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COVID-19 and E-Learning Updates

Update on ” Return to Learn” on 8/4/20: Parent Meeting Presentation

Presentation shown at the Parent Meeting 

COVID FLOW CHART 

ILLIANA HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES

Update on ‘Return to Play’ Plans for Athletics: 7/8/20 at 8:30am

Illiana Christian High School’s Return-to-Play Policy

Illiana Christian will follow Indiana’s Extra-Curricular and Co-Curricular Re-entry considerations  unless further considerations are required by local health departments. The phases and guidelines below are directly taken from the IN-CLASS document provided by the IDOE.  Further requirements defined by our local governing bodies must be followed regardless of the phase defined below. Given the fluid situation of COVID-19, these considerations are subject to change. 

To read more about the Athletics Return to play Plan please CLICK HERE.

Update on Plans for Fall 2020: 6/23/20 at 9:00am

CLICK HERE FOR THE PLANS FOR FALL 2020

Update on E-Learning: 5/8/20 at 4:00pm

Thank you to many families who took the time to complete the survey that was sent out last week.  The results are valuable to us and are being used to shape our work.  We are mostly working out what our instruction will look like in the fall, but we are also making some improvements in what we are doing now.  Many of you asked for common due times and even common posting times so we are now having most work due by midnight each day.  (This is not intended to keep students up until midnight but to give them as much of the day as possible to turn things in.)  We are also increasingly posting new assignments and videos and such at or before 8:00 AM so students can mange their time more effectively each day.  These expectations do not apply, however, to quizzes and tests which are often presented in a smaller time frame in order to reduce the temptation for cheating.

We do not know whether there will be elearning necessary in the fall.  We hope not.  But if it is required, we want to have learned from this experience so we can do it better next time.  We are also considering how in-person learning might be different in the fall.

In this last week there have been rumors circulating that grades will not go down, but I want to make it clear that students who do not participate, who check out, or who are cheating will receive a lower grade, possibly an F.  Those who try, those who are earnest, those struggling under trying circumstances will receive much sympathy and grace in grading.  Students are challenged to hang in there, to stay the course, and to finish the race!  Just to add another layer of assurance that grades will be fair, parents will be able to request a review of a child’s grade if they believe a grade was not deserved.

Next week we plan to have a schedule for students to return textbooks and Chromebooks, to clean out lockers, and to pickup graduation packets. That schedule will likely be over May 27-29.  (Students will still have until May 29 to turn in all their work, but I expect that many will be all done before then.)

Thank you to Illiana families who have mostly been keeping up with their tuition payments as scheduled.  I am glad we were able to make some awards of assistance this week to families that were impaired by the conronavirus crisis.  If you need assistance, please contact sjonkman@illianaweb. org

We are surveying the families of seniors now, but it is looking like we will have graduation on July 31 in the gym at the school perhaps with some social distancing measures.

You have probably heard the great news in athletics!  Thanks to the careful and diligent work of our Athletic Directors, Darren DeBoer and Deb Kamp. we were able to get a special bylaw passed in the Indiana High School Athletic Association that allows a “transfer school” (of which we are and probably will be the only one) to attain full membership in only two years instead of the usual four.  This means that all our teams will be allowed to participate in post-season competition this coming year!  Also, at almost the same time, we learned that our plea to join the Greater South Shore Athletic Conference was wholeheartedly adopted.  We begin as full conference members already in 21-22. This was only possible because of the testimony and integrity of the Illiana athletic program.  This conference was not immediately accepting of us, but when they found that we play fair with good sportsmanship. they welcomed us.

I want to thank those who found a way to express appreciation to a teacher or staff member this week.  I especially want to thank our teachers for their resilience, resourcefulness, and caring during these most challenging times.   And thanks to Illiana parents and students as well who all are looking forward to an end to this challenge!  God is taking care of us in ways that we cannot even imagine!

  • Peter Boonstra, Principal

Illiana Christian High School Teacher Elearning Strategies

Below is a list of all Illiana teachers and a description of the elearning strategies that they are using  and plan to use through this month.  We hope this listing is helpful to parents who may be wondering what their child has been doing or what is being expected by teachers during elearning.  The list is alphabetical.  At the end of the list is also a description of the services of the Guidance Department and the Student Services Department.  Parents or students having any difficulty in elearning are encouraged to communicate first with the classroom teacher and then  their Guidance Counselor or with Mrs. Heidi Teach from Student Services. hteach@illianaweb.org.

 

 

 

Mrs. Kelly Aardsma

 

I teach a lesson through a video two to four times a week, depending on the difficulty of the material.  I post the video around 7am, along with an assignment that is due the next day by midnight.  The assignments range from Google Forms, DeltaMath, KutaWorks.  All are online platforms that the students are comfortable with.  Homework is graded based on accuracy, not completion.  For that reason, I allow students to redo their homework assignments as often as they need to to earn all of their points.  All assignments must be completed/corrected before that chapter’s test.  I offer Zoom help sessions once a week for each class.  I also have a “Help” Google Classroom that students can join.  For them, I login to GoGuardian a few times a week (typically when a student emails me asking for help) and “chat” with the students while I can see their screen to assist them with their questions.  I also answer countless emails with questions from the students.

 

 

Mr. Andy Anderson

 

The Illiana Orchestra has been meeting every morning from 8:30-9am via Zoom.  Each day one student prepares something to play for the class.  Nearly every day students have been turning in scale, arpeggio, and hymn video recordings via google classroom.  I have been teaching chordal analysis and composition as well, but the students have requested a reprieve from that. 

 

 

Ms. Erinn Behn (and Mr. Tom Roozeboom)

 

We are collaborating on what we are providing the students and how they are receiving it.  What we typically do on a daily/weekly basis is as follows:

Every day we post a Daily Fitness Challenge to Google Classroom by 6:00 am. Daily Fitness Challenges include a variety of workout videos (T-25, Yoga, Orange Theory, etc.), workouts on PDFs, and student-choice activities. The Daily Fitness Challenges typically take about 30 minutes. Students are then required to answer a Daily Question on Google Classroom to indicate that they have finished the workout. This is how I give Daily Points. On top of the Daily Fitness Challenges, we post an assignment on Monday each week that is due on Friday by 11:59pm. This is the only “long-term” assignment students get from me every week.

 

 

Mr. Dave Bosman

 

Algebra 1 and Geometry:  Assignments are posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday either from Delta Math or a worksheet on Google Classroom.  For Delta Math assignments, a Google Classroom notice is sent to students at 8:00 AM.  There are videos on Delta Math for the problems, but I also post a video with a short lesson and example problems for the students if they need some extra guidance.  Google Classroom assignments are posted at 8:00 AM along with notes and a video explaining the lesson.  Assignments are due before midnight the following day.

   On days that we have review assignments, I will have a Zoom meeting to go over the review and give students a chance to ask questions.  I post a video going over the review as well.  On the Fridays that we have tests, they are posted at 8:00 AM and must be turned in by midnight.

Students that would like extra help may email me and schedule an individual or group Zoom meeting with me during the normal school hours.

