great week. I am reaching out today to ask those of you that have chosen in-person instruction to create a Plan B just in case the Illinois State Board of Education or Governor mandates remote instruction for all districts over the next few weeks. Our goal is to offer our students in-person instruction, but we are facing a situation where at any time, this may be out of our control. We want you to be proactive and have a second plan. Things continue to change daily in the organizations that drive decision-making in Illinois and we do not want to see anyone at a disadvantage if our plan is forced to change. The lack of consistency and last minute changes tell us to prepare for a variety of scenarios. We will continue to update you if we receive any new information that would alter our plan. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate a moving target. 

August 5, 2020

Manteno School District Transportation Information for 2020-2021

* Up to 50 people are allowed to be on a school bus at a time per the state of Illinois guidelines.
* A mask must be worn by all students/personnel on the bus per the State of Illinois. (except for medical exemptions)
* All students will have an assigned seat.
* Maximum of 2 students per seat.
* Siblings that ride the same bus route will be required to sit together regardless of age level.
* No eating or open food on the bus. (except for medical exemptions)
* Students can only ride their own scheduled bus to and from school. Daily exceptions will not be made to ride on different buses to go home with other friends and/or family. (Example: Student A, who usually rides bus 55 home, cannot ride bus 33 home on Friday to go to Student B’s house.)
* Buses will be sanitized after every route AM and PM.

With the stricter guidelines from the state, Bus space/availability is at a premium. If you initially signed up to be a bus rider and have no plan on using the bus, please email the transportation department so we can be as efficient as possible. rdiedrich@panthernation.net

Bus Route information will be mailed home next week.


August 3, 2020

We are excited to announce that fall sports will be conducted at Manteno Middle School for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Tryouts will be conducted as follows:
Softball 
Dates =  Aug 5-6   
Times = 8am-9am (pitchers and catchers), 9am-11am all athletes 
Location = Manteno HS Softball Field

Baseball 
Dates = Aug 5-6
Times = 12pm - 2pm (registration will begin at 11:30am)
Location = Manteno HS Baseball Field

Cross Country
Date = Aug 5
Times = 8am - 9:15am
Location = Middle School front doors

Athletes should arrive at their tryout/practice with a face mask and practice social distancing. 

We know that you may have a lot of questions about the logistics of the season, rest assured that more information will be provided. We wanted to get this information out as soon as possible so that you could start to make plans. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me at -  jcarlile@manteno5.org or 815-928-7181.

July 31, 2020

Manteno Middle School and Manteno High School anticipate those choosing remote instruction to be able to participate in extra-curricular.  This will require completion of a release of liability form by the student and parent.

July 31, 2020

Manteno School District just learned about the IESA reversal for selected fall sports to resume following the Governor's guidelines. We will be putting out information once we have had a chance to review the documents.

July 30, 2020

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we approach this school year. Please take a few moments to review the frequently asked questions document. 

If you have not completed the survey indicating your choice for the fall semester, please remember to complete it by Monday, August 3rd at noon. 

Please email your building principal if you have any questions.

Manteno Elementary School FAQ
Manteno Middle School FAQ 
Manteno High School FAQ



July 29, 2020

Below you will find a survey to help us determine staffing patterns for remote and in-person instruction. For those choosing the remote learning option, we ask that you also read and agree to the Remote Learning Contract. These surveys are due on Monday, August 3rd at 12:00 pm. Thank you in advance for your time. We appreciate your patience as we work through the ever-changing guidelines and restrictions from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. 


Elementary School Survey - https://forms.gle/s8wZ6aVd8sCKLfz9A
Middle School Survey -  https://forms.gle/YUrHe9o4bPYJJWNL6
High School Survey -  https://forms.gle/WGyNL3bH8SUcmZscA

Thank you!

July 29, 2020

Good Afternoon,

This afternoon, IHSA announced modifications and postponements to Fall sports in 2020. While this is a temporary setback for all of us, we are glad to be moving forward with sports that are now to compete during the 2020-2021 school year. We are attaching the chart from IHSA that outlines the changes to high school sports over the coming months. Coaches will be in touch with athletes and their parents soon.

Thank you for your patience as we waited for the final guidelines to be released.


