Congratulations to Charleston CUSD #1 teacher DEBRA BELLEAU who was selected to receive an inaugural ROE #11 RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE AWARD. Mrs. Belleau taught at Jefferson Elementary School and served in our district for 25 years! Way to go, Mrs. Belleau!
https://vimeo.com/user115332840/review/417895879/543f9ce149 You can now view the Charleston High School 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony!
We understand that Remote Learning was unexpected and offered unique challenges for district students, families and staff. As we close out this school year, we are reflecting on the past couple of months and feeling a multitude of emotions. All of us here at CUSD#1 are disappointed we were unable to end the year with the students we care about so deeply. We are appreciative that so many of our teachers went above and beyond to connect with and engage students during this time. Our community empathizes with our students, particularly the high school seniors, who were unable to participate in so many important milestones at the end of their K-12 education. District staff are grateful for all of the families who worked with children at home, despite the stress of work, finances, and pandemic fear. In order to best reflect on this time and plan for the possibility of remote learning in the future, we are seeking your input. Please take a few moments to complete the attached survey. We are also sending a copy of the survey to all students in Grades 6-12, through their school email. We truly value your feedback. Parent/Student survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QNSCBZB Thank you for taking the time to reflect with us.
CHS Virtual Graduation Ceremony Information: http://charlestoncusd1il.apptegy.us/article/246692?org=chs
Hello, Charleston School Community! We hope you are staying well and taking care of yourselves and each other every day. We recognize the tremendous emotional pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances continues to place on us all. Like no other, the ending to this school year comes with disappointment and new challenges for us, and we again commend our school community for exhibiting care, empathy, understanding and patience. We also want to thank everyone who shared their ideas for closing this school year under remote learning in ways that are safe, meaningful and memorable. Our principals have considered your insights, as well as guidance from the state superintendent's and governor's offices, to develop end-of-year closing plans that are aligned with social distancing practices and designed to keep everyone healthy. Because they are school-specific, plans for securing personal belongings at school, for returning materials to school, CHS commencement activities and so forth are posted on individual school websites. As for our school calendar, we have established May 26 and 27 as "Remote Learning Planning Days," so our last Remote Learning Day is now Friday, May 22. If you have questions or need additional information about our end-of-year plans, please contact your child's principal. As you might suspect, some of our attention is already turning to planning for potentially holding a summer school session and for the opening of school for next year, but now our first focus is on our individual and collective well-being for a stronger tomorrow. Stay well. Todd J. Vilardo Superintendent of Schools
Though our annual Spring music theatre production is currently on hold, the members of the Charleston High School Performing Arts Club are currently waiting in the wings to perform for our friends, family, and community. While we wait patiently to hit that stage, we wanted to provide you with this video to brighten your day and thank you for all of the love and support you have shown to us. A huge thank you to all the people who helped to prepare this video. We could not have done it without you! Anything can happen if you let it! https://youtu.be/G6tdwckhSTM
https://www.illinoispoisoncenter.org/PR-Increase-in-Cleaning-Product-Exposures The Illinois Poison Center urges people to use caution with cleaning products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exposures to cleaning products have increased by 30% compared to last year.
104.3 the Party presents the 2020 Virtual Prom Party this Saturday, April 25th! Put on your prom attire, request your favorite songs, and enter for a chance to win an ipad! Click here for more details: https://www.1043theparty.com/2020/04/01/party-prom/
Governor Pritzker announced at today’s press conference that he was suspending in-person learning for the remainder of this school year. Please keep in mind that we had already planned for Remote Learning through April 30th. We understand this brings up many questions about the end of the school year (for example: extra-curricular and athletic activities, curriculum and grading related items, picking up materials, etc.). District officials will soon be announcing information on related local impact for the remainder of the school year.
The Project Help Preschool Teachers are continuously adding new ideas to their website to help you keep your preschoolers engaged in fun learning activities during this time at home. Feel free to check it out as often as you wish! https://charlestonprojecthelp.eiase.com/
Although many events are canceled or postponed in response to COVID-19, the 2020 Census is still in full swing. I am so proud that Illinois has one of the best self-response rates in the nation! Completing the census safely online, by phone, or by mail means census takers do not have to come in person to your residence. However, 48 percent of Illinoisans still need to respond. So if you have not yet filled out your 2020 Census, please do. The online survey takes only a few minutes. If you have any questions about the census, check out this video, which can also help your students learn this important lesson in civics. Illinois’ number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, Electoral College votes, and certain federal funding streams all depend on everyone getting counted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXZAe8XYeNQ
We are thinking about and miss all students during this time, and our thoughts are especially with the Class of 2020. Questions remain about events that our seniors and their families have looked forward to for so many years. Please know that we are committed to supporting our traditions in every possible way and, while it’s unlikely at this point that the CHS Prom will be held on May 2 as scheduled, that plans for prom, commencement, etc. will be announced by CHS administration as soon as we have confidence that whatever we can feasibly do best brings honor to our students in ways they deserve and in ways for them to create positive, lasting memories. To our seniors: We know this is not what you imagined your senior year to be like, and our hearts go out to you for unmet expectations. In the end, the events may not be held in exactly the same ways as in the past, but they will be uniquely yours. The Class of 2020 – like no other!
