Home COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

For IEA Board of Directors, Local Presidents and Staff

Some of the links and information may be shared with members. President Kathi Griffin’s daily COVID-19 email update will include an asterisk* next to each item to be shared.

March 26, 2020

State Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., update

Reminder: Tele town hall Friday at 4:20 p.m. You will receive a call within 10 minutes of the start time. Just pick up and you will be connected. The town hall will revolve around updates to school closures.

What’s in the federal Coronavirus bill? NEA breaks it down for you.

Gov. JB Pritzker asked, again, for people to please stay away from others and abide by the “stay-at-home” order he put in place in order to stop the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. “This virus doesn’t care if you’re bored. It doesn’t care if you want to hang out with your friends or if you think I’m overreacting.” He said the virus has forced doctors all over the world to make horrible choices over who to treat and who not to and his order is meant to save Illinois’ healthcare workers from having to do the same. The number of cases jumped Thursday by 673 cases to a total of 2,538 across 37 counties. There were an additional seven deaths for a total of 26.

Questions and Answers:

Questions and Answers will be addressed here upon submission.

Previous Updates

March 25, 2020

State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., did not post a daily statement, but  in another update from ISBE, updated guidance for districts that choose to volunteer to provide childcare for low-income first responders.

As a reminder, the tele town hall for board members and presidents will be at 4:20 p.m. Friday. Make sure your cell phone number is updated with IEA Connect by noon tomorrow by emailing or live chatting via the IEA website, from 7 a.m. to noon.

In other items:

The National Education Association put out a warning Wednesday that there are several scams circulating around the Coronavirus. Here are things to look for:

Emails that appear to be from organizations such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), or the WHO (World Health Organization). The scammers have crafted emails that appear to come from these sources, but they actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments.

  1. Emails that ask for charity donations for studies, doctors, or victims that have been affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global phenomenons occur, like natural disasters, or health scares like the COVID-19.
  2. Emails that claim to have a “new” or “updated” list of cases of Coronavirus in your area. These emails could contain dangerous links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.

Keep in mind, these are only a few examples and these scam artists are constantly coming up with new ways to fool you. Remain cautious! And always remember the following to protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
  • If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organization such as the WHO or CDC, report the email to the official organization through their website.
  • If you want to make a charity donation, go to the charity website of your choice to submit your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails, or other messages.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced during his daily briefing that Illinois’ income tax deadline will move to July 15 from April 15. He also introduced several new financial programs aimed to help businesses in Illinois, with some aimed specifically at the suburbs and downstate as well as one aimed at bars, restaurants and hotels. Information on these programs are available at www.coronavirus.il.gov. Illinois now has 1,865 diagnosed cases and 19 deaths in 35 counties.

The 2020 Census is happening NOW!
The importance of the U.S. Census to the well-being of children and the strength of their public schools cannot be overstated. The census questionnaire can be completed online, by phone or by mail

March 24, 2020

The daily update from State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., is posted online today and is a public document.

Other items:

Tele town hall — We anticipate more guidance coming out later this week about how the next few weeks of the school year will be handled by the state. After it does, we plan to schedule another tele town hall for local presidents. Here are some things you need to know prior to that:

  • We will only be pulling cell phone numbers from our member database. If you want to participate, please make sure you have your cell phone on file with IEA.
  • You can contact IEA Connect by email or live chat on the IEA website from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to update. Or call between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Update your phone numbers by noon on Thursday.
  • We are trying to call everyone on the outreach dial with the tele town hall as opposed to having participants call in, which raises the cost. Please update your mobile number ASAP, so we do not miss you.

IEA President Kathi Griffin has a video message of support for members across the state and some helpful information. Share on your social media pages or websites!

Read a message of thanks and support from the Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education Darren Reisberg.