July 24, 2020

Manteno Middle School families:

It is with much disappointment that we inform you that today we received an email from the IESA notifying member schools that they are cancelling the regular season and IESA state series in the sports of boys and girls golf, boys baseball, girls softball, and boys and girls cross-country for the 2020-21 school year. There are no plans to try and re-schedule the activities or conduct them later in the school year. The safety of student athletes, coaches, officials and fans was the primary factor in the decisions made by the IESA board.

We are excited that winter and spring sports are still scheduled to be played. We can’t wait to see our athletes put the Manteno Panther uniform on and step back into their respective sports.

Thank you for flexibility, understanding and support as we navigate uncharted waters in sports. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Josh Carlile at jcarlile@manteno5.org or call the Middle School office at 815-928-7150.


Very Respectfully,

Josh Carlile,
Manteno MS Athletic Director
815-928-7181
jcarlile@manteno5.org


July 21, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Manteno CUSD No. 5 has been working on a reopening plan for the past several weeks. During this time, we have studied the restrictions and guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Health, and have been in contact with several other agencies who have aided in formulating our Framework for Returning to School in 2020-2021. Based on the results of the parent survey that went out, over 77 percent of parents/guardians intended to send their children to school if we were able to return to in-person instruction.

After thoughtful and thorough discussion, Manteno School District will be returning to In-Person Instruction beginning on August 19th at all district schools. We will be following the safety protocols issued by the State of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The return to in-person instruction follows the State of Illinois Face Covering Mandate. All students and staff members will be required to wear masks during the school day with breaks built in as it is safe to do so.

In-Person Instruction during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan is as follows:

  • Students will be in attendance each day with an early dismissal time of 1:50 at Manteno Elementary School, 2:00 at Manteno Middle School, and 2:10 at Manteno High School. The morning start times are not affected.
  • Transportation information will be sent out by our Director of Transportation.
  • Parents will be required to self-certify students prior to sending them to school each morning. More information will be forthcoming on the procedures for self-certifying.
  • All staff members will self-certify each morning before entering school buildings.
  • Lunch will occur at all buildings.
  • Social Distancing will be followed to the greatest extent possible, following the ISBE guidelines.
  • Facemasks are required on buses and in all buildings at all times. Breaks will be given to students following safety protocols and best practice recommendations.
  • There will be no congregating in hallways.
  • Student movement in the building will be scheduled or limited to allow for a reduction in numbers.
  • Student desks will be spread out and all unnecessary furniture will be removed from classrooms.
  • Increased sanitation measures will be employed.
  • We are working with IDPH and the Kankakee County Health Department on proposed plans for procedures when we have positive cases in our schools.
We understand that there are students who will be unable to return to in-person instruction due to a documented medical concern. Remote Learning will be available for these students who are able to provide each building principal with documentation from appropriate medical personnel by August 5th .

Remote Instruction will be available in the core areas. Remote learning lessons will be delivered by Manteno School District staff using both interactive lessons and online platforms. Students with 504 Plans and Individualized Education Plans who are placed on remote learning and are eligible for speech, occupational therapy, etc. will be receiving these services during remote instruction.

As we plan for in-person instruction, we also know that there is a possibility for our state or schools in our region to be mandated to move back to Phase 3 and remote learning for all students. A committee has been formed to strengthen our expectations and accountability if we should find ourselves on full-time remote learning at any time during the school year. The committee will also be working on planning for enhanced experiences for those students who must enroll in remote learning due to documented medical concerns. We look forward to the day Illinois moves to Phase 5, which would mean a complete return to full-time traditional instruction.

We appreciate your patience as we work to educate our students during these challenging and uncertain times. Our children are resilient, and we celebrate their adaptability over the last several months. We cannot wait to see them again! We will continue to communicate with families both at the district and building level. Thank you for all of your support!

We are stronger together!
Lisa Harrod
Superintendent
Manteno CUSD No. 5

July 14, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We wanted to touch base with you and provide you with an update on our planning for next year. Our goal has been to explore all options, be clear in communication, and do what is in the best interest of our students. We have been given the insurmountable task of making decisions based on guidelines, and restrictions that have been changing rapidly. For example, just last week, ISBE issued updates to the June 25th 60 plus page document. This continues to be a moving target as we plan for a variety of scenarios. 