Hoping Easter Break has been one for pause and reflection, we remind our school community that Monday, April 13 is also reserved for Easter Break and Friday, April 17 is reserved for a Remote Learning Planning Day. We miss our students and are grateful for parents and educators--partners who focus first on our student's individual well being so we can learn and lead together every day.
The Census Bureau reminds you to return your 2020 Census questionnaire. Every person is mandated to be counted. It is now easier than ever to do that. Simply return a mail form, call 1-844-330-2020, email my2020census.gov, or submit your form online at 2020census.gov. There are still job opportunities for census takers as well. (All done online and pays $17.50/hr+) Visit 2020census.gov/jobs for more info.
Charleston School District originally scheduled our Timely and Meaningful Consultation for April 14th at 5:00 PM at Central Office. Our intent is still to have this meeting, but we will be doing this through video conference. If you received a letter and would still like to sign up for the Timely and Meaningful Consultation, please call 217-639-1000 and leave a message and someone will be in touch with you to give you the information about the meeting. If for some reason, you are unable to participate and would like consultation at a later date, you can also call the number and leave a message to set this up.
WILL Radio TV Online has made adjustments to their TV schedule to support your family’s at-home learning during Illinois school closures. Their main channel, 12.1, now offers PBS KIDS programming for children in grades Pre-K-5 Mon. - Fri. from 6am until 5pm. These TV programs support social-emotional, science, art, math, social studies, engineering, language arts and history learning.
Governor Pritzker launched a new effort to reinforce the message that we should all stay home and stay safe. The campaign is called “All in Illinois,” to remind us that we’re all in this together. “I’ve taken virtually every action available to me to protect our residents and slow the spread, and now, our strongest weapon against COVID-19 is you,” the Governor said. “For everyone in Illinois, we as individuals must commit to stay home, stay safe and practice social distancing to stay healthy.” You can show your solidarity by updating your Facebook profile photo with the All in Illinois frame image, or by sharing messages on social media using the #AllinIllinois hashtag. If you’d like to download an “All In” sign to print, color, and display in a window, you can download one here: https://www.enjoyillinois.com/assets/Media-Files/AllInIllinois-Printable-Signs.pdf
Governor Pritzker announced today that he will extend Illinois' Stay at Home order and Remote Learning Days through the end of April. These circumstances have placed many educators, students and families into difficult to manage, increased anxiety situations. We all are striving to create some kind of order out of the chaos with which we've all been dealt. All families don't have the same supports and resources in terms of meals, electronic devices, internet connectivity. Some parents are pulling "double duty" of working from home while supporting learning at home. Other parents aren't able to be at home to support learning. Educators are doing their best to provide for kids without a uniform remote learning platform. Kids are trying to make sense out of all this, too -- from "why can't we go to school" to "what about my friends, sports, prom, graduation," etc. I call on our school community to continue to empathize with our students, educators and parents -- take time to look at each other's lives through these various lenses -- and, perhaps, slow down. Not a race, this marathon is about pace, and we will be stronger together at the finish, hopefully with clearer answers, by FIRST focusing on our individual and collective well-being. We DESIRE individual sustained academic learning; we REQUIRE collective healthy emotional support. Thank you, first, for exercising empathy as we travel together one day at a time.
If you haven't already taken part in the 2020 census, please take a minute to complete it now and help make Charleston count! https://colescounty2020.com/
Help make Charleston count! Do your part by participating the 2020 census: https://colescounty2020.com/
This website was created by our Speech Pathologists to provide parents and students in the Charleston, IL school district with resources and ideas to implement speech therapy at home during school closure. https://sites.google.com/view/charleston-cusd1-speechtherapy
It is now more important than ever to take the census. It impacts your community, your schools, and your local businesses. Do your part today! https://colescounty2020.com/
Wow! So many people showed up today for instructional materials distribution that, to ensure compliance with the Governor's Executive Order, we needed to suspend materials distribution in favor of a different method. First, parents should confirm with teachers whether materials need to be picked up. Only if confirmed that materials need to be picked up, then parents can pick up materials at their child(ren)'s school(s) according to the following schedule: Today, Monday, March 23 from 1:00-3:00p.m. Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24 from 11:30-2:00p.m. Wednesday, March 25 from 11:30-2:00p.m. Afterwards, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30-2:00p.m. Thank you, again, for your patience and understanding as we learn how to best to support remote learning through all of this.