 

 

Statistics: On Monday of each week I post one or two video lessons covering the section for the week along with the notes and assignment for that section.  Typically all assignments are due on Friday at midnight, however for longer sections I may break up the assignment into two parts and make the first part due on Wednesday and the second section due on Friday to spread out the work.

   Each week we have either a quiz or test on Friday.  During the weeks that we have a quiz, I will post the review problems on Wednesday and a video going over the review problems on Thursday.  During the test weeks, I post review problems a day earlier.  Review problems for quizzes and tests are ungraded assignments that are written in the same form as the test and designed to be a “practice test” if students choose to use it.  All tests and quizzes are posted at 8:00 AM on Fridays and due by midnight that same day.  Also, to minimize cheating, I have been writing 9 versions of each quiz and test and assigning each one randomly to 5 different students.   

   Students are encouraged to email me if they need help throughout the school day.  Any students that would like extra help may contact me and schedule an individual or group Zoom meeting with me during the normal school hours.

 

*Note for students taking the AP Statistics Test:  The AP test this year is covering up to chapter 10.  Therefore, the final two weeks of the quarter leading up to the May 22 AP test, AP students will not be covering Chapter 11 with the rest of the class, but will be assigned 2 practice problems each school day from Monday May11 to Wednesday May 20 to help prepare them for the test.  I will have students upload their answers to me online just as they would for the online test this year so they are comfortable doing this on the test day. 

 

 

Ms Sharon Bultema

 

World History:  In World History I use Google Classroom, Turnitin.com, Renweb, Quizlet.com,  and Youtube.com . I post regularly to Google Classroom to get important information to my students for the class. Lately, I have been posting a week schedule on Saturday at 8 a.m. for the next week. Then throughout the week, I post more to Google Classroom with more resources for the rest of the assignments or important reminders. Students submit all homework through Turnitin.com. I use Renweb to post grades every week, and I use the communication feature to send an email at the end of each week to all students (and their parents) who are missing work. With e-learning, I have been accepting late work for a slight reduction in points. I use Quizlet.com to give students open-book quizzes. Students have to take an online test through Quizlet and then email me a picture of the results. I have used Quizlet twice for end-of-chapter assessments. Finally, I use Youtube.com to post short videos to Google Classroom for students to use both to complete homework assignments and to learn content. My main communication with students and parents is through email, but I am also available by phone (call or text). 

 

Spanish 2: 

In Spanish 2 I use Google Classroom, Renweb, vhlcentral.com (Spanish textbook website) Quizlet.com , Youtube.com, Twitter and Zoom. I post regularly to Google Classroom to get important information to my students for the class. Lately, I have been posting a week schedule on Saturday at 8 a.m. for the next week. Then throughout the week, I post more to Google Classroom with more resources for the rest of the assignments or important reminders. I use Renweb to post grades every week, and I use the communication feature to send an email at the end of each week to all students (and their parents) who are missing a quiz or test. With e-learning, I have been accepting late work quizzes or tests for a slight reduction in points. In Spanish class, quizzes (35%) and tests (35%) are worth a total of 70% of a student’s grade. Students submit homework, tests and quizzes to vhlcentral.com. This website (vhlcentral.com) goes along with our Spanish 2 textbook. We have been using it all year for homework (15% of 4th Quarter grade) and now I use it for students to take quizzes and tests as well. Students can use quizlet.com to study vocabulary and grammar concepts. I did do an extra credit assignment involving this website for a vocabulary quiz. I use Youtube.com for videos. I have posted Youtube.com videos for grammar lessons from reliable and well-respected sources like Senor Jordan and Maestro Kaplan. I also used Youtube.com to show clips from the movie Selena for a group project. Finally, students have a Speaking grade for Spanish 2 that is 15% of their overall grade. In order to use their Spanish in conversations, students have to contribute to Spanish conversations that are 100% in Spanish only (solamente español) on both Twitter and Zoom. During the month of April, students have been tweeting in Spanish. For May, we will have two Spanish conversations on Zoom. The first Zoom chat is next week, Thursday May 7. I already posted the times and schedule to Google Classroom to give students enough notice. I also purposely scheduled this Zoom chat the day before our Spanish test on Unit 6 so students could also ask me questions at the end of the chat. My main communication with students and parents is through email, but I am also available by phone (call or text). 

 

 

Mr. Lance Davids

 

Bible 5 has a varied E-Learning approach.  Sunday night students will receive the schedule for the week.  The week will consist of 3 to 4 different approaches.  I use Screencast-o- matic for my notes and they will have a day or 2 of that.  They also have a week long assignment where they post a response and then they have to respond to each other.  Finally, on Friday, we do a Google Meet discussion about the topics of the week.  This approach balances face-to-face time with students being able to plan out their schedules for the week as well.

 

Mr. Darren DeBoer

US History:
We have been working through the early 1900’s and taking advantage of the media being used during that time. Assignments are posted cover around 3 days and consist of videos/documentaries, primary source analysis, and critical thinking short responses.
Psychology:
We have studied several topics that consist of webquests and TED Talks. I’ve hosted several Zoom meetings to review more complicated content and hold discussions related to very applicable memory concepts. Students have completed quizzes through Google Forms. Our assignments generally cover an hour over 3 days

 

 

Mr. Matt DeBoer

 

E-Learning has been a great opportunity to challenge us to try new things to make learning engaging. Each day I seek to clarify assignments and elaborate on important concepts using an edited video with screencast overviews of online documents, recordings of myself and clips from YouTube. Recently We had a Zoom with my Physical Science class where we broke into small groups to discuss a new topic and it was exciting to see my students again and watch them work together and bond over how much they missed each other. 

 

Mrs. Bethany DeVries

 

All of my assignments and video lectures go through Google Classroom. I create a Google Slides presentation which I use with Screencast O’Matic to record the slide show and my voice simultaneously going over what we are learning and what their new assignment is. I also use Screencast O’Matic to show the students their assignment on Google Classroom and fill it out so that the students know exactly what I expect from them. I only post two assignments a week, and give the students two days to complete it (Assigned Monday morning at 8:30am, due Tuesday at 11:59pm). I also use videos, pictures, memes, music, and other various visual aids to enhance their elearning experience. Tests and quizzes are posted at 8:30 am, and due the same day at 11:59pm.  I use zoom constantly to meet with students one – on – one, and I will be incorporating more face time as a class with our new unit. 

 

 

Mr. Jeff DeVries

 

I post daily to Google Classroom. ALL communication to classes is run through Google Classroom.  I try to offer a variety of content–some video lessons, some reading, some writing, the occasional Google Meet.  Typically, students will have 24 hours to complete an assignment.  If any single assignment is longer (for example, a short essay or some kind of project), I will give students two or three days to complete it. I am always clear on the deadline for all assignments, and if an assignment stretches over more than one day, I am always clear when students need to check in Google Classroom again. I am available by email for any questions students have. Generally the only time I email students is when they are missing work or if they have questions they need answered. I can also answer questions by Google Meet or Zoom.

