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April 21, 2020 Board Briefs

The April 21, 2020 Board Briefs are available, see the attached document.

Download 4-21-20 Board Brief

End of the Year FAQ

With Governor Pritzker declaring schools to remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, we recognize there are many questions to be answered about our current school year and regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. While our school buildings will remain closed, teaching and learning will continue until the end of the school year. As a reminder, our last day of school is June 1. 

Our community lunch program will also continue until June 1. Lunches may be picked up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 11 am-1 pm at the Administration Center. We hope that any and all families in need will take advantage of this opportunity. Please come take meals for your student(s) if you can benefit from this service, and please share this message with anyone else you feel may benefit. You can look for additional communications and reminders from Mr. Duback, Director of Operations, in this regard. Any questions regarding lunches can be sent to

Please reach out to the school offices or administration center with any questions or concerns.

LaGrange Highlands #106 Administration Center 708.246.3085

Highlands Middle School 708.579.6890

Highlands Elementary School 708.579.6886

More questions will likely arise in the upcoming weeks and we will continue to communicate and answer questions as they arise.

What about the end of the year traditions (graduation, Honor’s Day, etc.)

8th Grade Graduation Wednesday, May 27, 6:00 pm. 

Families will be assigned a time to arrive for the drive-through graduation ceremony. 

More information to come. 

8th Grade Honor’s Day Celebration Friday, May 22 at 1:00 pm

The annual celebration will be live-streamed. Details will be forthcoming. 

Elementary End of Year Assembly:  Friday, May 29, Time TBD

Our end of year assembly to recognize our students who have participated in clubs, our Bob Barnes Award Winner, SCOTY Award Winner, 4th Grade President’s Awards and our end of the year slideshow will be live-streamed.

Elementary Family DIY Field Day: Details and Dates/Times to follow

Elementary Grade Level Step Up Meetings: May 26-May 29 Grade level teachers will host zoom step-up meetings.  In these meetings, all of the students in a specific grade level will meet the teachers in the next year’s grade level. 

More information to come.

How will I pick up my child’s classroom supplies?

We ask that you please place your last name on a sign in the front and side window of your car. Supplies will be brought to you using a no-contact system similar to grocery stores.  No student pick up of materials is permitted.

Families with students in both buildings will need to stop at both entrances to pick-up materials.

Middle School

Your child’s school materials/p.e. uniform will be placed in a plastic bag with his/her name on it. 


Supplies will be packed up into bags with student names.  

Monday, May 11:

9:00 - 12:00 Last Name A - D

1:00 - 4:00   Last Name E - I

Rain Date: May 12 

Wednesday, May 13 :

9:00 - 12:00 Last Name J - M

1:00 - 4:00   Last Name N - Q

Rain Date: May 14 

Friday, May 15:

9:00 - 12:00 Last Name R - U

1:00 - 4:00   Last Name V - Z

Rain Date: Monday, May 18

**Please email your building principal if your assigned date or time doesn’t work for your schedule.

How and when will district technology be returned?

District 106 offers graduating 8th-grade students and their families the opportunity to purchase the laptop that the student has been issued for the last four years. With the social distancing requirements, this sale will occur online through a website that we are developing. The website will go live on May 11th, and families will be able to purchase the device their student has been assigned for $225. Sales will close on May 27th. Families who purchase the laptops will receive instructions on how to remove district settings and software from them. They will not need to come back to school for any reason. An email will be sent to families of graduating students with further instructions when the website is operational.

Graduating 8th-grade students who are not purchasing their laptops will need to turn their devices during a drop-off day that will take place on June 1st. See below for more information.

Students who are finishing the 2019-2020 school year in grades 5 through 7 will retain their laptops over the summer as long as they plan to return to Highlands Middle School in the fall of 2020. We are preparing a set of operating system upgrades that students will be required to install prior to the beginning of summer. Laptops will connect with district systems remotely to let us know if these upgrades have been installed. Families whose students have not completed the upgrades will be notified and may be required to make an appointment to bring their laptop to school to have the updates installed. While web filtering will remain turned on over the summer and parents can continue to monitor their children’s web browsing using the Securly Home app, 

The district will not be actively monitoring student behavior online over the summer.

Students in kindergarten through fourth grade along with 8th-grade students who are not purchasing their laptops must turn in their device to the district on June 1st. Students must return their iPad or laptop, the power adapter, charging cable, and case. If there are any known issues with the device please include a note in the case describing any issues.  

