Principal’s Newsletter 5-14-20

As Salaamu ‘Alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
As the end of this school year approaches, our thoughts turn to what will happen with school this fall.  At this time there are many unanswered questions for educators and parents alike.  In an attempt to provide some clarity, I’d like to share with you where we are in the planning process.
What is happening in Illinois:
Governor Pritzker has issued a 5 phase approach to reopening our state.  The link to the full publication is  HEREBelow is each phase with respect to school:

  • Phase 1: Rapid Spread.  Strict stay at home and social distancing. Schools and daycares are closed or on remote learning.
     
  • Phase 2: Flattening.  Face covering required.  Schools continue with remote learning. (We are here.)
     
  • Phase 3: Recovery.  Face covering and social distancing a norm.  Gatherings of 10 or less allowed.  Schools continue with remote learning.
     
  • Phase 4: Revitalization.  Face covering and social distancing a norm.  Gatherings of 50 or less allowed.  Schools reopen under department of health guidelines.
     
  • Phase 5: Full reopening.  Schools reopen with new safety guidance and procedures
     

Illinois is currently in Phase 2, which means in-person schooling is still suspended.    At any time, we must be prepared to move back into a previous phase based on health metrics.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), a timeline and guidance for returning to school is “based on the Governor’s Executive Orders and the Restore Illinois plan (above), which sets forth a Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen Our State.  As Illinois continues to make headway against this virus and transitions to other phases in the Governor’s plan, ISBE will provide updated guidance on what is allowable for schools. While we do not know when the public health conditions for resuming in-person learning will be met, ISBE is in the process of developing recommendations for when the time comes to transition back to in-person instruction. That guidance will be released as soon as available.” [refernence: www.isbe.net/Documents/FAQ-5-8-20.pdf]
What is our school leadership team doing?
As we wait for state level guidance, we will be working on reopening plans based on several scenarios.  Some options, or combinations thereof, we face are the following:

  • Delayed opening
     
  • Opening in stages
     
  • Blended remote and in-person school to reduce the number of people in the building
     
  • Open in brick and mortar tradition with new health guidelines

We are staying in touch with public schools, the Illinois Coalition of Nonpublic Schools, and meeting as a coalition of the Islamic schools in the Chicago area to share information and work out solutions for each Islamic school based on our varying student populations, programs, and buildings.
InshaAllah we will keep you updated with regard to any developments.
We hope that the break during the final days of Ramadan will provide all of us with a time for personal refocus and reflection, and we will return after Eid, a bit re-charged inshaAllah, for the last few days of school.  May Allah accept our deeds and supplications.  Please keep our school and masjid in your duas.
Wassalaamu ‘Alaikum,

Muniba AliPrincipalICN Noor Academyfts.icnmasjid.org

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