 

 

Mrs. Rachel Drost

 

AP Government – Every day, I post the work for the day on Google Classroom. Depending on the lesson, students may be required to watch an online video, read an online document or lesson overview, complete an online practice, review big ideas and learning objectives, or take an online exam. Some weeks, students are required to work on a project, which is broken down into daily tasks. Some days, students are required to read from an online book and write a response. Anything students are required to turn in is submitted on Google Classroom. At this point, students are reviewing for the AP Exam and working on their final presentations, the last task of their year-long civic engagement project.

 

History of Global Conflicts – Every day, I post the work for the day on Google Classroom. Depending on the lesson, students may be required to read from their online text, complete a study guide or graphic organizer based on their online text, practice general map-reading skills, analyze primary sources, draw connections between historical events and the contents of documents, analyze a work of art, synthesize information from multiple sources, explore different ideas, assess excerpts from speeches, evaluate language for tone, or use multiple sources and media to develop comprehension. Anything students are required to turn in is submitted on Google Classroom.

 

Sociology – Every day, I post the work for the day on Google Classroom. Students are required to work on a project over the course of about a week; each project is broken down into daily tasks. Each project is centered around a sociological topic, enduring understanding, and essential question. On the first day of each project, students create a Google document and share it with me so that I can comment on their work throughout the project to make sure they are on the right track. Students use their textbook and online sources to help them complete their projects. At the end of the project, students are required to turn it in on Google Classroom.

 

 

Mrs, Ginny Dykstra

 

Junior Honors English (JHE)We heard on March 12, 2020 that we might have to leave classroom teaching and switch to e-learning at a moment’s notice. At that point, my students had received a significant amount of classroom instruction on how to write a research paper. They had chosen their partners and their topics, but there were many other instruction sheets and assignments necessary for them to complete their research projects, so I immediately assembled all of the paper handouts and assignments my JHE students would need during the possible building shutdown. The next day I handed out all the materials they would have received through the next three weeks of the project. We spent that class period going over their work for the next weeks.  I did not know if we would return to school on Monday, March 16, but I was confident my students would know what to do if we did not return, and I encouraged them to email me with any questions.

 

I set up a Google Classroom when e-learning became a long-term reality, posting detailed

communications via Google Stream at least daily; I have posted numerous assignments on

Google Classwork; and I have sent emails about once a week with more lengthy instructional

material that students can print and refer to. They have taken three vocabulary tests, two of

them on Google Forms.  Other assignments have been submitted via Google Docs. To continue

class camaraderie and offer a chance for the students to communicate with each other briefly, I

have been posting a “Question of the Day;” everyone has been enjoying seeing each other’s

answers, and mine.

 

Virtually all questions and concerns over the past weeks have been unique to each student’s

project, so the students use our school Gmail accounts to send me their specific questions.  I

answer the questions as quickly as possible. I have encouraged them to contact me between 8

a.m. and noon (since I am only teaching three morning classes), but many of their questions

pop up when they are actually working on their papers–during the later afternoon and evening,

so I read and answer emails throughout the day and until 10:00 in the evening. If more than one

student asks the same question–or a variation of it–I post the question and answer in Google

Stream.

  

For the final three weeks of the quarter, JHE students will take another vocabulary test, a test

over research writing, and evaluate their research project experience by completing a

questionnaire and writing a summary of what they have learned about themselves and working

with a partner. We will spend the remainder of our class time reading a selection of American

literature, making extensive use of Google Classroom and Google Classwork.

 

 

Mr. Mark Dykstra

 

I post all my assignments for the week on the Google Classroom.  I also post the schedule for the week.  All assignments, quizzes, and tests are due before 11:59PM on their scheduled due date.  All lectures have been recorded on ScreenCast O’ Matic.  There are never more than two lectures a week.  There is something due everyday Mon-Fri.  Grades are updated the day after the assignment was due.  No assignments are given over the weekend besides the challenge to rest and worship well.  Students both email me questions or post them on our Classroom page.

 

 

Mr. Luke Fennema

 

In all of my classes, I post every day at 8 A.M. with instructions for the day. The lower levels almost always receive short daily assignments and are also required to complete activities in Quizlet to practice new vocabulary. The upper levels receive somewhat lengthier assignments at times, but the assignments are spread out over several days, and I post daily reminders with tips on what to complete each day. I have been using Google Classroom to post and collect almost all assignments; once in a while I might have students email me something. In AP German, they are also doing some assignments in AP Classroom (a College Board resource). I zoom with my AP German students once a week to provide additional speaking practice and AP test prep.  Assignments are due at 11:59 PM.

 

 

Mr. Doug Gorter

 

I create an 8-15 minute video of me teaching each lesson on the Smart board. Students don’t see me, but see what I write (or what I click and display on a graphing calculator emulator) as I explain. I post to Google Classroom the video, an outline of the lesson in case students wish to fill it out, and a filled-in outline (the one made while I taught the lesson). I also post answers to the homework problems. I post tests to Google Classroom and students either print them or simply write the answers on paper. Students take pictures and “hand in” homework and tests via Google Classroom. Students and a parent sign a sheet indicating that the test was taken with integrity. Lessons and tests are posted 3 – 7 days ahead so students can work ahead if they wish. Everything is due at 11:59pm. Students will email or message questions about the homework and I’ll respond quite quickly if it is sent between 8 and 5. Twice a week I schedule optional Zoom meetings for my classes that occur when the class would normally meet. After chatting a bit, students ask questions and I share my screen and answer by writing on the Smart board and/or showing the graphing calculator emulator.

 

 

Mr. Kevin Haan

 

Hours: 6:20 – 7:00AM, 8:00AM – 4:00 PM (computer).  All students also have my phone number so they should be able to reach me easily.

 

Zoom meetings have been optional to accommodate all the kids not able to attend in real time. .  These take place during our club day class time.  These meetings are very low key and informal to allow kids to ask questions.  They take place about every other week (or more if I think we are doing something more challenging; sometimes it has been weekly).  I make sure we have a meeting the day before a test.

 

All written communications with the students goes through Google Classroom.  Work is posted daily at 6:30AM.  I use my own website website which has additional helps such as Quizlets for vocabulary, relevant YouTube videos, PowerPoints, review guides, and some classes also have extra credit listed here

 

I have been screencasting lectures for my classes.  The length varies from about 15 min – 20 min and often have embedded videos in them.  Sometimes there are 5 review questions which accompany these recordings to make sure students are watching them.  Other times there are assignments which review the content we have been learning.

 

Mrs. Emily Hillegonds

 

Students in my English 1 and English 2 classes receive an instructional to-do list each day at 8am through a google doc, google slides, or google form that is posted on google classroom. The day’s work has taken many forms over the past weeks. Sometimes they have to record themselves speaking or view their fellow classmates on flipgrid (a video share website). Other days the lesson has been very image based with videos through youtube and pictures that they take or that they have to find to illustrate comprehension. Some of the assignments are traditional written answers to comprehension and personal connection questions. I try to keep a rotation to reach as many different types of learning as possible. Most of the reading for the assignments come from their online textbook or a link I have posted. Final assessments are turned in to turnitin.com to make sure each response is unique. No matter what the task, the student has a step-by-step document telling them what to do. These assignments are due at midnight. Grades are usually posted within 24 hours and late assignments are posted before 9pm every day.