Teachers’ Retirement Staff continues to work from home and assures members retirees will be paid on time at the beginning of April. Its member call center is now off-line, but you can ask questions and seek guidance via email. TRS warns response times may be slower.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker warned that the state’s hospital systems could be overwhelmed as the state’s capacity to test more people for the COVID-19 virus continues to grow. He said science will continue to drive his decisions on how to govern Illinois, what to open and what to keep closed. “As long as Americans have breath in their lungs, we will survive and thrive,” he said at his daily briefing. The Department of Public Health announced 250 new cases for a total of 1,535 in the state of Illinois, four new deaths for a total of 16, across 33 counties. Of those, 16 percent are hospitalized and 4 percent are in intensive care units.

March 23, 2020

State School Supt. Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., released her daily statement late Monday. In it, she outlined several items, including:

  • Highlighting a vocational school that donated needed medical supplies to the cause in Illinois Indian Valley Vocational Center in Sandwich donated much-needed masks, gloves, goggles, gowns, facemasks and gloves. If you have items to donate, email donations@illinois.gov.
  • The announcement that Illinois is seeking a waiver for all federally-required state assessments in the 2019-20 school year the requirement to provide summative designations and identify schools for targeted and comprehensive support and to waive the requirement to report on accountability indicators on this year’s report card.
  • More on the idea that schools can volunteer to provide child care for low-income essential workers without obtaining an emergency license during the pandemic. We’re working to get more clarification on this concept.
  • An update on the planning for days beyond March 30, including meetings that took place with teachers, paraprofessionals, other support personnel, principals, administrators and students to determine how to move forward with instruction and grading in a remote learning environment.
  • A shout out to Crete-Monee District 201, providing free meals to students and budget-friendly meals to the general public with the phrase, “We look forward to serving you.”

At the end of the day Monday, ISBE posted updated guidance for schools and districts.

There are many volunteer needs to be met across the state and a great need for blood donations. The State of Illinois has created a website where you can check for opportunities and find out more information.

Gov. JB Pritzker outlined at his press conference the requests Illinois has made of the federal government for personal protective equipment and the fraction of the request that’s been delivered, so far. He also said Illinois’ own businesses are stepping up to try to help fill the gap so health care professionals and public safety workers will be properly outfitted and stand a better chance of staying healthy and safe as the number of cases continue to climb. On Monday, it was announced there were 236 new cases, for a total of 1,285, three more deaths for a total of 12 and there are now 31 counties affected.

March 22, 2020

Supplement to today’s update: State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., sent out her daily message late Sunday and it contained several pieces of information we wanted to draw your attention to:

  • A reminder that in-person instruction is suspended through at least April 7. Personnel who are preparing and distributing meals and learning materials to students are performing essential functions and are exempt from the stay-at-home mandate. View Executive Order 2020-10’s definition of essential workers.
  • Every day through March 30 will count as an Act of God Day. Later this week, ISBE will issue guidance regarding March 31, and after. ISBE is assembling an advisory group of teachers, administrators and stakeholders to explore and make recommendations as to what Remote Instructional Days might look like, should schools stay closed for an extended period of time. (IEA has members serving on this task force.)
  • Guidance and an FAQ have been issued for child care centers, child care homes and early education programs.
  • State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., and Mark Klaisner, president of the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents put out guidance Sunday around school calendars which mentions, in particular, the scheduling of spring break in a way that best meets the needs of the district.

On Friday, the National Education Association invited leaders and members from around the country to participate in a call with federal authorities from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control to discuss the novel COVID-19 virus and the effect it’s had on public education in the country. Several announcements were made on that call, including:

  • Waiving the testing requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
  • Student loan relief that allows those who hold federal loans to suspend payments for up to 60 days with no penalty and setting the interest rate for that same 60 days to zero;
  • An introduction to the U.S. Department of Education’s Coronavirus website;
  • Guidance on preventing and addressing potential discrimination associated with COVID-19, including a letter on the subject, a webinar and a fact sheet;
  • And, guidance on how to provide services to students with disabilities during school closures and an announcement that further guidance will be coming in regard to best practices and models of instruction.