Right now, we are working to make decisions drawing guidelines and restrictions from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education, the State of Illinois, and for athletics and extracurricular activities, the Illinois High School Association, and the Illinois Elementary School Association. If you have been following the news lately, you have seen that guidance and allowances issued have been in contradiction and had to be modified. 

Next week, we are hoping to release our district plan and provide the most up-to-date information on opening our buildings for in-person instruction. We are working with the Kankakee County Health Department on notification and contact tracing, while we enhance our safety protocols. We will also be providing our staff with training from an infection specialist in our areas. 

The State of Illinois and Illinois State Board of Education have been very clear in enforcing the mandate of face coverings being worn in school. They are encouraging children to wear masks and go on outings before school starts to wear something they are comfortable in. We have been researching best practices and will follow all recommended best practices for our staff and students. 

As we prepare to reopen, we know parents will have tough decisions to make based on what is best for their own family and have differing dynamics to consider. We are all facing uncharted waters and navigating many challenges. Let's work together to be united and set positive examples on social media and other platforms. 

We are stronger together!

Have a great week,
Lisa Harrod

June 29, 2020

We would like to share this information sheet from the Illinois State Board of Education as it will guide the decisions we will be making in the best interest of student safety, while following state mandates.

ISBE Guidance FAQ

June 23, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. Today, the Illinois State Board of Education released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year. 

This 60-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the 2020-21 school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy. It has been our goal since the beginning to do everything we can to resume in-person instruction when it is allowable to do so. While no plan will please everyone, rest assured we are doing all that we can to plan for good experiences moving forward.

Today, the Governor and State Superintendent discussed the need for our schools to follow mandated guidelines such as social distancing, wearing of masks, and limiting groups to 50 or below in spaces within each school. The Governor and ISBE spoke about a hybrid model of instruction that may need to be implemented given the guidelines above. This would force students to go to school on different or staggered days and times. We know this places a potential major burden on parents. The Governor also stated the need for schools to be flexible and be ready to return to remote learning if the metrics state the need to do so. Again, now more than ever, we will need your patience as we plan for and navigate these changes based on the guidelines we received.

Right now, we don’t have all the answers to the questions in this document as it was released to school districts at the same time it was released to the public. Therefore, we kindly ask for your patience as we thoroughly review this detailed guidance and implement the suggestions into our district’s own transition plan. We know some of the information and implementation measures contained in this document may be out of our control, but it is intended to keep our students safe, as difficult as the messages and allowances may be.

Manteno School District is aware of the need to communicate to families about what to expect next school year and anticipate releasing our own transition plan as soon as possible, most likely around Mid-July. As soon as we are comfortable with the plan, we will release it to parents and try to provide as many answers to questions that may be out there. We are not holding back information, but simply trying to send out our procedures without having to change them. Items to be discussed range from transportation guidelines, effective sanitization measures, and potential school closures and quarantine issues. There is so much we will need to review and plan for to get this right for our community. We must firmly state that it is our goal to return to in-person instruction as soon as we can.

The administrators have been working to brainstorm multiple scenarios and discuss considerations as we move forward with the guidelines and what we must now implement. We know that our environment may need to look different as we transition through the different phases, but we are committed to the continued education of the whole child. Our commitment to providing opportunities for all students will continue.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as the district navigates a situation that none of us could have imagined.

We appreciate your support!
We are in this together!

Sincerely, 
Lisa Harrod


June 5, 2020

Good Afternoon!

I hope you are all doing well.

We wanted to provide you with an update of what is happening behind the scenes to plan for next school year. Right now, we are waiting for guidance and specific criteria from the state. Until we know what is expected, it is very difficult to plan exactly what returning to school will look like in the fall. While we would like to provide you with more information, we are hesitant to release any documents or plans without these expectations and be in a position where we would then need to significantly alter what was prematurely communicated.

We have multiple scenarios we are planning for right now, placing the health and safety of our students and staff above all else. These include starting school as we always have, starting on remote learning, staggering the number of students in our buildings during the traditional school hours, etc. As soon as we have definitive information, we will share our transition plan.