 

Ms. Sara Johnson

 

Students can expect communication from me by 8 am daily.  ALL communication to classes is run through Google Classroom.  I have been and will continue to post schedules to Google Classroom every Monday – my hope is to post two weeks at a time, but certainly students will receive a schedule for at least one week.  I try to offer a variety of content–some video lessons, some reading, some writing, the occasional Google Meet.  Students will have between 12 – 48 hours to complete an assignment.  I am always clear on the deadline for all assignments. If a student doubts when an assignment is due, they should consult the schedule on Google Classroom.  I am available by email for any questions students have. I am near my computer from 8 am to 2 pm, and again from 4 pm to 7 pm.  I typically respond in less than 30 minutes if emailed during those times.  If I will be away from my computer during that time, I will notify the students on Google Classroom.  I can also answer questions by Google Meet or Zoom or by phone.  I will also send out a Missing Work report to students and parents of students who are missing work every two weeks.  RenWeb is another place where students can go to see what work they are missing.  

 

 

Ms. Deb Kamp

 

  1. Weekly communication and assignments are given every Monday through Google Classroom during the 3rd hour time slot.
  2. Sometimes I use Screencast, other times just descriptive instructions.
  3. Students are given one week to complete the shooting assignment, and each shoot is due the following Monday at 11:59 pm. 
  4. I respond throughout the week to questions, and try to keep my communications during the 3rd hour slot, so students know when to look for answers. I try to get them to do the same. 

 

Mr. Jim Kamphuis

 

For all of my classes, I have converted any in-class instruction (including slide shows or demonstrations) into videos that the students are expected to view on their own.  All worksheets have been upgraded to Google Docs, and my tests and quizzes have all been made into Google Forms.  Art classes have been given “in-class” assignments that they can complete digitally, using drawing programs available through Google.  All weekly sketch assignments are being photographed by the students and uploaded directly to Google Classroom.  I encourage students to email me or post a comment if they have any questions, and I have also scheduled Google Meet times with each of my classes during their designated period.

 

In RPOC, the students may perhaps experience a little more “daily rigor,” though the workload is still less than if we were meeting in person, and for the most part, they are able to budget their time on their own.  Occasionally, an assignment will post at 8 am and is due by 11:59 pm that same day, but these instances are rare, and are only necessary to prevent students from “working too far ahead” (some concepts need time to develop and build upon each other).  I encourage students in all of my classes to reach out to me if they have any questions – I respond fairly quickly to emails, but immediately to posted comments.   I also have a scheduled Google Meet time, at least once per week, with each of my classes during their designated period (using a Club schedule), to check in with students and answer any questions “face-to-face.”

 

Mr. Tom Knapper

 

Spanish I and III: A short paragraph of instructions is posted on Google Classroom every morning by 7:00. Assignments are posted using the online curriculum we have been using all year. Quizzes and tests are assigned using this same website and are released at 8:00am and due at 8:00pm. All other homework is due by midnight. I use Screencast-o-matic to post teaching videos when necessary. I am available everyday via email or text to answer any questions.

 

AP Spanish IV: The College Board has posted several teaching videos in the wake of this pandemic which I have been using as instructional videos for this class. A link to these videos is posted on google classroom by 7:00 each morning with instructions as to the assignment for each day. Assignments are submitted via email. As the AP exam approaches, assignments will also be posted on AP Classroom which will focus on activities that students will be asked to do on the AP exam.

 

 

Dr. Jim Kuipers

 

Honors Chemistry:

 

  1. A complete chapter master schedule is posted on Google classroom and sample is posted below. Additionally, just ask your son/daughter to see the full schedule if you are interested.
  2. Daily work that has been outlined on the chapter master schedule is posted to Google classroom before 8am.  In truth, I post the entire week’s assignments on Monday morning, so each student can work around his/her schedule in completing the assignments. Quizzes and Tests are still posted on the schedule day, not in advance.
  3. I am utilizing an online resource called CK-12 along with the textbook. Both are referenced in the posted master schedule. Ck-12 sections contain reading, video, and practice for the students to master. 
  4. I am utilizing the CK-12 resource for weekly quizzes. I have set both the practice and quizzes to give the students the correct answers to any missed questions to enhance their understanding.
  5. The master schedule also has links to additional YouTube videos that I have selected to help the students grasp the concepts.  Each topic has at least one (1) additional video link posted on the master schedule.
  6. Zoom meetings are used to pre-teach the topic(s) the students will be working on or to post teach the topic(s) they have been working on. I generally know which method (pre/post) is best for the topics being covered and act accordingly.
  7. Tests are posted on Google classroom on the day they were scheduled.
  8. I have asked students to check their grades weekly and email me regarding any issues.  

 

Below is a sample of the daily schedule

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Mary Lagerwey

 

Bible 4: I post something every day by 8:00 a.m.  Each week I assign 2 journal writings (with followup explanations) and 2 assignments.  Journal writings involve reading a Scripture passage and answering several questions about what it says and means and means to our lives.  This should take about 10 minutes.  The next day’s journal explanation video (made by me) helps students correctly handle the word of truth with some context and deeper explanation.  These videos are usually less than 10 minutes long and replace our twenty minute class discussion on each journal topic. This journal work is due the day it is assigned.  The assignments I give involve reading and responding to an article or investigating a topic via the internet.  These assignments are always due a day after they are assigned. I am tethered to my laptop every day from about 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. with breaks for lunch and a walk with my husband.  I also reply to emails while grading in the evening. 

I use Google Classroom to post assignments, to comment on student work, and to send messages about individual and classwork (via the whole Stream or individual comment boxes).  I make videos thanks to an online program called Screencast-o-matic using Google Slides I’ve created (so there are visuals and it’s not just me talking).  I also use EdPuzzle (a program to imbed questions into videos–my own or others–to ensure attention and to receive feedback), FlipGrid (a program to gather student responses especially videos), and I have had several Google Meets 

 

Most importantly, I hope to still meet our goals for Bible 4 even though the method of meeting those goals has changed. Here’s what I hope my students learn from this class:

  1. The Bible is still relevant, and it speaks to each one of us personally.
  2. God loves us and wants a relationship with us.  He is our God and He wants each one of us to live as one of His people. I would like to maintain a relationship with my students as well because I’d like them to see God’s love through me and I’d like to help them live as one of His people. That was easier to do with personal interaction in class, but I’m still hoping that can be part of Bible 4 online.
  3. It’s important to understand and respond respectfully to people of other religions who don’t yet know our God.  These people–Muslims, Jews, Mormons, etc.–are very different from us but are also similar to us in some surprising ways; they can teach us things and challenge us to live out our Christian faith better. 

