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A LETTER FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we begin the 2020-2021 school year we want to welcome everyone back to school. MCHS is the only public high school in McHenry County that is offering face-to-face instruction, and we are very proud of our staff and students, who are working hard and engaging in healthy habits this year. The health and safety of our students and staff is critical to providing this educational opportunity.

We should not be surprised, however, when/if positive test results are identified within our school or community. We assume this will happen eventually, and this is the reason why we have implemented so many precautions for reducing COVID-19 exposure. Marengo High School has structured every space and classroom in accordance with the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education to ensure the lowest possible risk for infection and spread of COVID-19. It is also why maintaining social distance, masking, and frequent hand washing are all still very important during and after school hours for students and staff.

Please do not send your student to school if they have been in “close contact” (within 6 feet for more for 15 minutes), cared for someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or if your student or a family member are being tested or have any of the CDC identified COVID-19 symptoms, which are asked of students entering the building daily.

If you have any COVID-19 questions, please contact the school nurse at 815-568-6511 x1102, call the Illinois COVID-19 hotline at (800) 889-3931, or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

Regarding any positive cases in the school:

Marengo High School is working closely with the McHenry County Department of Health and MCHS will be notified about every confirmed cases in our school. If your student is determined to be a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, you will be contacted directly by the McHenry County Department of Health or our school nurse with specific instructions for your student.

Attendance

Students who are in groups A and B must physically be in the building on their assigned face to face days and may not choose to attend remotely. If your student is ill and will not be in attendance, either in-person or remotely, you must contact Mrs. Seemann at 815-568-6511 x1302 to report their absence and the specific symptom(s) which your child is experiencing so that we may monitor illness trends and report to the MCDH. Students who are ill but still able to participate in remote learning are highly encouraged to do so to ensure continuity in their education. We understand this procedure is different from that last spring; please call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Wednesdays will vary from class to class and week to week. Teachers should be discussing the weekly expectations frequently, since this will fluctuate on a regular basis. Teachers and students will be working together at the same time or synchronously on some Wednesdays, and on other Wednesdays, students may be working on homework or class activities individually or asynchronously. Each Wednesday, students should be using their time to work on academics as guided by their teachers. This is a day that many students will be able to shift their activities as needed in areas where they may need more time and focus. Teachers are available throughout the day for assistance, either one to one or in groups. There may also be times that teachers may be asked to attend school or department meetings, or professional development to further advance their skills, so it is helpful for a student to check with their instructor for specific available times when needed.

I encourage everyone to utilize our Return to Learn website page here to look through the parent and student FAQs and to find answers to many questions that other parents and students have had.

Stay safe and have a great school year!