The June 1st device drop off will occur from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. in three separate locations by last name.

Last name from A-H: Elementary Entrance on Laurel Avenue

Last name from I-R: Administration Entrance on Plainfield Road

Last name from S-Z: Middle School Entrance on Plainfield Road

Families can bring all devices that a family has to drop off to the same location. You will drive up to the drop-off location in your vehicle, open a passenger side window, and someone from the district will take the devices from you. No walk-up or bicycle drop-offs will be permitted due to the district compliance with social distancing requirements. 

What about our Summer Technology Sale? 

We would very much like to have a technology sale, but our ability to do so is dependent on the status of the gathering restrictions put in place by Governor Pritzker’s executive orders. If restrictions are lifted enough where we can carry on the sale, the district will do so.  Communication with families through the district website will precede any sale.

What about the 2020 Summer Program?

Highlands will regretfully be canceling all Summer Enrichment classes and activities. If you have registered your child for a Summer Enrichment class(es) and have paid course costs, these charges will be reversed and your money refunded in the coming weeks. 

The district continues to explore creative planning regarding Summer Achievers classes and Extended School Year (ESY) instruction. Most likely, these programs will be shifted to the latter half of the summer, with the tentative dates of Monday - Thursday, July 20th - August 13th.   More information will be available regarding Summer Achievers and ESY in the coming weeks.

Will the calendar for the 2020-2021 school year be different?

With in-person instruction suspended through the end of the 2019-20 school year, our 2020-21 School Calendar has not been impacted, yet. Could it be? Yes, potentially, if shelter in place is extended even further by the Governor. If this were to happen, we would prioritize the current Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring break periods and continue aligning with LT’s calendar. We do know that many of our families count on our breaks remaining consistent and we also know that a number of our families appreciate having our calendar match LT. If the 2020-21 School Calendar is impacted, it may end up being a situation that calls for a decision that represents what is best for learning. 

Will my child be promoted to the next grade level for the 2020-2021 school year?

Yes. The expectation of our e-Learning or remote learning program is ‘student engagement’. We want to focus on the continuity of learning as to avoid any major gaps in academic progress within and between grades. Our staff has done and continues to do a remarkable job to help make sure we are able to ‘get back to normal’ as quickly as possible once in-person instruction resumes. Our approach is in alignment with the recommendations from the Illinois State Board of Education that the ultimate aim needs to be: 1) All students have opportunities for continued learning that focuses on critical standards; 2) Districts work to minimize instructional loss; and 3) Students and families are given routines and structures to ensure they stay connected to schools and learning. If you have any specific concerns about a retention or promotion situation, please contact your building principal.

What impact will all these weeks of e-Learning have on my child? Will he/she be behind for the 2020-2021 school year?

We realize that this is a major concern of Highlands’ families and staff.  What we most want all to know is that we are calm and confident in progressing student learning and minimizing loss upon return. As educators, we recognize that, as we come back together, we will need to assess our students to guide and tailor our instruction, meeting each student where they are and moving them forward. Please know that our staff is doing everything possible at this time to minimize any learning setbacks. If we are noting differing skills upon returning to face to face instruction, Highlands’ staff will work proactively to pivot as needed to address the emerging skills of our learners. Our transition plan back to face to face learning is as follows:  

Once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and Highlands has an opportunity to transition back to formal classroom instruction, these components will be taken into consideration to assist with the transition back to the formal learning environment. One or two remote learning planning days will be utilized for this transition. 

Professional Development

Teachers will participate in professional learning that consists of topics in the areas of 

  • Trauma-Informed Practices
  • Curriculum Compacting
  • Assessment Practices  

Curricular Development

Teachers will meet in horizontal and vertical grade level teams to discuss the critical standards that were addressed while e-Learning. Also, teachers will address the standards that need to be re-visited to allow students additional time to master the necessary skills students need to know and be able to do to be successful at their previous grade level. 


Students will be assessed to determine where their skills are in order for teachers to assist students with any learning loss that occurred during the time away from formal instruction. 


Instruction will be designed at the receiving grade level to incorporate standards that need to be addressed based on the information received from the preceding grade level. Additionally, intervention, remediation, and acceleration will be provided to each student based on assessment results.

