Herscher CUSD #2 Archived Information / Communications
Letter to School Community. Dated. June 24, 2020
RE: Guidance received from ISBE regarding the 20-21SY.
Click here to view the letter. Link to ISBE Guidance directly.
April 20, 2020
Letter to School Community regarding extension of Remote-Instruction/E-Learning Days as well as some questions/answers.
Letter to School Community. Dated April 20, 2020
RE: School closure extension through end of school year as well as questions/answers and important resources available to you and your family.
School Closure Update - April 17, 2020
Gov. Pritzker has announced that Illinois schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We will be sending further information about how this directive will affect our school district Monday afternoon/evening.
Please stay well and safe.
Herscher CUSD #2
Letter to Herscher School Community. Dated April 12, 2020
Happy Easter! I hope everyone is enjoying time with family at home. Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share with everyone. I was notified this morning that one of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, we will be closing all of our buildings in the district for the next two weeks (April 13-27, 2020) to ALL employees and the public.
After these two weeks have expired, we will have our custodians return to work and they will thoroughly clean our buildings adhering to the guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Thank you for your understanding and hopefully we can get back to a normal routine as soon as possible.
Dr. Richard S. Decman, Superintendent
Gov. Pritzker has issued Executive Order 2020-07, which calls for the temporary suspension of certain Open Meetings Act (OMA) requirements in light of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to this order, the Herscher CUSD #2 Board of Education will be implementing temporary rules that will allow for virtual participation in upcoming meetings. This is being done to help preserve and protect the health and safety of everyone involved, and also comply with the directive from the state and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the situation involving COVID-19 and appreciate your flexibility as we implement these temporary processes and procedures for keeping people healthy and safe.
Click here to view Executive Order 2020-07 referenced above.
School Community Letter - March 31, 2020
Dear Herscher CUSD No. 2 School Community,
Even though it was a little different this year, I hope everyone enjoyed your Spring Break! I wanted to take a few minutes to up-date you as we move forward with the State mandated school closures. As of right now, the Governor has mandated that all Illinois schools will be closed for student (in-person) attendance through April 7th. Unfortunately, I am anticipating that this school closure will be extended for the remainder of the school year. If the school closures are extended by the Governor, I wanted to let everyone know what the plans are for the remainder of the school year. These plans are detailed below.
ISBE Guidance - Last Friday evening the State Superintendent and the ISBE released new guidance for all schools in the State. The initial school closure days are considered Act of God (AOG) days through March 30th. All days after March 30th are considered Remote Instruction or E-Learning Days. In addition, the ISBE guidance allows school districts the ability to utilize five (5) “Remote Learning Planning Days” (We added a 6th day in lieu of a previously scheduled Teachers’ Institute Day). These Remote Instruction Planning Days will be scheduled for the Herscher School District on the following Mondays: April 6, April 20th, April 27th, May 4, May 11 and May 18. (See the new calendar below to be implemented only if the Governor extends the school closures in the State). Teachers will be working with their colleagues and respective building Principals on the Remote Learning/e-Learning Plan Days and thus there will be no e-Learning/Remote Instruction on these days. 19-20 calendar rev. 3-2020
What do Remote Instruction Days change for the Herscher School District?
Really, there is no change as our faculty/staff did a great job preparing and implementing e-Learning the past week on an extremely short notice. We will continue to do e-Learning/Remote Instruction and will have similar expectations of our students just as we did prior to Spring Break.
State Assessments - All State Assessments have been waived for this school year.
Attendance-During our Remote Instruction/E-Learning Days, attendance will be taken electronically through a district form. A text and/or email will be sent via School Messenger to parents each morning to complete the day’s attendance. One form should be submitted per student.
Final Words-A word that I have heard a lot lately, and one that is really fitting in these uncertain time is “empathy.” There are many definitions for the word. The most applicable one for all us today would be empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. None of us have ever experienced COVID-19. None of us have ever lived during a time of extended closure of not only schools, but of restaurants, movie theaters and many other businesses and industries. We have for many years seen a divide develop not only in our country but throughout the world. By having empathy with one another during these unprecedented times is one of the first steps to beginning to close the divide amongst us. I am thankful to work in one of the greatest communities in Illinois. I thank you in advance for your empathy, compassion and kindness towards each other.
Have a great rest of the week and please stay safe!
Dr. Rich Decman, Superintendent
March 16, 2020
Letter to School Community regarding E-Learning
School Community Letter. COVID-19 Update. March 13, 2020
Dear Herscher School Community,
A couple of days ago, I sent a letter providing information on the current status of the school district’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I want to reiterate that the school district will continue to follow the guidance of the Kankakee County Health Dept., the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) when it comes to COVID-19. Late yesterday afternoon, the ISBE provided updated guidance to Illinois schools and school districts regarding COVID-19 that is important to share with our school district stakeholders.
The up-dated guidance from the ISBE refers to a new recommendation from the IDPH that school district “gatherings and events where large numbers of people will be present, such as pep rallies, concerts and other optional convocations, should be paused until further notice.” The ISBE guidance further refers to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) definition of a “large gathering” as those consisting of 250 people or more.