We appreciate your patience as we work to reflect on remote learning practices from the spring and a return to in-person instruction as soon as we are able to. We miss our students greatly and are grateful for the support you have shown all of us during these uncertain times.

Stay safe and well!
April 21, 2020

Parents,

When Friday's announcement was released about in-person schooling being canceled for the remainder of the year, we knew that many questions would be raised. We wanted to provide you with information about two of our most frequently asked questions at each of our buildings.

1. How will Manteno Schools collect and distribute materials?

At this time, anything in your possession that is Manteno School District property (ex. Chromebook, Library Book), should remain in your possession until next school year. Items that need to be collected will be communicated out with a specific plan by each building administrator.

For example, High School Seniors will need to turn in their Chromebooks. Building specific communication will come from Mr. Schnitzler on how to turn in the Chromebooks.
2. Will I be refunded money for school activities that never took place?

Yes, all school activities that did not take place will be refunded, in check form, to parents. (ex. Field trips, Spring participation fees). Building level Administrators and Administrative Assistants will be working together to get these checks refunded and mailed out as soon as possible. We will not be applying credits to accounts but rather issuing checks.

We know that there are more questions out there. We appreciate your patience with us and we continue to navigate through this unprecedented time in education. We will send out more communication from each building as decisions are made.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building level administration.

Thank you for all of your support and have a great week!



April 17, 2020

Good Afternoon,

In anticipation of the Governor's announcement about the end of in-person schooling for the rest of the year, I wanted to send you some important changes and information about the district calendar.

Please know how much we all miss our students and how we will plan to come back stronger than ever as that is what we do in Manteno! We will find opportunity amongst the challenges...together. You have all been amazing supporters to us and it has not gone unnoticed.

For our 8th graders and Seniors, we are thinking of you and are in the process of planning celebrations for you that are allowable under these circumstances. We will be sending information out soon. Thank you for being patient and know you have not been far from our thoughts.

Here is our updated information:

Last Day for Seniors: May 8th
Last Day for 8th Graders: May 21st
Last Day for Remote Learning: May 22nd (This reflects a change from our amended June 1st date)
The remote learning days and teacher planning days will continue as scheduled until the 22nd.

We know you have so many questions about picking up student belongings, etc. and we will work to send out additional information as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience.

Thank you for everything...stay safe and healthy!

Lisa Harrod


March 31, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Today the Governor extended the Stay-at-Home through April 30th. During this time, our schools will remain closed and procedures we proactively put in place to address this anticipated extension will remain the same. Principals and teachers have been sending out information regarding remote learning plans.

I cannot say enough about the dedication of our administrators and staff during these trying times. They have stepped up and have put plans in place that are truly in the best interest of our students and school community. They are so deserving of our respect and admiration.

We will continue to have our Grab and Go food service at the high school on Mondays from 10am-1pm. The technology staff will continue to be problem-solving during these hours as well.

The high school will be our main site of operations during the mandated stay at home. By having one designated location, it will help us keep information open and less confusing for parents. Please watch for updates from our schools on other areas such as packet work distribution, etc. that will be added over the next few weeks.

As always, we are here for you to assist in any way. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

We are truly stronger together!
Stay Safe and Well,

Lisa


March 29, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I want to start by thanking all of you for your patience as we face these challenging times together. We are making the very best of everything by doing all we can to support each other.

Our last Act of God Day will be Monday, March 30th. Per our Governor, we will begin Remote Learning Days.

The Goal of our Remote Learning Days is based on a quote received from the Illinois State Board of Education Guidelines. "Identify a focus of keeping children emotionally and physically safe, fed and engaged in learning." This will be our foundation as we move forward navigating uncertain times.

We have been working on streamlining the resources and activities that we will send out on these remote learning days. There will be a good flow for students that is easy to follow, and more scheduled activities that students will enjoy.

We understand that many of you are still working and are doing the best you can to create a balance with everything happening in our nation. We appreciate your patience more than you know. Our wonderful teachers are creating amazing things and cannot wait to continue to keep our students engaged.

The specifics of what the remote learning days will entail will be posted by teachers using Google Classroom and other platforms that students are familiar with.

The teachers will be utilizing two planning days for our remote learning.