 

 

Mr. Rob Lagerwey

 

In each of my classes, I post daily assignments on Google Classroom.  A video made using my ipad and Penultimate explains the material and accompanies the assignment.  Assignments for the day are always posted by 8:00 am but are often posted a day or two in advance giving students flexibility in completing them.  Each day’s assignment is due by 11:59 pm.  Students return their completed assignments on Google Classroom and I check them each morning looking for difficulties.  Students include questions in their assignment or email me their questions.  I either comment directly back via classroom private comment or if it is a frequent question I explain more in a video or on a posted comment to the entire class.  Solutions to each day’s assignment are posted the next morning.  Quizzes and tests are given on Google Classroom and returned to me.  I am able to comment directly on the test or quiz using my ipad and the graded test is then returned to the student.

 

 

Mrs. Kristy Medema

 

In the three different courses I teach, I am using a variety of worksheets, notes, slideshows, video clips, and more. Typically, I post an assignment to Google Classroom each day at 8:00 a.m. For most assignments, students have one or two days to complete the work. Assignments are usually given as Step One, Step Two, etc., and in each step I outline what they need to know and what they need to do. Some steps include commentary, the sort of thing I would talk about in class. Some steps include viewing a video online and noticing certain things. Some steps require reading from the text or reading something (essay, poem, biographical information) online. Some steps require students to write responses to reading questions. Some steps require a more carefully crafted writing such as a paragraph or more. Each day/lesson is formatted in steps, but not every day has all these elements. Some lessons are presented and completed in Google Slides, and some are in a Google Doc. I have also used Flipgrid as a way for students to submit their work. I have scheduled a weekly Zoom meeting with my English 10i and English 11i students. I use the time to check in, see if they have questions, and talk about upcoming work.  

 

Mrs. Pat Menninga

 

Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble

The procedures are the same for both bands but the material is different

Every Monday I post a new playing assignment. The assignments always include a slide tutorial on a rhythm and technique part of their assignment. They are to watch and practice with the slide and then record for me later. The next part of the playing assignment varies from week to week. Here are some examples.

– Excerpts from music in their folders. With this, I include full band recordings for them to play along with.

– Scale, arpeggios, and 3rds. They were to do this for a playing exam before E Learning so I included it.

– I had all the students sign up for Smart Music. This provides numerous studies, band pieces, Jazz ensembles, and solos. The students are to choose from 5 different, fairly easy pieces, practice and play with the provided accompaniment for the assignment. Soon they will be have more freedom in what they can play.

– Each playing assignment is due the following Monday by 11:59 pm.

– They record themselves on their phones or flipgrid.com and I give them feedback on what they did correctly and what they can improve.

– Every Wednesday during the club schedule class time, we get together for a Zoom meeting. During these meetings we discuss the assignments, I ask if they have questions, we talk about our Zoom awards banquet coming up, and just talk about what is going on in general.

– I use Screencast o’matic, zoom, smart music, jwpepper.com, and flipgrid.com I also have the music add on in google slides so I can write music in the slide presentations.

 

Music RPOC

I follow a somewhat simplified curriculum of what they had when they were in school.

– Discuss music in the Bible

– Musical Terms

– Instrumental music and its uses.

– Analyzing songs taken from a survey they filled out before Christmas.

– Worship Music

I usually post short daily assignments before 8:00 am and they are due before 11:59 pm.

There is an exception to this. They are to write a 2 page paper analyzing a song of their choice. They are given 3 days for this. During this time, they do not have any extra assignments.

Most of the teaching is done through slide lectures and videos. I have also put together some google forms with inserted songs and questions.  I use google slides, YouTube, Screencast-o-matic, Google Forms, and Zoom for this class.

 

 

Mrs. Karie Roeda 

 

I am posting to google classroom everyday at 6 am. Even if I have a project going on, I still post to remind students to keep working. I am giving notes, articles, YouTube videos (less than 5 minutes), and projects. I give all my students until midnight to do everything, even tests. Projects have 4-7 day window. I personally email students to encourage them to turn in late work. Usually the students have to comment on the post for participation points or a little longer for small homework grades. I always tell them in the post to comment for participation or homework grades. I use zoom to meet with the classes occasionally but always at 7 pm..  

 

 

Mr. Tom Roozeboom (and Ms. Erinn Behn)

 

We are collaborating on what we are providing the students and how they are receiving it.  What we typically do on a daily/weekly basis is as follows:

Every day we post a Daily Fitness Challenge to Google Classroom by 6:00 am. Daily Fitness Challenges include a variety of workout videos (T-25, Yoga, Orange Theory, etc.), workouts on PDFs, and student-choice activities. The Daily Fitness Challenges typically take about 30 minutes. Students are then required to answer a Daily Question on Google Classroom to indicate that they have finished the workout. This is how I give Daily Points. On top of the Daily Fitness Challenges, we post an assignment on Monday each week that is due on Friday by 11:59pm. This is the only “long-term” assignment students get from me every week.

 

 

Mr. Jack Rudenga

 

Robotics class without robots is tough to do.  Fortunately VEX robotics came out with a new system called VEXcode VR.  VEXcode VR lets you code a virtual robot using a block based coding environment powered by Scratch Blocks. VEXcode VR is based on VEXcode, the same programming environment used for VEX 123, GO, IQ and V5 robots. Now STEM learning can continue while at home for students with no access to their actual VEX robots.

 

E-learning for robotics consists of two parts.  First is the daily Engineering Notebook page.  Every day the student gets a form with four questions.  Each question requires three sentences to earn full points. (No blanks, no one word answers.)  In addition to a question about life during the pandemic, the other questions focus on commenting on the current challenge, what difficulties were encountered with it, and one thing they learned that day.

 

The second part is assignments.  These consist of robot programming challenges.  Each challenge has three levels.  The first two are required and the third (usually a bit more challenging) is for extra credit points.  I create instructional videos to help students learn concepts.  Students get approximately two robot programming challenges per week.  Other assignments include discussion forums and responses to watching a topic video.

 

 

Mrs. Kathy Sliekers

 

I am following the same basic strategy in each of the choirs at Illiana.  On the first day of every week, I send out a weekly overview via Google Classroom with what will be expected each day.  Then what is needed for each assignment is loaded into Google Classroom by 8am on the appropriate morning.  In addition, I host a Zoom meeting every Wednesday morning during our normal class hours.  Students are not required to attend these meetings, but I do explain some of the more difficult parts of the week’s assignments during that meeting.  I also record and upload the meeting into Google Classroom for students to view at a later time if they are unable to attend the meeting.  Other programs I am using to complete work in choir are tonesavvy.com, edpuzzle, and Flipgrid.  Each of these allows me to provide varying types of engagement.

 

 

Mr. Brian Sylvester

 

Biology (Advanced, Honors, & Regular)

A typical week for biology e-learning usually involves a short Zoom meeting early in the week during club schedule class time.  Zoom meeting links are posted in Planbook. These meetings are not typically designed to deliver content, rather they are designed to touch base with the students, walk through the weekly schedule posted in Planbook and troubleshoot. In addition to the weekly Zoom meetings, anywhere from 1 – 3 video note segments, usually less than 25 minutes each, are posted in Google Classroom.  Video notes, assignments usually no more than 4 per week), quizzes, tests, and note sheets are all posted in Google Classroom.  Most of the items students need to access will be posted early in the week.  Note sheets and reading evidence assignments are not turned in as they can be viewed by the instructor without students losing access to them.  With the exception of chapter reviews, most assignments can be completed in under 45 minutes (uninterrupted). Students may contact me through email or Google Classroom.  I will respond between the hours of 8 am – 5 pm.  