CUSD1 Students, Parents, and Staff, Please continue to utilize our District Website to get the most up to date information and guidance we have in relation to COVID-19 and IL State School Closure. https://www.charleston.k12.il.us/o/cusd-1/page/covid-19-school-closure-information
Meal distribution is beginning today. If you are picking up meals at locations other than CMS, please be patient and watch for yellow school busses, as they might be running a bit late on this first day. Thank you!
At this time all Charleston Preschool Roundup days that were scheduled for next week: March 24th, 25th, & 26th (as well as the 31st in Ashmore) have been cancelled. Eastern Illinois Area of Special Education (E.I.A.S.E.) will be contacting families that had already made appointments, and the Charleston Preschool Roundup days will hopefully be rescheduled at a future time. More information will be provided as it becomes available. If you have any questions, please contact EIASE at (217) 345-9119 or Charleston CUSD1 at (217) 639-1000.
(3/3) Continuation of Learning As the ISBE expects, we are committed to keeping students engaged in learning during these “Act of God” days through whatever means possible. District staff have been preparing to provide for continuous learning opportunities during the state closure Act of God days of March 23-30. To promote two-way communication about ways to help students continue to be engaged in our curriculum and prevent learning loss, teachers may be in touch with parents/guardians and students by using the contact information contained in our Skyward student management system. Parents/guardians should ensure that their contact information on the Skyward system (phone and email) is accurate. In addition, parents/guardians and students can contact teachers through the same means as they usually would. Teacher email addresses can be found on each school’s websites. Any physical materials/take home packets (worksheets, review papers, etc.) that teachers want to provide to students can be dropped off by teachers at the Charleston Middle School main office (labeled by student’s name and grade) and can be picked up by parents/guardians at the CMS main office beginning on March 23 between 10:00-11:30a.m. Although it is important that students have opportunities to stay engaged in learning during the state closure, any student work completed during these Act of God days are not to be counted for grades or used in any way to impact a student’s academic standing. For those who have internet access at home, we encourage you to engage your child(ren) in free, online educational activities. The Illinois State Board of Education has compiled a library of resources at www.isbe.net/keeplearning. Other free online resources appear below. Share My Lesson: www.sharemylesson.com National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/resource-library/?q=&page=1&per_page=25 Field Museum: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/educators/learning-resources/plants-animals Lesson Planet: https://www.lessonplanet.com/ The Learning Network: https://www.nytimes.com/section/learning Statistics in Schools: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis/2020census/2020-resources.html EdEx: https://www.edx.org/ Global Digital Library: https://www.digitallibrary.io/ Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/ Learning Equality: https://learningequality.org/kolibri/ For state assessments, school accountability and chronic absenteeism, the U.S. Department of Education has communicated that it will make waivers available. Information Related to CUSD #1 Employees To honor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on social distancing, we are permitting flexible worksites and work hours (e.g., remote settings, telecommuting, staggered shifts) for staff to be able to work from home during these Act of God days without loss of compensation. As there will be no “cookie cutter” approach to this, some employees may be asked to work to support specialized cleaning, meal distribution, etc. Most employees will be able to take advantage of time for professional growth, curriculum development, instructional planning, supporting remote learning for students, etc. More information about worksites and work hours is being distributed to CUSD #1 employees.
(2/3) While teaching children positive measures can give them a sense of some control over their risk of infections, concern over this new virus can make children anxious. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children's anxiety may rise. Parents/guardians should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. A few resources to support these efforts appear below. • https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors/professional-development/learn-more/coronavirus-resources • https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource • https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/ Updated School Calendar Although these dates could change in the event of an extension of the state school closure, the Charleston CUSD #1 school calendar is now as follows: March 16-20 Spring Break (State School Closure/Act of God Days of March 17-20) March 23-30 State School Closure/Act of God Days March 31 Return to School (unless otherwise notified) May 27 Last Student Attendance Day May 28 Teacher Institute Day All in-person school-sponsored activities, including practices of any kind, that are scheduled during the statewide school closure are suspended until school resumes. Parents/guardians who need to secure their child(ren)’s school supply of medication(s) for use during the closure should arrange for pick up by calling their child(ren)’s school or 639-1000 on Monday, March 16 (leave a message, if needed). To confirm attendance at any scheduled IEP-related meetings, parents/guardians should call 639-1000 (leave a message, if needed) on Monday, March 16. Parents/guardians may participate in upcoming IEP-related meetings either in person or by telephone conference. Meals For all district students, including those under age 5, mid-morning breakfast/lunch meals will be available for pick up at Charleston Middle School beginning on March 23 between 10:00 and 11:30a.m. at the school’s northwest circle drive. If meals are needed, please respond to correspondence that we will send during the week of March 16. Students will not be permitted to eat inside the school. Since these are “grab-and-go” meals, please do not park or leave vehicles unattended.