Our school district has committed to following the guidance of our local health organizations and the ISBE regarding COVID-19. Therefore, the school district will immediately begin the practice of not allowing any school events to take place where there is an excess of 250 people in attendance. The events that will be impacted next week are: FFA Auction (HHS), Herscher's Got Talent (HHS), Swing and Sing (HHS), 3rd Grade Spring Music Concert (HIS) and Solo & Ensemble Event (LMS).
The school district will send separate communication regarding further extra-curriculars or related events. In addition, our schools will not be holding assemblies or other school activities/events where 250 or more people will be in one venue.
At this time, we have not received guidance from the ISBE as to how long these large gathering limitations will be in effect. As we receive more information on this issue, we will continue to provide updates to our school district community.
It is important to know that at this time, neither the Kankakee County Health Dept., the IDPH or the ISBE are recommending that schools close. The school district will continue to follow their guidance in our decisions regarding COVID-19. The health and safety of our students continues to be of primary importance to our school district. If current information changes, updates will continue to be communicated with our school community and posted on the School District website and Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to contact the school district should you have any questions or concerns. Have a wonderful and safe weekend!
Dr. Richard S. Decman, Superintendent
School Community Letter Regarding COVID-19. March 11, 2020
Dear Herscher CUSD #2 School Community,
I am writing in an effort to keep you updated on school/community-related matters associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19); to provide some clarity and relevant information, and to bring a sense of calmness to the current situation that is occurring locally, nationally and internationally. As of the writing of this email, Illinois has 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19, yet none have been confirmed in Kankakee County.
Herscher CUSD #2 continues to monitor the current status of COVID-19, and district leadership is working closely with the Kankakee County Health Dept. and other health officials. The district will continue to take direction from the Kankakee County Health Dept., the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), while reviewing the information being updated daily from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As the COVID-19 confirmed cases are likely to continue to grow across Illinois, please be assured that we will continue our efforts to be proactive in our planning, preparation and communication to all of our stakeholders. We ask that you continue to be diligent in our schools to ensure frequent hand-washing by both students and adults, and take opportunities to remind our students of proper hand-washing techniques. The school district is working to ensure that all of our schools are equipped with enough hand-sanitizers, and that all of the hand-washing dispensers remain stocked. At this time, the IDPH is not recommending any special sanitizing processes beyond the routine cleaning required of our custodial and maintenance staff. Should the recommendation from the IDPH change, the school district will immediately alter our cleaning procedures to mirror their recommendations.
In accordance with Board policies, and to most effectively protect the health of our students and staff, we are working very hard to be prepared in the event COVID-19 has a more direct impact on our local community. Should the Kankakee County Health Dept., IDPH or the ISBE recommend the closure of our schools, the school district will immediately comply. In preparation for this possibility, the school district is currently working to implement an E-Learning plan to allow for our students’ continuation of educational services from home. Nothing can replace the educational experience our students receive from the direct instruction of our teachers, but if the school district is forced to close, we are confident that we will successfully support our students in the continuation of their educational experiences.
As we get closer to Spring Break, it is important for our stakeholders to know that District #2 will align itself with the current guidelines set forth from the IDPH and CDC. Currently, the IDPH states that if you are returning from an area identified by the CDC as “Level 3” (currently China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran), you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after the day you return to the United States and monitory your health. (Please note that areas listed as Level 3 may change). If you are traveling, it is your responsibility to check the CDC website every day for the latest updates. For more information, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
Lastly, please know that if district officials become aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kankakee County and/or have a District #2 staff or student impacted, we will work closely with the identified local health officials and organizations to ensure information and directions are appropriately communicated to our school community.
Please be reminded that according to the CDC, for the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is considered low. It is also important to know that the current guidance being provided by the Kankakee County Health Dept. and the IDPH does not recommend: 1. The use of masks or gloves, 2. Canceling mass gatherings; 3. Canceling classes
However, I ask that you continue to take these common sense protective actions as specifically recommended by the IDPH.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Consult with your healthcare provider about getting an influenza vaccination if you haven’t already done so.
The health and safety of our students continues to be of primary importance to our school district. If current information changes, we will post new information on the school district website (www.hcusd2.org) or utilize our School Messenger system to alert parent/students. Do not hesitate to contact the school district should you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Richard S. Decman, Superintendent
School Community Letter - March 2, 2020 - RE: Il Dept of Public Health
Dear Herscher CUSD #2 Students, Staff and Families,
The health and safety of our students is our top priority, so we want to share with you information that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has published for schools throughout the state.
The good news at this time is that the health risk to the general public from coronavirus remains low. Currently, the IDPH recommends schools hold classes and events as usual, and follow routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures; no special measure are necessary.
The IDPH also recommends the best way to protect against coronavirus is by taking the same everyday precautions against getting sick in general.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding close contact with those who are sick
- Staying home when you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
To see the complete recommendations to schools from IDPH, please click here.
We will continue to closely monitor recommendations regarding coronavirus and will update you as soon as there are any significant changes in recommendations for schools. In addition, the District is working on several different plans to put in place should addition actions be necessary.
Thank you all for your support in helping keep our school community healthy.
Dr. Richard S. Decman. Superintendent of Schools
School Community Letter - February 28, 2018
Click HERE to view a letter from Dr. Decman regarding a message reported to HHS Administration.
School Community Letter - March 16, 2017
Click HERE to access a letter from Dr. Decman, Superintendent of Schools.
Lead Testing Information