 

Principles of Engineering.

As this is a more “hands-on” course, students are given a few days at a time without top down interaction. A typical week for P.O.E. e-learning usually involves a short Zoom meeting early in the week during club schedule class time.  Zoom meeting links are posted in Planbook. These meetings are not typically designed to deliver content, rather they are designed to touch base with the students, walk through the weekly schedule posted in Planbook and troubleshoot. In addition to the weekly Zoom meetings, up to 2 video note segments, usually less than 25 minutes each, are posted in Google Classroom.  Students are expected to take a picture of the notes taken on video presentations and attach them to the post for points.  During project work days, students have a project log sheet with required daily entries.  From time to time, posted in Planbook, there will be progress checks to make sure students are being consistent in their efforts. Video notes, assignments (usually no more than 4 per week), quizzes, tests, and project document sheets are all posted in Google Classroom.  Most of the items students need to access will be posted early in the week.

 

 

Ms. Deb Top

 

Digital Apps s1 and Digital Apps s2 classes:

 

I have an outline of what will be covered that week for  each class posted to Google Classroom by 8 a.m. every Monday.  I also post what the assignments will be for each day and each class at that time as well.  I have been creating many Screencast-o-Matic teaching videos in both classes.  These videos take the students step by step through assignments involving new concepts.  There are additional videos explaining how to do other problems as well, but I encourage students to try those assignments on their own first.  My students use Google share for a lot of their assignments and also email me links for their Office 365 assignments.There is a clear due date posted for each assignment.  (always by midnight of whichever day it is due) Students also are given daily reminders of assignments and their due dates as well as for quizzes/tests.  Quizzes/tests are in Google Forms format. Communication is frequent.  I comment on every assignment turned in and give weekly reminders to students who are starting to fall behind.  I also contact parents weekly if their son/daughter is falling behind.  Grades are updated to RenWeb daily.

 

RPOC class:

 

An outline of what will be covered that week is posted to Google Classroom by 8 a.m. every Monday.  I also post what the assignment will be for each day.  For each day/assignment, Screencast-o-Matic videos are posted.  Some of these videos “teach” the concepts for the day and other videos explain assignments or give answers to assignments.  Starting this week I am also doing daily reminder assignment posts.  Reminders of upcoming quizzes/tests are also given. Communication is frequent.  Students receive comments from me on every homework assignment and their grades are posted on RenWeb daily.  Students receive weekly reminders if I am missing work from them, and I also let the parent(s) know if the student  gets more than two assignments behind.

 

Business Management s2 class:

These students are all on individual units, which they have chosen earlier in the semester.  Because of this every student is given an individual outline by Monday at 8 a.m. each week.  This outline tells them what (if any) work is missing and what they should have accomplished for each day/by the end of the week.  Because students are all on different units and these units each have different point values, it is difficult to post daily on RenWeb.  This was explained to parents at the beginning of the semester.  In lieu of that, midterms are always given as well as parental emails letting them know how their son/daughter is doing–especially if they are falling behind.  (more than 1-2 assignments missing)  Communication this way is especially important because of the nature of the class.  Individual student emails are also sent out, and every assignment turned in by a student is commented on.

 

 

Mr. Rick Veldman

 

Economics 1 (Juniors)

On Friday for the last few weeks I send students what we are doing each day for the next week using Google Classroom.  I also send the assignment sheet through RenWeb to keep parents informed. Parental support has been very helpful.  I send students my chapter notes using Google classroom, they download them, and we go over the chapter together using Screencast.  They can then write additional things on their notes.  I may send 1 or 2 screencasts per day as each screencast is limited to 15-minutes maximum.

 

Students are required to do chapter  workbook assignments of 2 or 3 pages.  They are given typically at least 1 to 2 weeks to complete.   On a given due date they take a picture of their workbook pages, send them to me. I grade them and the next day send them a screencast and give them the correct workbook answers and we go over the questions together.

 

After we go over the workbook assignment the next day they are given a vocabulary quiz with Google Forms.  They are given from 8 am to 8 pm to take them.  That’s a lot of time but for they can take the quiz when they want.  Every 2 chapters we have a test using Google Forms and again they have from 8 am to 8 pm to take them.

 

Even though I send the next week’s daily assignment on Friday, I send a daily reminder through Google Classroom and RenWeb.

 

Economics 2 (Seniors)

On Friday for the last few weeks I send students what we are doing each day for the next week using Google Classroom.  Here, too, I send the requirements each day through Google Classroom (for the students) and RenWeb (for the parents).  The Dave Ramsey organization gave us permission to send their DVD series to our students using Google Classroom.  The students have workbooks to fill in as they view the videos. Students know what they should be watching each day.  If they want to double up days they may. Every 2 or 3 days I send a screencast going over a number of workbook pages with students and going over end-of-chapter review pages.  Every “Unit” students take a test using Google Forms from 8 am to 8 pm.  They take this according to their schedule.

 

Accounting (Seniors)

I sent students a few weeks ago a daily schedule for the remainder of the school year (May 22).  I send them almost daily a reminder of what they need to be working on that day (Google Classroom) and also through RenWeb (for the parents). When the students finish an assignment they take a picture, send it to me, I can grade them, and send them back a copy of the assignment from our answer book so they can also assess their assignment themselves.

I will send them a chapter vocabulary quiz, they take a picture, send it to me, and I grade them.

Same thing will happen for their Objective and Problem Test that will be coming up.

 

 

Mr. Bill VenHuizen

 

The strategy I have been employing is similar to my classroom instruction. I reach out to my students Monday through Friday before 9:55 a.m. On a “Club schedule”, my class begins at 9:55 a.m. so any assignment I give on a normal day would be from 9:55 to 10:40 a.m. Thus, they are not receiving instruction/assignments any later in the day than they would ordinarily get it. I use Screencast to talk through the notes they need to take for any future test or assignment. I believe this is effective because if a student does not hear or understand what I am saying, they can go over the recorded lecture if they choose. If they do not understand what I am saying, they can and do contact me with questions they have. I give ample time for students to complete assignments and open-note tests. Generally, each student has at least two days to complete a homework assignment (i.e. If I assign a worksheet or textbook reading assignment on Monday morning, students have until Tuesday at 3 or 4:00 p.m. to send their answers to me.) For my tests, I give approximately 10 short-answer open-note essay questions to be completed within 5 to 6 days. I assign video lectures almost everyday for at least 15 minutes and at least one graded homework assignment per week.

 

 

Mr. Brent VerMeulen

 

My learning strategy in the classroom focuses on PROBLEM SOLVING and my strategy now that we are distance learning has not changed.  I challenge each one of my students through the integration of a new web-based 3D modeling software called Fusion 360.  I also tie that into writing and the design process through documentation of new creations and inventions that students will come up with.  I have done and plan on doing a few more zoom calls to be on the same page with my students.  Every morning at 8:00 I post an announcement about the day’s activity or what to work on to break up the project or activity into chunks.   

