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January 12, 2021
Maine South 3rd Quarter 2021 Update

Dear Maine South Families,

 

We hope that the beginning of the semester is off to a good start and everyone enjoyed their winter break.  This message is to inform everyone about where we stand for our schedule beginning on January 19th.  We will take questions at our monthly 2nd Cup of Coffee meeting on January 11th at 7:00 p.m. Another important note is that next week (week of Jan 11th), we have school M-Th with each day being a block day (Monday and Wednesday odd periods, Tuesday and Thursday even periods).  Friday is an institute day and no school for students.

 

On January 19th, we will be making changes to our on-campus plan. The major points are:

  • Students will be split into group A and group B (viewable on infinite campus).  Each group will be invited two days each week for full days.
  • Because students are here for a full day, we will be offering lunch on campus.  Students can either bring their lunch, order lunch here through our food service, or leave campus for lunch (once a guardian signs a waiver).
  • Once you have a chance to see your student’s schedule, we are asking every family who is sending their student to campus to fill out our lunch survey.  You can locate your classes assigned lunch here. This helps us plan the final space allocations and logistics.
  • There are some classes (about 238 out of 800) where we can combine A and B students and still maintain social distancing (i.e. 15 students for a 600 square foot room).  If you are returning to campus, please check this list  (also posted on the return to campus page) to see if any of your student’s classes are offered in a combined A/B format.  This would mean that your student has the option to attend that class every time it’s offered in-person. We will update this list throughout the first month as we monitor attendance in the building.
  • Mondays are still virtual. We will monitor the external health conditions, vaccine rollout, and our own building status in hopes of including in-person opportunities on Mondays in the future.
  • Extra-curriculars in fine arts and clubs begin on Jan.19th. We don’t have a date from IHSA for sports yet.
  • You can view the schedule on the Return to Campus page and it is also listed below. 

 

Tuesday (Group A) Wednesday (Group A) Thursday (Group B) Friday (Group B)
3rd Period: 8:20-9:35 a.m. 4th Period: 8:20-9:35 a.m. 3rd Period: 8:20-9:35 a.m. 4th Period: 8:20-9:35 a.m.
1st Period: 9:45-11:00 a.m. 2nd Period: 9:45-11:00 a.m. 1st Period: 9:45-11:00 a.m. 2nd Period: 9:45-11:00 a.m.
7th Period:

 

A Lunch (begins Jan 19th):

11:10-11:50 a.m. lunch

11:50-1:05 p.m. class

 

B Lunch (not needed yet but we will activate this when attendance calls for it)

 

C Lunch (begins Jan 19th): 

11:10-12:25 p.m. class

12:25-1:05 p.m. lunch

8th Period:

 

A Lunch (begins Jan 19th):

11:10-11:50 a.m. lunch

11:50-1:05 p.m. class

 

B Lunch (not needed yet but we will activate this when attendance calls for it)

 

C Lunch (begins Jan 19th): 

11:10-12:25 p.m. class

12:25-1:05 p.m. lunch

7th Period:

 

A Lunch (begins Jan 19th):

11:10-11:50 a.m. lunch

11:50-1:05 p.m. class

 

B Lunch (not needed yet but we will activate this when attendance calls for it)

 

C Lunch (begins Jan 19th): 

11:10-12:25 p.m. class

12:25-1:05 p.m. lunch

8th Period:

 

A Lunch (begins Jan 19th):

11:10-11:50 a.m. lunch

11:50-1:05 p.m. class

 

B Lunch (not needed yet but we will activate this when attendance calls for it)

 

C Lunch (begins Jan 19th): 

11:10-12:25 p.m. class

12:25-1:05 p.m. lunch

5th Period: 1:15-2:30 p.m. 6th Period: 1:15-2:30 p.m. 5th Period: 1:15-2:30 p.m. 6th Period: 1:15-2:30 p.m.

Office hours for academic support on campus 2:40-3:30 p.m.

 

Why are we doing this?

We are still under the social distancing guidelines that limit the number of people in a room.  The overwhelming feedback from families has been to go to full days because it’s easier for transportation (two times a week compared to four) and it helps our families in need who are experiencing food insecurity because lunch is more widely available. This schedule allows us to also combine some sections with both A and B groups so some students would have more opportunities on campus.

 

How did we arrive at this decision?

As we had families notify us through December about their 3rd quarter status, it became clear that we would not be able to combine A and B groups across every class/section.  The week of December 14th gave us the final numbers of on campus (about 70%) and remote (about 30%) and in talking through our options, a full day for each group of students has significant advantages over half days.  It then brought up the question of how lunch would work and after learning from schools who have been providing lunch and comparing our lunch spaces to the numbers of students each day, we decided to make it work.  By offering lunch periods twice (the A and C lunch periods above) we can maximize our spaces.  We will also offer off-campus lunch for families who sign a waiver.  On December 23rd, we finalized most of our plans and worked through the past week on more details.

 

What does lunch look like for students?

Students are seated in rows that are spread out (sometimes beyond the six foot guidance) and facing the same direction.  They must keep their mask on if they are talking and can remove it to take a bite or drink.  The lunch rooms are cleaned by students and our maintenance staff.  To ensure contact tracing, students record the table where they sit so we know who to contact in specific situations.  Students can also have a waiver signed and leave campus for lunch during the COVID mitigations which will be available next week.

 

How does parking work if my student is driving to campus?

Second semester parking will be permitted for students with parking permits only at this time.  Student parking is permitted in the following areas: A-wing lot and Northeast lot (behind the fieldhouse).  Students may use the following doors to enter the building:  Door #3, Door #9, Door #43 and Door #53.

 

All seniors and juniors were provided the opportunity to participate in the parking permit lottery during the first semester.  Senior parking permits were distributed during the first semester. 

 

Junior students who were selected for the lottery have been notified via email.  Parking permit distribution for Juniors selected in the lottery is taking place on Thursday, January 14th from 2 – 4pm and Friday, January 15th from 10:30am – 12:00pm in the circle drive on Dee Road.

 

If your Junior student was not selected in the initial round of the parking permit lottery, please know that we plan to monitor available parking spaces, and if it is clear that more spaces are still available on a daily basis, we plan to offer additional permits later this semester.

 

I have questions, who should I contact?

I will be available for questions on Monday, January 11th at 7:00pm at our virtual 2nd Cup of Coffee.  We ask that you pre-register here in order to receive the Zoom invite.  Please email me with questions and we’d be happy to take phone calls and look over your student’s classes to help with specifics.

 

Senior families: We ARE doing graduation live in May.  It will be outside at the stadium on Saturday, May 22nd with Sunday, May 23rd as the rain date.  We are also trying to figure out how to make some kind of senior prom work outside (think Lollapalooza).

 

This is a beginning schedule for 2nd semester and changes might come as conditions and new information arises, including the vaccination rollout, new health guidance, and our community transmission numbers.  Please review the safety video and all other notices on the return to campus site.

 

Thank you,

Ben Collins, Ed.D.

Principal