(1/3) 2020 Statewide School Closure and Charleston CUSD #1 Information from our Joint Administrative and Labor Association Leadership Team Updated: March 15, 2020 General Information for our School Community Following extensive state-level analysis of coronavirus spread in various countries and the social distancing measures that were put in place, Illinois’ Governor JB Pritzker has declared mandatory closures for all schools from March 17 through March 30 “….to slow and limit widespread transmission of [the COVID-19] virus, which is essential to ensuring our health care system is not overwhelmed as the disease progresses through our state,” according to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Illinois Department of Public Health Director. To begin, school officials want to express gratitude for the extraordinary support of many in our school community over the past several days who continue to work together to protect our community during the growing pandemic. The general public is encouraged to engage in social distancing practices, including avoiding events of more than 250 people, working from home if possible and maintaining social distance (6 feet) from anyone experiencing symptoms. Of course, such an unprecedented situation places us all in uncertain decision-making positions, yet we are committed to taking principle-based actions that place a primary focus on our collective health and safety. Ultimately, we intend to plan carefully and learn together in hopes that these experiences will not need to be repeated. Accordingly, we have designed the information that follows and will continue to provide information as quickly as we can about any further changes to school services. If you have questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact the district’s administrative offices at 639-1000. Student Health and Wellness Children need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk, so the focus of conversation should be concrete instructions about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Please talk with your children about precautions they can take to stay healthy, including: ● Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best, especially if they are visibly dirty. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a suitable alternative. Consider showing your children one of these videos about proper handwashing technique: www.cdc.gov/handwashing. ● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. ● Avoid close contact with people who are sick. ● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. ● Stay home if you are able to stay home. Avoid travel if you can.
We are aware that an incorrect message was sent by our automated School Messenger system. It should be corrected now with a message about Governor Pritzker's directive to close schools. We are sorry for any confusion it may have created.
Illinois’ Governor Pritzker is directing all public and private schools in Illinois to close as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, Charleston CUSD #1 schools will be closed from Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30 (some of which was already during our Spring Break). During this time frame, all school events have also been cancelled. The school days that fall during this closure window will be considered either “Emergency” days or “Act of God” days and, according to law, are not required to be “made up” at the end of the school term. Unless otherwise notified, school will resume on Tuesday, March 31. Considering the unprecedented nature of these circumstances, we expect additional questions to arise and are committed to providing clarity to those to the best of our abilities. In the coming days, we will be releasing more information about the following through our website, app, social media and school messaging system: • how students can continue to be engaged in our curriculum and prevent learning loss; • how parents/guardians can contact their child(ren)’s teacher(s) between now and when school resumes; • how parents/guardians can secure their child(ren)’s school supply of medication(s), if needed; • how parents/guardians can access food items, if needed, during the extended closure; • how parents/guardians can participate in their child(ren)’s IEP meetings; and • how various categories of employees can continue to best serve in their roles. Thank you for your understanding as we transition into our Spring Break.
Our district continues to receive information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and other agencies. As of yesterday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 32 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Illinois – all in the Chicago area. State officials are not recommending that schools be cancelled; however, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the ISBE advise to consider postponing/cancelling non-critical gatherings and events (e.g., assemblies, field trips, extra-curricular events). Accordingly, all district field trips have been cancelled through May 1. As of now, this does not include other extra-curricular events (i.e. contests, athletics, FFA, etc.), but we will consider such events on an individual basis. Schools will announce other event postponements/cancellations on their websites and social media pages. Additional information has been sent via email to parent/guardians and staff.
