Just a month after starting a one-to-one (1:1) Chromebook pilot program to a select group of freshmen and sophomore classes, Minooka Community High School (MCHS) has now found itself immersed in a schoolwide E-Learning platform opportunity due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Last week Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, announced that all Illinois K-12 schools will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17th through Monday, March 30th due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
Poised with the latest technology, teachers and students are finding the transition to E-Learning based instruction and engagement to be relatively smooth.
“We have been preparing our teachers for E-Learning opportunities over the last few months and have complete confidence in their ability to lead, instruct, and engage during this time,” stated Bryan Zwemke, Building Principal at MCHS. “I have heard a great amount of positive feedback from teachers, and administration, regarding the last few days of E-Learning and how involved our students are. I am so proud of our school community and the professionalism that has revealed itself during the COVID-19 outbreak. I couldn’t be prouder.” Continued Principal Zwemke.
During this time, students are encouraged to receive instruction and activities from their teachers through a pilot of the MCHS E-Learning model. Although these next few days are
non-attendance days and activities provided by teachers will not be graded, MCHS will follow guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and offer learning opportunities for students.
During this past Wednesday and Thursday, MCHS arranged a two-day pickup schedule for Meals and Laptops for all MCHS students while supplies lasted. The pickup was held at MCHS South Campus between 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM. MCHS Technology Department assigned 77 laptops that were checked-out by families for student use, and Quest Food Management Services, Inc. provided over 300 meals for students over the two-day period. The remaining meals were donated to a Grace Bible Church of Shorewood, who in turn, will help their immediate congregation and surrounding community feed children in need.
“Witnessing the way our school staff stepped outside their normal scope of work to ensure our students and families were taken care of during this time, was nothing short of amazing,” stated Brent Edwards, Director of Community Relations at MCHS. “I was in awe of how quickly this was organized and arranged.” Continued Edwards.
MCHS will continue to closely monitor recommendations and guidance from the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health, Grundy County Department of Health, and the Illinois State Board of Education, regarding the coronavirus and will provide updates to teachers, staff, students, and families as soon as there are any significant changes in recommendations for schools.
MCHS has also created a coronavirus (COVID-19) resource page on their website, MCHS.net, with information regarding school updates, prevention tips, and other resources.