The schedule for next week is as follows:

Monday: No remote learning, Last Act of God Day.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Teacher Planning Days. No Remote Learning.
Thursday: First Remote Learning Activities posted.
Friday: Remote Learning Day.

We anticipate these Remote Learning Days will continue until April 7th. We are scheduled to return to school on Wednesday, April 8th. If the Governor extends this closure, we will be in contact immediately and continue our remote learning days.

There will be three additional Remote Learning Planning Days to allow for teachers to collaborate in case we are extending school closures. To be proactive, we will share those now:
April 17th
May 1st
May 15th
There will be no Remote Learning on these days if we need to utilize them for teachers to plan.

Assignments will be posted each morning shortly after 8:00 am. Teachers will be sharing information through email for students. Students can work on activities throughout the day. All teachers will communicate deadlines.

Each Remote Learning Day from 11:00 am-1:00 pm, teachers will be available for questions, engaging activities with students, etc. Another way to look at this is it "Live" teacher time.

Teachers will also be available and ready to answer any questions you have each day. Teachers will also be reaching out to students to make sure they can access information, etc. They will also be contacting students that are not engaged during the remote learning days to see if any additional support is needed.

Beginning Thursday, all assignments and report card grades will move to a PASS/INCOMPLETE for the remainder of the year per the Illinois State Board of Education. This allows us to provide each student the ability to be successful without the fear of failure during these unprecedented times. We encourage our students to do their best.

Elementary School students are going to receive materials from their teacher electronically. At any time, if any Student in our district, at any school needs packets of work due to the inability to access electronic materials, we will be happy to work with you to provide you that. Please contact the building principal directly so we can create a plan to get those materials to you.

Thank you for your support and partnering with us! We truly appreciate how well our community is there for each other.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us by email directly. We cannot answer questions in detail through social media.

Have a great week ahead!
Stay safe and well!

Lisa Harrod

​​​​​​


March 28, 2020

Good Afternoon,

While schools remain closed at this time, Manteno CUSD No.5 is committed to providing meals to all students who need them. Grab-and-go meals will be provided every Monday from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM at Manteno High School. These grab-and-go packs are put together by our outstanding Food Service Department with enough food to cover the remainder of the week. If you have any questions about the grab-and-go meals please contact Lynn Davis at 815-928-7011.

Our Technology Department will also provide a Chromebook Exchange during this time. Non-functioning student Chromebooks can be brought to Manteno High School every Monday from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM and exchanged for a functioning Chromebook. If you have any questions about the Chromebook Exchange please email tech@manteno5.org.

Right now, the administrators are working on streamlining procedures for our new remote learning days as directed by the Governor and Illinois State Board of Education. Our last Act of God day will be Monday, March 30th.

We will be communicating more about the Remote Learning Days very soon.


March 20, 2020

Good Evening,

This afternoon, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois Residents will be under a Shelter-In-Place effective Saturday, March 21st at 5:00 pm through Tuesday, April 7th. At this time we are extending our mandated closure and will tentatively reopen for student attendance on Wednesday, April 8th. Included in this closure are any meetings, events, games, and practices.

Since next week was originally scheduled to be our spring break, teachers will not be posting assignments or providing additional resources during this break. We are awaiting information from the Illinois State Board of Education on the Continuity of Education for our students during this extended closure and then planning our course of action for student learning beginning again on Monday, March 30th. Once we have more information to share about the academic engagement of our students, I will be in touch. I truly appreciate your patience during this challenging time.

Our district has decided to do one more Grab-and-Go food distribution on Monday, March 23rd from 10:00 am-1:00 pm located again at the high school for students who truly need the assistance over spring break. Our Technology Department will also be present on Monday for Chromebook Issues and Trade-Ins during the same hours. We will be sending out more information about our grab-and-go meals for the week of the 30th some time next week.

Due to the Shelter-in-Place order, our buildings will be closed at this time. If you need assistance, we will still be checking voicemail and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please refer to our list of available resources should you need to contact us directly for any reason.

I will continue to communicate as I have more definitive information.

Thank you for your understanding and making our district and community so special.

Even in these challenging times, we will not lose sight of our responsibility to our students or our ability to come out of this stronger than ever!