Charleston CUSD #1 Parents/Guardians and School Community, You are likely aware of several recent world, U.S. and local developments regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). One primary strategy of containing the spread of the virus is that of “social distancing.” Such a strategy could include an extended closing of schools. Some Illinois colleges and universities are already planning such actions. As you know, our district’s schools are not in session next week during Spring Break. In the event that our schools need to close for an extended period of time after Spring Break, district staff representatives have met to discuss initial planning beyond what the State Board of Education has already provided to our district. Decisions regarding school closure status will be made in accordance with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, local health departments and other State agencies. Please note that, as of the sending of this email, no decision has been made regarding a school closing status after Spring Break. We have encouraged teachers to begin planning for how to keep students engaged in learning in the event such a closing happens. There is no “one size fits all” approach to continuing the educational environment if schools are closed. We have asked teachers to urge students to take personal items (i.e. books, consumables, etc.) home with them prior to Spring Break in the event of a closure. It is essential that, as needed, families consider securing child care options now in the event of an extended closing. Again, as of the sending of this email, no decision has been made regarding a school closing status after Spring Break. Please understand that information we receive about this situation is rapidly changing. District staff are planning to provide more information through our website, app, social media and school messaging system as it come to us. Thank you all for your understanding and patience as we pull together for kids.
https://youtu.be/efpS1pRxta4 Charleston High School graduate and current EIU student Holly Higgins talks about bringing quality education to rural schools.
Is there one restaurant or business you would love to have here in town? Did you know that our community uses census data to help recruit new organizations to town? We all need to fill out the census later this month! For more information, please visit: www.colescounty2020.com
A media outlet mistakenly reported that Charleston schools are closed today. In fact, Charleston schools are in session today. Safe travels, everyone!
At 4:45a.m. a light snow had just begun in Charleston. Forecasted snow appears to be staying primarily north of Charleston. As of this, school is in session. If we get some snow accumulation in our area, slow down and use caution on roads and walkways.
Charleston truly is a hidden gem. We made the list. Check it out! https://collegegazette.com/10-best-hidden-gem-college-towns-in-the-us/?fbclid=IwAR14FvrQ7WwW2w7gpRZTC0SIskgfHKHCBeD78nYy-a6NuuGDf3bNVCLCxe8
JG-TC's Dave Fopay captures the essence of the heart of leadership in our communities. http://jg-tc.com/news/local/education/the-human-side-of-homelessness-charleston-students-celebrate-valentine-s/article_22a6dbc5-6a0c-51ac-bc1d-573096f59310.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1
Just a final reminder to all current parents of CUSD1 students: If you have not already completed the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, please consider giving us a couple minutes of your time today to help us gain more results from the parent perspective before it closes tonight. Simply visit the following link: https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/ In our continuing efforts to make our schools great places to be, we sincerely value your opinions and wish to thank all participants!
What a beautiful winter morning! Road crews have been out pushing some snow and treating roads. We are holding school today! Gonna get cold, so bundle up and be safe! Let's learn and lead today!
District officials are monitoring weather forecasts for tonight and tomorrow. We prefer to make school closing announcements the day before a closing, but that's not always feasible. While we desire to hold school, we require to hold safety of all as a top priority. Stay tuned!
EIU Partners With CUSD1 To Focus on Competency-Based Education https://www.effinghamradio.com/2020/02/07/eiu-partners-with-cusd-1-to-focus-on-competency-based-education/
Help Vocal Music programs…order a Singing Valentine today.. Call Tom Woodall 217-549-6671 and he will schedule a great barbershop quartet to sing (takes 3 minutes) for individuals or groups. They can sing in Mattoon and Charleston from 8 AM to about 2:30 PM…(schools, nursing homes, business, residences, etc. Recipients get a nice box of candy, a nice card, two love songs and a photo of the event = $40 All the profits to local HS Vocal Music Programs.
Dirty's will be hosting a Dine-N-Donate night on Monday, January 27th from 4:30-8:00pm to help support CUSD1 in the CARE game competition against Mattoon. The event is being staffed by all Charleston alumni, and Dirty's will donate back 10% of all sales to the cause for anyone that mentions the schools or the CARE game that night. Proceeds from the CARE game will be going directly towards the immediate needs of local cancer patients at SBL Regional Cancer Center.
EXTRA! EXTRA! Charleston Middle School recently published its first edition of The Classroom Courier for the 2019-20 school year. Twelve CMS students currently write for the school newspaper, which is overseen by 7-Gold ELA teacher Mrs. Bickford. The paper covers the latest news about CMS and other schools in the district. The Classroom Courier is produced multiple times throughout the year.
One of our many dedicated Educational Support Professionals at CUSD #1....this is Ms. Ferguson, head custodian at Charleston Middle School. She takes pride in keeping the school clean and safe for students, staff and visitors....and, yes, that smile is genuine....her positive attitude is contagious! Thank you, Ms. Ferguson, for helping us learn and lead every day!