On Sunday, Gov. JB Pritzker gave a shout out to educators in his daily press briefing Sunday. While the numbers of those infected with the virus continue to rise at 1,049 and nine dead across 30 counties.

Governor Pritzker acknowledged that people are on edge and pointed to educators as one way to find relief.

“Even with all the anxiety you may be feeling it’s important to remember: Hope is all around us.” He mentioned a handful of examples around the state and ended with: “If you want a real shot in the arm, search Twitter for the hashtag #ilschoolsstepup to read about all the great things going on in schools around the state.”

  • State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., and Mark Klaisner, president of the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents put out guidance Sunday around school calendars.
  • Does your local have a logo? If so, has it been updated recently? If this is a project you’d like to take on during this emergency shutdown, please reach out to Mark Ritterbusch in the IEA Communications Department for assistance.
  • And, a new resource has been added to the links below and will be updated as new programs become available. This document outlines the financial help that is available for families whose finances are being impacted by the novel COVID-19 virus public health crisis.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 20, 2020

Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued Friday a “stay at home” order. Starting at 5 p.m. on Sat., March 21 and lasting through April 7, any resident of the state not considered essential personnel is ordered to stay home and all businesses are to close that are not essential services. Grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, hospitals, emergency services and utilities are exempt from the order. Schools were very generally addressed in the order. Pritzker said he’s not sure when Illinois’ students will return to classrooms, but he knows that the date is at least postponed until April 8 from the current March 31.

In other updates:

  • State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., posted a public daily statement Friday. In it, she addressed the Governor’s order. And ISBE issued an updated version of its guidance.
  • IEA officers held a tele town hall with IEA local presidents Wednesday afternoon to discuss the joint agreement between IEA, IFT, ISBE, IASA, IPA and the Governor’s office. If you didn’t get a chance to join, a recording of the town hall meeting has been posted.
  • Other highlights from Pritzker’s daily press conference included the newest numbers in Illinois’ novel COVID-19 virus cases. To date, 585 people in Illinois have been diagnosed with the virus in 25 states and five have died.
  • Here is a list of helpful resources that have been vetted by IEA’s Teaching and Learning Department that you should feel free to share with your members:
    • Keep Learning Going — This is a very well-done site that has curated free tools, strategies, tips and best practices for teaching online (for both K-12 and Higher Ed). They also have an Educator Helpdesk where educators can sign-up to help each other. They are also hosting regular webinars with online learning experts.
    • Second, the New Yok Times has created free educator resources to help teach critical thinking. They are publishing daily news features just for young people. They have also created interactive daily writing prompts, lessons of the day, and other interesting online activities.
    • You may already know this unfortunate fact – cases of child abuse tend to increase significantly during holidays and over summer months. We can only assume this will be the case, especially during these uncertain and stressful times. Here is another resource about helping children and families deal with stress from The National Traumatic Stress Network. Page four of this document includes a table about helping children cope by age group. Also, note at the end of this document is a hotline those in distress can call or text to talk to a counselor.
    • And, the IEA Teaching and Learning Department put together this document about remote learning. We hope you find it helpful.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 19, 2020

  • Today’s update from State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., includes information on free internet access opportunities and other ideas to spark creativity around online learning.
  • As you are likely aware, Congress passed and the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Act, which allows for additional funding for the public health emergency, changes to federal nutrition programs, employment protections, benefits, health programs and insurance coverage, and tax credit. NEA updated members about it. In addition, the New York Times, which has lifted its paywall, has a story about the bill’s financial impact.
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced three more novel COVID-19 deaths today, bringing the total to four. The number of cases increased to 422 from 288 and expanded to 22 counties from 17.

Grocery stores around the state are offering special hours to senior citizens, who are especially susceptible to the virus. And, the state of Illinois is offering a two-month delay to paying sales tax, with no penalty, to small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as low-interest loans, to help them survive decreased business and temporary closures.

Pritzker said he is asking the National Guard to help open drive-through testing facilities and to re-fit and re-open closed hospitals around the state in anticipation of increased patients.