Lisa Harrod
Superintendent


March 18, 2020

We wanted to provide you a resource list of people available to offer assistance and support if needed. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything during these unprecedented times.

RJ Haines: Undue Hardships for School District Families and Local and State Resource Planning
Contact information: rhaines@manteno5.org, 815-928-7027

Lynn Davis: Food Service/Gran-and-Go Meals and Planning
Contact information: ldavis@manteno5.org, 815-928-7011

Ryan Diedrich: Transportation Questions
Contact information: rdiedrich@manteno5.org, 815-928-7003

Cathy Creek: Curriculum Resources
Contact information: ccreek@manteno5.org, 815-928-7024
*Please contact your child’s teacher first with questions about packets, assignments, activities.

Jennifer O’Reilly: Mental Health Support and Social Emotional Learning Activities
Contact information: joreilly@manteno5.org, 815-802-7450

Nancy Kaufman: Manteno CUSD No. 5 Staff Resources and Guidance
Contact information: nkaufman@manteno5.org, 815-928-7001

Tom Steele: Technology and Connectivity
Contact information: tsteele@manteno5.org, 815-928-7006
*Available Mondays from 10-1 to address Chromebook issues during the Grab-and-Go Meal Distribution

We are thinking of all of you during these uncertain times to lend support and understanding.

We are Here,

Lisa M. Harrod
Superintendent


March 16, 2020

Manteno CUSD No.5 grab-and-go meals will start on Tuesday, March 17th. These meals are for any district student under the age of 18 and may be picked up at the front doors of Manteno High School between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Each student will receive one breakfast meal and one lunch meal per student per day.

If you know you will be picking up these meals please call Lynn Davis at 815-928-7011 between 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM or email at ldavis@manteno5.org. Walk-ups will also be served.

Our Technology Department will also be available on Mondays during the grab and go meal hours at Manteno High School to assist with Chromebook concerns and trade-ins.

If there are other needs or hardships during this time please contact our Coordinator of Behavioral Support, RJ Haines at 815-928-7027. He will be able to assist you in connecting with various community and state resources.


March 15, 2020

Good Evening Manteno School District Families,

As you know, the Governor took the unprecedented step of mandating the closure of schools until March 31st. Please note in previous communication, and based on the latest information available on Friday, I had stated that we will return on March 30th. School will not be in session on Monday, March 30th. We will tentatively return to school on March 31st. We have changed Emergency Days to Act of God Days per the Governor. 

Things are rapidly changing, but we want to do our best to remain calm, vigilant, and prepared. 

Here is the summary: 

  • School is open Tomorrow, March 16th during normal hours. (See Statement Below)
  • Act of God Days Begin on Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30th. 
  • Spring Break will Remain Spring Break: March 23rd-March 27th.
  • Act of God Day Monday March 30th
  • School Tentatively Resumes on Tuesday, March 31st. 

We have talked so much about Resilience and Having a Growth Mindset with our Students, Staff, and Community. These are the times we need to rely on each other the most. We feel your support and please know how much we appreciate it. 

We had sent out communication last Friday afternoon that we would remain open tomorrow per the Governor's Address. We plan on remaining open to provide closure for students, provide parents with an extra day to plan for the mandated closures, and to distribute packet work/engaging activities. 

​​​​​​​We will remain open tomorrow, but ask that you please use discretion in deciding what is best for you and your family. If you choose to keep your children at home tomorrow, it will be considered an excused absence. We understand we are in challenging times. Packets for Early Elementary can be picked up at a later date if your child is not in attendance tomorrow. We will communicate those logistics as soon as possible. We are hoping that by remaining open, we can assist parents while absolutely being diligent about CDC recommendations, limiting interactions, etc. 

We believe in doing all we can to be responsible to our taxpayers and providing educational continuity for our students during Act of God Days. We will be communicating with families and working on engaging opportunities for students. These may come from a variety of sources. Although these activities cannot count as Instructional Days per the Illinois State Board of Education, we want our students to feel supported, stay motivated and continue to be excited about school!