April 21st Board of Education Meeting Streaming Link

The regularly scheduled board of education meeting can be viewed on Zoom, where community members may provide input for the board at

It can also be viewed on Youtube at


School Closure for Remainder of the Year

Dear Highlands Families and Staff, 

It has been an entire month of e-learning, or remote learning since COVID-19 swept across our area and changed the daily landscape as we knew it. Washing your hands, social distancing, wearing a mask when you go out, and staying home if you are sick has helped us remain safe and healthy. Today we learned in Governor Pritzker’s announcement that school would close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. I am sure this brings sadness to your heart as well as questions to the forefront of your mind. 

We had a plan just in case this happened. We will provide you with an FAQ next week to answer some of the questions that may be on your mind like What about the end of the year traditions? Will I be able to pick up my child’s classroom supplies? What about Summer Programming? What about our Summer Technology Sale? We have the answer to those questions and more! 

I am proud of the creativity of our teachers as they have implemented project-based learning as well as instruction to enhance the learning experiences for our children. We ask you to complete this survey to provide us feedback. Our partnership with you helps us move forward in these unprecedented times.  

Lunch pick up continues on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11-1 at District Office. Anyone who needs a lunch is welcome. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Duback at 

Please visit our e-learning page for updates and a list of helpful links. We update the helpful links regularly. 

Thank you to everyone who decorated their doors to show your Highlands spirit. Here is a video for everyone to view. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did! 

No one had any idea the year would turn out like this. We thank you for all you are doing and appreciate your continued support. 

Stay healthy and well!

Dr. Warke


April 21, 2020 Board of Education Meeting Agenda

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a virtual meeting will take place. A link will be posted on our website the evening of the meeting. The agenda for the meeting is available by going to Administration --> Board of Education --> Agendas

New Board Member Selected

The LaGrange Highlands 106 School Board of Education has selected Dr. Nathan C. Phillips, of LaGrange Highlands, to serve out Lori Bryant's term of office. Please click the link below for the details. 

News Release - New Board Member Selected

Special Board of Education Meeting April 9th, 2020 - Streaming Link

The special Board of Education meeting called for this evening will have the open session portion streamed on Zoom.  To join via Zoom, use the link below to listen-in and submit questions via the Q&A Feature in the interface. Streaming will start a few minutes prior to 6:30 P.M.

April 9, 2020 Special Board of Education Meeting Agenda

A special scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be held on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a virtual meeting will take place. A link will be posted on our website on the evening of the meeting. The agenda for the meeting is available by going to Administration --> Board of Education --> Agendas

Board Briefs - March 19, 2020

The March 19, 2020 Board Briefs are available for review here.

Update for April 5, 2020

Hello, Highlands families, staff, and students. 

Here is a video message for our upcoming week. 

Stay safe and healthy!

Dr. Warke

e-Learning Extension Until April 30

Dear Highlands families and staff, 

Earlier today, Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois schools would remain closed through April 30, 2020, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of everyone. Highlands has been implementing our e-Learning plan and will continue to do so until we receive word we can transition back to regular instruction. 

We recognize that you did not sign up to be a teacher, and that parenting is a full-time job. As we look at the sustainability of our e-Learning experiences, we do not want you to feel frustration around instructing your child on daily assignments. We would instead ask you to encourage perseverance in problem-solving, asking your child questions around the task or if they have “phoned a friend,” and finally, reaching out to the teacher. 

With the extension of e-Learning for a longer time, we are working with staff to provide students with cross-curricular project-based learning experiences allowing your child to practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills while engaging in a learning experience that will be motivating, challenging and allow for creativity.

Next week, we will be taking Monday, April 6, and Tuesday, April 7, as planning days to allow the staff to plan for sustained e-Learning instruction. This means that students will not have any lessons posted on either Schoology or See-Saw on Monday or Tuesday of next week. All e-Learning instruction will resume on Wednesday of next week. Additionally, we will keep with the original calendar and continue to have Friday, April 10, as a non-attendance day. 

No one knew at the beginning of this school year that we would be navigating a pandemic, but together we will persevere and do what is necessary to stop the spread and to flatten the curve of COVID19. I will continue to send updates as we receive additional information from the Illinois State Board of Education. Thank you for your partnership. 

Warm regards, 

Dr. Warke

Schoology is having performance issues this morning

Schoology is having performance issues this morning.  Accessing the site, logging in, and accessing messaging are a few of the problems I've heard about.  You can always check on the status of the site itself through this URL.  

If I get any updated information I will share it here.