Update from the superintendent

Dear Student, Staff, and Families,

As we get ready to resume e-learning on Monday, I want you to know how much I have been thinking about all of you. Covid-19 has had a profound and significant impact on the world, our country, our community. We’re inundated with new information every day--and yet so much about the coming weeks and months remains unknown. 

Take care of yourself
I realize the uncertainty day to day can be overwhelming, both emotionally and physically. As we all try to create a new normal for now, please practice self-care. Don’t be afraid to take time to stop and just breathe. Take a walk around the block (maintaining social distancing of course).  Reflect on the core strength that lies within each of you, and know that we will get through this. The Oak Park and River Forest High School community is resilient and committed. We have weathered many storms together, and we will successfully weather this one too. 

Special thanks
This pandemic has impacted each of us in different ways, depending on who we are, what we do, whom we know. To all the first responders--the  health care providers, police, fire fighters, grocery store workers, pharmacists--you are heros, standing on the front lines and facing down this virus everyday. THANK YOU! 

I also want to give a shout-out to science teacher Amy McGrail, English teacher Paul Noble, and associate superintendent Greg Johnson. This morning they went to the building, went through our science classrooms, and rounded up 800 goggles and 18 boxes of gloves that Mr. Noble then drove down and donated to Rush University Medical Center. This is in addition to more than 700 medical supplies, including masks, gloves, and isolation gowns, that Mr. Johnson took to Rush as a donation on behalf of OPRF earlier this week. 

Covid-19 on our website
We’ve created a Covid-19 Info Center on our website that includes links to our previous communications, information about OPRF e-learning and meal distributions, lists of community resources, and more. Click here to visit the page.

E-learning
We are still waiting on the state to provide further information about remote learning, including guidance on issues such as attendance and grading. We are hopeful about having that guidance as soon as Monday. In the meantime, we will continue with the e-learning process that we established for the week prior to spring break. While the governor specified “act of God” days only through March 30, the state is still under the state’s stay-at-home order through April 7 and will remain out of the building. We will continue to treat March 31 and beyond as “act of God” days until we are told otherwise. As a reminder, you can find those specifics on our district’s COVID-19 information page here.

Regarding third quarter grades, we are providing this week for students to complete any outstanding assignments/assessments, if possible. While the last day for third quarter was March 13, grades will be finalized by the end of the day on April 3.  

Meal distribution
No matter how long we are out of the building this spring, we will continue meal distributions for our students who receive free and reduced lunch, as well as any student in need. Our next distribution is:

Monday, March 30, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Pick up at concession trailer near the stadium entrance

Meal packages will include five shelf-stable breakfasts and five perishable lunches, with frozen ingredients such as chicken patties, hamburgers, etc., that can be cooked at home.  Instructions and labels will be handed out with the meals. 

We can do this!
Yesterday we asked students and staff to send us photos and videos of how they’ve been getting through this time. We were overwhelmed and delighted by the response! We received too many to include here, so click here to enjoy just a few to close out your week with a smile. As you’ll see, the OPRF family is a strong one. We will get through this, and we will all be together again soon.

Take care and be well,

Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams 
Superintendent