Our buildings will be closed to students during the Act of God Days, however, we are working to set up a list of phone numbers where you can reach out to communicate any undue hardships, ask for additional resources, inquire about mental health supports,activities for social emotional learning, etc. We will also be setting up food Grab and Go packages during the closure period. We appreciate your patience as we work to put those procedures in place and will communicate as soon as possible. We will remain here for you should you need anything in these unprecedented times. 

I will communicate any changes when we are made aware of them. We are facing uncertainty in the days ahead. We know our students take direction from all of us and we will make sure there is extra good in their worlds.

For now, build those forts, hug your children, engage in great conversation, and show them the power of a community that takes care of each other. 

Thank you for understanding and allowing us to do the very best we can! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Lisa 


March 13, 2020

We were notified this afternoon that our Governor has issued a mandatory closing for all schools starting on Tuesday, March 17th. We will be open on Monday, March 16th and taking emergency days from Tuesday through Friday. We will then be on spring break. We are planning on coming back to school on Monday, March 30th. If anything should change during this time and we need to extend the closure, we will send communication as soon as possible.

In summary:

- We are open on Monday, March 16th and looking forward to seeing our students.
- Emergency Days: Tuesday through Friday (March 17-20)
- Spring Break: March 23rd through 27th. School resumes March 30th.
- There will be no engagement days during this time. If the timeline for mandatory closures is extended, we will start our Engagement Days and more communication will follow.

We have all spent the last 24 hours preparing for a variety of scenarios. I am so proud of our school district for the collective response and professionalism shown under these unprecedented times.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We will see students on Monday.

Have a great weekend!
Lisa Harrod

March 12, 2020

Dear Parents,

We are going to be using an Emergency School Improvement Day tomorrow, Friday, March 13th. Dismissal will take place at the following times:

- Elementary School at 10:55AM (PM & Headstart Preschool Classes Canceled)
- Middle School at 11:05AM
- High School at 11:15AM
No Lunches will be served.


While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our area, we remain vigilant. The last 24 hours have been unprecedented and I have not seen a scenario like this in my 18 years as an administrator. It is necessary for us to use the time tomorrow to plan in anticipation of any closures that may occur. We are taking our guidance and direction from the CDC, The State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health, Kankakee County Health Department, and the Illinois State Board of Education. They will be the ones charged with making the ultimate decision to close our schools or allow us to remain open. I truly appreciate your understanding as we work together to navigate these challenges.

The following information will apply in the case of a forced closure. We are going to do everything we can to keep our students in school but need to provide you with information in advance so communication is open and transparent.

In the case of a forced closure occurring, in the best interest of our students, staff, and the community, we will be using our 4 remaining emergency days, moving our last day of school this year to June 5, 2020. After that, the district will be using Engaged Learning Days. These days will engage students in meaningful and relevant activities aligned to the standards and meant to enhance mastery and transfer of information. They will be asking students to complete activities and assignments that are creative and practical. As this is a new journey for us, we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Each teacher will send home an email about how the days will work. They will be available each Engaged Learning Day from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. This will be time to answer questions, interact with students, etc. Assignments and activities will be posted each day at 8:00 am. Sometimes they will contain a reminder to complete an activity or assignment that spans more than one day. Support will be available and we understand and will work through any issues with internet access, etc. Elementary School Activities will contain a balance of some pencil and paper work and other modes of instruction.

Manteno CUSD No. 5 is committed to the continued education of our children. We know we are facing challenges during this time but are here to support you and ease the uncertainty that exists right now.

Thank you again for your understanding, patience, and support.

We are so fortunate to live in this community!


Stay Healthy,

Lisa Harrod


March 4, 2020

Dear Manteno School District Students, Staff and Families,


The health and safety of our students is our top priority, so we want to share with you information that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has published for schools throughout the state.

The good news at this time is that the health risk to the general public from coronavirus remains low. Currently, the IDPH recommends schools hold classes and events as usual, and follow routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures; no special measures are necessary. The IDPH also recommends the best way to protect against coronavirus is by taking the same everyday precautions against getting sick in general. These include:

- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will continue to closely monitor recommendations regarding coronavirus (from the IDPH) and will update you as soon as there are any significant changes in recommendations for schools. Thank you for your support in helping to keep our school community healthy.


Sincerely,
Lisa M. Harrod
Superintendent, Manteno CUSD No. 5