He also addressed rumors that are circulating around the state, promising roads and bridges will stay open and that Illinoisans will continue to have access to vital services, including fuel, groceries, medicine and other items and there is no need to hoard such supplies.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 18, 2020

  • The presidents’ tele town hall held this afternoon was full of good information about the joint agreement between IEA, IFT, ISBE, the governor’s office, IASA and IPA. Here is the updated slide deck for all local presidents and a link to the joint agreement.
  • The much-awaited ISBE guidance on special education was released late today. ISBE was working with the U.S. Department of Education to make determinations on several items.
  • Each day, Illinois State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D. gives an update. Here is today’s. Highlights include: Updated comprehensive guidance from ISBE, including items on AP exams, dual credit exams and other subjects, and the extension of the deadline to submit a proposal for the fiscal year 2021 Early Childhood Block Grant.
  • Here is a video greeting from IEA President Kathi Griffin that you should feel free to share with your members or on your local social media and web pages.
  • These are stressful times for everyone. Please take advantage of these resources we’ve created for you. One is a brochure on tips on how you can deal with stress, another on how to help teens and children deal with stress and the third is a book study that starts in April and the topic of the book is mindfulness for teachers!
  • The Teachers’ Retirement System has decided to let its staff work from home at least through March 31. From the TRS email:

“Since staff access to TRS offices will be severely limited, the high-quality service that our members are used to will be affected. You may experience slower responses and other minor inconveniences.

These temporary operating procedures will close the TRS Call Center to members seeking help over the telephone. Until further notice, members that have critical situations which need assistance should email the TRS Counseling Office at members@trsil.org. We will answer all questions as quickly as possible.

TRS offices in Springfield and Lisle remain closed to all visitors.”

  • The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund has made some changes to the way it conducts business as has the State Universities Retirement System.
  • Have you been wondering about delegate elections during the emergency school closure? NEA has provided us some. In addition, there is guidance from IEA given the current IEA office closures. This will be a permanent link below the daily posts below on this page under the Q and A document.
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives daily updates on the novel Covid-19 virus and its effect on Illinois, as well as how many people have tested positive, etc. Today, he announced 128 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 288. It was the state’s largest one-day jump to date. He also announced a new website called Coronavirus.Illinois.gov. There are 42 cases in one nursing home in DuPage County. And, there are cases in 17 counties.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 17, 2020

One of the biggest things to happen today was the joint statement that was put out between IEA, IFT, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Principals Association, Illinois State Board of Education and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office. It was the result of several days of conversation between all of the entities to reach an agreement on a series of commitments that provide stability for all educators and guidance for districts in these unprecedented times. This agreement will allow districts and educators to do what’s best for all students in our state, which is the ultimate end goal.

There was a webinar this afternoon for IEA Board of Director members and all IEA local presidents are being invited to join a tele town hall on Wed., March 18 from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. hosted by IEA President Kathi Griffin.  We will be providing you with updates and answering questions about the March 17-March 30 school closures.  An initial pre-call invitation was completed earlier this evening, letting IEA local presidents know they will receive a call on Wednesday around 4:40 inviting them to join the tele town hall.

Please take a moment to review the joint statement from the Governor/IEA/IFT/IASA/IPI/ISBE and the attached slides.

In other news:

Governor Pritzker announced today that 160 people have now been diagnosed with the novel COVID-19 virus, including 18 residents and four staff in one nursing home in the Chicago area. Illinois also recorded its first death, a woman in her 60s from Chicago.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 16, 2020

Leaders from the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Association of School Administrators and the Illinois Principals’ Association spent much of the day Monday trying to hammer out specifics about workday issues.

The day of meetings came as a result of Sunday’s back-to-back phone calls hosted by the State Superintendent of Schools, Illinois State Board of Education, ROEs and school superintendents from around the state. It was clear there were several issues that continue to require conversations around the emergency-ordered school closings.

Details of Monday’s meetings will be released in a joint statement on Tuesday morning.