 

 

 

Mr. Jeff White

 

For each of my classes students receive a midweek assignment that is due on Tuesday or Wednesday.  They also have an assessment in the form of a quest on Friday.  Therefore, they receive 2 obligations that need to be met each week.   Meanwhile, each morning I send an email to the students and parents through Renweb giving the outline for the week.

 

In this email it explains to them what will be uploaded to Google Classroom each day.  

Students and parents always see each day what’s coming down the road.  All assignments and quizzes have a due time of 8:00 pm.  

 

In Google Classroom (for each class) students receive my PowerPoint presentation.  With this they can print it off and use it as notes, adding further notes when they recieve my “visual podcasts” using Screencast.  Students receive a screencast each day whereby we go through the lecture material as I advance the slideshow with each lecture point.  I also upload YouTube videos, pictures and personal videos to assist in explaining the information.  These lectures are expected to be viewed by 8:00 pm the next evening.  That gives them 36 hours to view a 15 minute visual “podcast”.  

 

I also have been available to students literally from 7:00 a.m until 9:00 pm.  I answer my emails and texts from them which amount in the dozens each day.  If students contact me between 7 and 9 I respond to them within an hour.  

 

 

Guidance Counseling

 

Mr. Neil Zandstra and Mrs. Melanie Benes are working with students on a variety of matters.  They are available to all students seeking counseling or who just have questions.  Staying at home all the time is very challenging and stressful for many students who may need to talk about it.  These counselors also are following up by email and phone calls on many of their usual tasks such as helping students select courses for the coming year, making sure students are meeting their goals or requirements for Core 40, staying in touch with Senior Service students who are journaling.  The counselors are also assisting with any students who are in any sort of personal crisis.

 

 

Student Services Program

 

The Student Services Department has been working together as a group using many media in order to connect with students and parents during the eLearning experience. Although widely thought to only be working in congruence with those who have IEP’s, 504’s and Choice Plans, the Student Services Department services all students at Illiana during eLearning and non-eLearning environments.

Parents and students are connected to the Student Services Department through personalized, individualized Zoom sessions, phone calls, text message connections and emails. We are using a host of media in order to reach literally hundreds of Illiana students with conferencing, encouragement, organizing, and tutoring.  Student Service Department teachers are in consistent communication with the Guidance Office Counselors, Administration and general education classroom teachers in order to develop plans, receive late or missing work, modify work and see that accommodations are being met. 

The goal of the Student Services Department during both the eLearning and non-eLearning environments is to make sure that the students are reaching their full potential for the work that is set before them. 

 

 

 

 

 

Update of 4/17/20 at 4:45pm

When school was in session and before our social distancing it was important that schools reported whether there were confirmed or tested coronavirus cases in the school  community.  Now that school has not been in session for several weeks that news seems to be less critical.  However, as we may still be interacting with other people in the Illiana school community, I feel obliged to report that I am aware that there are at least three test-positive cases of coronavirus among our parents and students.  Out of consideration to those who are ill, their identities are not being reported.  This is perhaps just an encouragement to all of us to continue to be vigilant in adhering to the practices being recommended to stay safe and healthy.

I had hoped to distribute a survey to families of seniors regarding graduation, but I have decided to wait a little while in the hopes that what we can do will be clearer in a couple couple weeks.

I hope learning at home has not been too much for anyone.  I have heard reports of every sort ranging from easy to burdensome.  If you are struggling, please feel free to express that to your teachers or reach out to your counselor or perhaps Ms. Teach.  I certainly have heard that even those who have hated school in the past are now missing it!  I am missing it too!

We are now clear that we will not be having exams in June.  In fact, we are not having exams at all!  That means we are now looking at school (elearning) ending in May.  It looks like we will have May 22 as the last day of elearning with the following week available to complete and catch-up with things that may not have been completed previously.  Grades would be finalized on May 29.  Although semester grades will be largely an average of the 3rd and 4th quarters, students should be aware that failure to participate fully in elearning expectations may lead to an “incomplete” and ultimately to a failing grade for the semester.  However, I expect this to be very rare.  My understanding from teachers is that students have mostly been well-connected and diligent and that most grades are up!

I also want to add that the plans I have just mentioned here are subject to revision.  I do not plan to change them, but things are so unpredictable these days that I am a little hesitant to say, “It shall be so.”

Thank you to students for your persistence and cooperation.  Thank you to parents for your patience and your support.  This is a struggle for us all, but God is being blessed by the way we are persisting

  • Peter Boonstra, Principal

 

Update of 4/9/20 at 4:00pm

Dear Illiana Families,

As you probably know, last week the Indiana governor extended the closing of K-12 schools through the end of the school year.  While I have been scrambling trying to figure out (again) what this means for us at Illiana, I have to admit I have also just spent some time grieving over the loss.  There are some wonderful things that were going to happen at Illiana in the next couple of months, some great traditions that were going to be reenacted one more time, some emotional moments that were going to deepen our sense of community, some important lessons that were going to be learned , and some farewells that now might not be spoken.  We will, as community, strive to rescue some of these losses, but we probably should also recognize that God has another plan.  Before we move too quickly into redrafting a different story for the end of this school year it is good mourn the loss of what might have been.  Also, I know that many of us are nervous and frustrated and stressed about all of the uncertainty of these times and the uncertainty still to come.  I find that for myself I have to dig a little deeper for God’s assurances during this time of crisis.  My prayer for all of you is that you find a way to be safe and feel secure and that together we remain connected by the love of Christ.

As tomorrow is Good Friday we were long planning to take the day off from school.  We are also extending the Easter weekend by not having any elearning activities on Monday.  Grandparents’ Day was going to be next week, but that is, of course, canceled.  On April 20 we were going to hold the annual meeting of the school Association.  That is now being accomplished through absentee ballots both on paper and online.

Decisions have not yet been made about the May and June scheduled events but we are working on them.  We plan to send out a survey next week to the families of seniors regarding graduation.  The Junior/Senior Banquet or Prom is also canceled so we are exploring a substitute of some kind.  We hope to do an online version of the annual Awards Assembly.  We are also considering revisions to the learning schedule such as whether there will be any more days without elearning.  I can tell you now that it is looking doubtful that we will have exams.  Those decisions are coming.

Thank you for your patience as we figure out how to best serve you through these unprecedented challenges.  I wish you a happy and healthy Easter.  We serve a risen Savior!

 

 

Update on 3/20/20 at 4:00pm

Dear Illiana Families,

In compliance with the Indiana governor’s order, Illiana Christian High School will continue with e-learning “classrooms” through April.  As the governor was a little tentative about what will happen after that, so are we.  However, our plan is to continue e-learning through next week, then have one week without e-learning (Spring Break).  This will be followed by a resumption of e-learning for just four days since we will have Good Friday, April 10, off of school.  We are then adding one additional day off!  That will be Easter Monday, April 13.  There will be no “classes” or assignments due on that Monday.  Another way of putting it is that we will have a full week off for Spring Break and then also have a 4-day weekend for Easter.  If the situation and the governor allows, we would return to classes on campus Friday, May 1.

