April 17, 2020

Dear ICJA Family

 

As you most likely have heard, the Governor has just announced that he is ordering the closure of all public and private schools in Illinois for the remainder of this school year. While not unexpected, we were still hoping that the curve of COVID-19 cases would have bent enough that we could have returned for even a portion of this year. But it is not to be.

 

So what will be?

 

ICJA is committed to continuing our online program for as long as necessary. But even more, we are committed to increasing the effectiveness of this form of education and to addressing the social-emotional needs of our students. Over the Pesach vacation, many of our teachers participated in further training in online tools, and this coming week all of our staff will participate in a professional development program with an expert from Northwestern University.

 

In addition, after receiving feedback from students, teachers, and parents, we will be modifying our daily schedule as follows:

Monday/Wednesday = Periods: 2, 3, 4 (break) 10, 11, 12

Tuesday/Thursday = Periods: 1, 5, 6 (break) 7, 8, 9

(The first Friday back will be a Tuesday/Thursday schedule)

 

On Tuesday afternoon, during the 8th period (1:45-2:30 pm), we will be hosting an online Yom HaShoah program with Mrs. Chaya Small. And the following week, we will be having programs for Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut. Parents and grandparents are invited to join us for these programs – more details to follow. And of course, we look forward to weekly extra-curricular programs.

 

To our senior class, at this time, we are beginning to look at alternative dates for your graduation. Please reserve Sunday, August 16th, at 1 pm, for the 75th annual ICJA graduation. We hope that this later date will allow us to celebrate your achievements in-person, but of course, as that date nears, we will be able to make a final decision on the form and location of your graduation.

 

Finally, as part of Monday’s update, you will be receiving a link for an anonymous survey about the past several weeks of online instruction. Please take the time to complete that survey. Your input is very important to us!

 

Please stay safe, healthy, and in touch with us. We are committed to helping you through this challenging time. While we will not be meeting in person until next academic year – we will do everything possible to make the remaining months of this year, inspiring and filled with Torah and general learning.

 

Shabbat Shalom,

 

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.