Here is Monday’s daily update from State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala. Highlights include:

    • An updated school closure guidance document;
    • Changes to the registration for Tuesday’s ISBE’s webinar;
    • And, a technology needs survey that every district, co-op, etc. in the state is asked to complete.

Also on Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that he’s adopting the recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and asking that any gathering of people be limited to 50 people, or less. It was also announced at his daily press conference that the number of cases in Illinois has risen to 105 and two new counties have been added to the list – Peoria and Will. There are now cases in 15 Illinois counties.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 15, 2020

As we mentioned yesterday, the Illinois State Board of Education held a series of “town hall” meetings all day Sunday with superintendents and other public education stakeholders from around the state to provide information and answer questions about the upcoming emergency-ordered school closings.

Another meeting with stakeholders will be held in the morning to try to finalize some details and give closure to several issues.

One thing is very clear, all regularly employed school employees will be paid for Act of God days regardless of whether they are salary or hourly.

And, one other lingering question answered Sunday that will be important for Monday (because the closure does not officially start until Tues., March 17), is that the day can be considered a regular school day, an emergency day or a teacher institute day. If a district has used all of its emergency days, it can be taken as an Act of God day.

Here is the update from State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala for Sunday. Please watch for Monday’s Covid-19 update on this page as it should be full of important information.

Also, on Sunday, the State of Illinois announced the number of Covid-19 cases jumped another 23 cases and added the counties of Champaign, Clinton, Whiteside and Winnebago.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 14, 2020

State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala’s daily update today contained several pieces of useful information, including: 

  • All of the days that schools are closed as a result of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency order will be considered “Act of God” days and will not have to be made up at the end of the year. 
  • ISBE will be holding a series of “town hall” meetings with superintendents around the state tomorrow to help answer questions and provide information in this unprecedented time. 
  • And, provides links to a library of online resources and updated guidance, as well as advice to districts to create local emergency response teams. Please read the whole update. 

In addition, there were 18 new cases of COVID-19 announced today, including cases downstate – in Woodford, St. Clair and Cumberland Counties. And, this evening, two additional cases were announced in Sangamon County. 

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org. 

March 13, 2020

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today that Illinois schools will close on Tues., March 17 and will remain closed until Mon., March 30 in an effort to slow the advancement of the Coronavirus through social distancing. There are still many details to iron out, but here is a list of items that IEA has been advocating for and we know ISBE, the Governor’s office and other education stakeholders have been sorting out:

  • Working on getting a waiver for upcoming state testing;
  • That all employees will be paid for all the days off;
  • Ensuring chronic absenteeism won’t be recorded on the report card;
  • Working with the U.S. Department of Education so Illinois does not lose federal funding;
  • Ensuring Evidence-Based Funding stays intact;
  • Not having to make up these missed days;
  • The possibility of staff creating instructional packets, buses dropping off packets and food on the bus route and picking up packets the next day; and
  • A solution to the question of teacher evaluation question.

This is an unprecedented public health crisis that calls for unprecedented public health solutions. As more information becomes available on these details, we will share them with all of you.

Please see State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala’s daily message here with details about the statewide school closure effective March 17 through March 30.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

March 12, 2020

First and foremost, we want to address the rumor that Gov. J.B. Pritzker is closing Illinois’s schools. This is not true. Executive Director Audrey Soglin was on a call Thursday morning with the governor’s office and was reassured that he does not plan to close down all the schools in Illinois. The plan remains as originally outlined. Individual districts will make this decision in conjunction with the local departments of public health and the decisions will be data driven.

State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala shared resources and guidance today about home learning and providing continuity of education for students during Emergency and Act of God Days. There are many good ideas and resources located in this document. Please take a moment to look at it.

Audrey continues to meet with ISBE and other education stakeholders every day at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the ongoing and rapidly changing situation.

Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

Here are some other items to flag for today:

  • Both the University of Illinois campuses and Illinois State University have determined that classes will resume online, rather than in person, upon the completion of spring break. Other colleges and universities are making similar announcements by the hour.
  • The Illinois High School Association announced Thursday that crowds at the boys’ and girls’ basketball finals will be limited to 60 people per team in an effort to comply with social distancing theories.
  • NEA has provided some helpful guidance as an analytical framework around some key issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Included are:
  • COVID-19 and Non-Congregate USDA Reimbursable Meal Options, issued by ISBE:
    • Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program and institutions participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program that may be/are dismissed or closed due to COVID-19 are encouraged to continue to provide meals to their students. Under these circumstances, school food authorities and other eligible community organizations may continue to serve meals to children affected by school or child care closures through the Summer Food Service Program or Seamless Summer Option.
    • Sponsors could implement alternative distributive methods to provide reimbursable meals to students/children during unanticipated school closures, distance and/or e-learning school days, and any other situation in which students are not physically present at school in relation to COVID-19.
    • The Illinois State Board of Education has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to waive the congregate feeding requirement, which will provide flexibility to school food authorities and community organizations to distribute meals in affected communities. School food authorities are encouraged to apply in advance of a COVID-19 school dismissal. To apply, schools complete a simple form, the Unanticipated School Closure Non-Congregate Meal Form, and submit to ISBE at cnp@isbe.net. This form allows the school food authorities to detail their locally developed plans to ensure program meal content, counts, and food safety are in compliance.
    • ISBE has prepared a Child Nutrition Program Meal Service During COVID-19 Outbreak Q&As document.  For the most current information on this situation, please monitor ISBE’s COVID-19 resource page at https://www.isbe.net/covid19.

Quick Links

For any questions, please contact ISBE’s Nutrition Department at (800) 545-7892 or (217) 782-2491 or at cnp@isbe.net.

  • IEA is cancelling all meetings for the months of March and April, both inside IEA offices and outside IEA offices. These meetings might include, but would not be limited to, IEA trainings, Region Council meetings, Presidents’ meetings, area meetings, and any other trainings or meetings scheduled by either by IEA or by our field offices.  Office staff from a single office meeting together is not an issue, but meetings scheduled between two or more offices should also be cancelled.  We will work to assist any staff or leaders who would like to conduct meetings by phone conference. 

March 11, 2020

Good afternoon. Welcome to the IEA’s COVID-19 update page. Please save this page to your “favorites” list and make it a point to check back frequently for updated information, important links and to check on the list of questions and answers at the bottom of this page.

Here, at the top, you can expect to see a daily message with topics that IEA staff and leaders have found to be helpful or important throughout the day, followed by links to other information you may find helpful, as well, with attention drawn to specific items.

We hope you find this page useful. Please feel free to provide any feedback or questions to COVID19Guidance@ieanea.org.

Here are some items to flag for today:

  • Illinois State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala sent out her weekly message Tuesday with guidance on what districts should do if they decide to close any buildings. This was her direction:
    • In the event of a coronavirus/COVID-19 related school closure, please have a school designee email the following to COVID19closure@isbe.net:
      • The name of the school(s) that has closed; and for each school:
      • Whether or not the school is utilizing e-learning;
      • If the school is not utilizing e-learning, whether the school is providing other continuity of education;
      • Whether the school is providing students with meals; and
      • Whether the school has a set date to re-open, and if so, what date.
  • Please note that ISBE strongly recommends that schools consult with their local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health prior to closing any schools due to COVID-19.
  • As of March 11, the Teachers’ Retirement System is encouraging telephone counseling sessions in lieu of face-to-face meetings at its offices, in an attempt to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. All existing in-person appointments will be honored. To schedule a teleconference, call 877-927-5877.
  • The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is also updating members on its plans in regard to the virus.
  • ISBE is encouraging every district to begin developing an approved e-learning plan in preparation for a potential school closure. There are several steps to this. Please see ISBE’s e-learning page for guidance. ISBE will conduct a webinar on developing an e-learning plan on Tues., March 17, 2-4 p.m. You can register here.

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