During this time of e-learning, all extra-curricular activities are canceled.  There will be no athletic practices or games. There is an effort being made to salvage a Spring athletic season when school resumes, but, of course, that is tentative.

Other events that were scheduled in April are LIKELY canceled.  Grandparents Day is canceled.  The Spring Supper is canceled. Parent-Teacher Conferences are canceled. The Pancake Pacer is canceled.  We are unsure at this time about the Association meeting that was scheduled for April 20. The meeting information that is going out now includes an absentee ballot.  We may have to accept only absentee ballots in place of an in-person meeting.  More will be said about this later.

As e-learning continues, I want to commend the teachers and students of Illiana who are doing a great job of rising to the very challenging circumstances brought on by the sudden and radical changes demanded of everyone.  I have been is close communication with Illiana teachers and I am confident that we have had a fine start. Moving forward teachers will be increasingly requiring full participation from students.  A growing number of lessons will require daily participation and even “attending” classes on time using Zoom and other platforms.  So, I remind students again, please understand that you are still “in school.”  Students that do not participate daily might not be found truant, but their grades will reflect their lack of participation.  I have been very encouraged in this first week of e-learning that teachers and students are responding well to the “new normal” of learning from home.  I am also aware that some students are learning under challenging circumstances–while caring for siblings or being home alone all day.

As you know, the third quarter ended today.  Grade reports should be accessible online by the end of next week.  If you did not do your best during this first week of e-learning, you now have a chance to start over and make the best of it!

Parents, a special word of thanks to you!  I know this is not what you signed up for.  Please know that your child’s teachers and I would also rather have your child at school with us rather than home with you! Thank you for your assistance and patience, and for your prayers.  The Illiana staff is at your disposal.  Please feel free to contact any of us for help in this learning-from-home experiment.  We are a little weakened by the challenges we are facing, but know this trial will make us stronger and better.  This week my teachers have remarked how important it is to have parents looking over the shoulders of their students.  Might I also suggest that you make each day’s e-learning the topic of discussion around the dinner table.  Yes, with all the extra-curriculars canceled, perhaps your family is eating around the dinner table together again! #illianachristianstrong

 

Update on 3/14/20 at 12:50pm

In keeping with the state-wide closure of schools in Illinois beginning on Tuesday as well as the extensive closing of schools across northwest Indiana beginning on Monday, Illiana Christian High School has made the extraordinary and unprecedented decision to institute at-home e-learning for two weeks followed by a week of previously scheduled Spring Break.  We are canceling in-person classes for two full weeks. On-campus classes would resume on April 6 unless the circumstances require resumption of e-learning.

There are no confirmed or even suspected cases of COVID-19 on campus or in the Illiana community. This classroom closure is in response to the broader public health initiative to slow the spread of the virus despite the absence of confirmed cases.  This is about social distancing and not about staying away from a contaminated area. The school building will be open for students on Monday from 8:00 until 3:00 to retrieve textbooks for the coming two weeks of e-learning.

All school activities are canceled during this time of distance learning and vacation.  School leadership announced previously that athletic competitions were canceled; during these three weeks practices are also canceled.

Illiana has great teachers, and will be able to substantially continue teaching during this time away from the classroom.  It will be different. The biggest challenge will be on students to treat this less-structured format for learning with the same vigor and discipline that they normally show in the classroom.  We urge students to be diligent and keep up. Try to stay in a mindset of learning even while at home. Maintain regular times of learning. Nearly all the instruction over these next two weeks will be asynchronous, that is–not at the same time.  Some teachers may set up chats for the class at the same time, but for others it may simply be a daily activity or assignment to be done at any time. We want to challenge students to be honest about their work. Working online facilitates a copy-and-paste approach that can sidestep individual learning.  Learn with integrity.

Online assignments and activities could begin being posted at any time.  Students should be looking for communication online from their teachers on Google Classroom or other platforms that the teachers may be using.  We are blessed to have a school-wide one-to-one program with a Chromebook for every student. This will ensure that all our students have access to their own learning device during this time.  If you do not have internet access in your home, please seek it at a library nearby. If you are unable to connect to the internet in any way, please contact the school. By the way, we will be sending you the morning announcements and the daily devotions each day.  Make that part of the new routine. Please contact the school if you have a concern that a teacher might not be reaching you for a couple of days.

Thank you to the entire Illiana community for your understanding and support during this very strange and challenging time.  We hope that this distancing will make a small contribution to the slowing of the spread of the coronavirus. As the school itself remains a safe place, I expect that our staff will continue to serve and the office will be open.  Feel free to contact us as usual during this time. It is good to know that in so many ways we are together even when we are apart. Perhaps that is a piece of God’s plan through this crisis!

As  I have indicated previously, if you have any questions, please contact info@illianaweb.org or for the latest updates visit https://www.illianachristian.org/illianas-response-covid-19/ 

 

 

Update March 13, 2020 11:00 a.m.

Illiana Christian High School is taking all necessary precautions to deal with COVID-19. Please be aware that at this time we have no knowledge of any coronavirus in the school community and no knowledge of any specific threat of infection. We are closely monitoring and following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and local and state health departments regarding cleaning and disinfecting our school building and other actions.  

We are preparing our teachers and students for a possible transition to e-learning if the administration deems a closure of the school building necessary. We do not know when or if a closure might happen or how long it might last, but all of our teachers are working on e-learning procedures that would allow us to continue teaching our students from a distance.

Our maintenance staff is working hard to ensure that we are following an aggressive disinfecting protocol. We encourage students, staff, and faculty to wash their hands whenever possible and if they are feeling sick, we encourage them to stay home until they are well. 

The Indiana governor has asked that all non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people be cancelled. Illiana considers our chapel services an essential part of our education, so Chapel will continue as planned for the time being. 

All athletic competitions are cancelled until April 5, including the junior high boy’s volleyball competition scheduled at Illiana on Saturday, March 21. The blood drive on March 17, the Praise Crowd Breakfast on March 19, COP appointments, and field trips have been cancelled until further notice. The Spring Break mission trip to Uganda has been postponed but we are working to reschedule it. The Dominican Republic mission trip may also be postponed and rescheduled. As of right now, the mission trip to West Virginia will take place as planned.

Any second semester student absences after March 13, 2020 will not be counted toward exam voucher qualification. This allows students who have had good attendance up to this date to qualify for the exam voucher as usual while also giving parents of students feeling ill more discretion to stay home without repercussions.

As further actions are deemed necessary, we will update you as soon as we can. These are unprecedented times. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation together. As followers of Christ, let’s continue to pray to and trust the one who is in control of all things.  It is very important that we act out of love and not fear, so lets particularly pray for peace and patience.  

If you have any questions, please contact info@illianaweb.org or for the latest updates please visit https://www.illianachristian.org/illianas-response-covid-19/

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