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Urgent News

Update Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Craig Gwaltney


March 29, 2020

Superintendent’s Message  
Good evening 126 Staff and Families,  
I hope this email finds you well and that you are staying healthy and safe. The events of the last few weeks have been unprecedented. We have met this challenge head on and I would like to personally thank you all for pulling together for one another. The District has worked with staff and community members to ensure those in need continue to receive meals during this time. So far we have served almost 2500 meals. While our buildings have been closed, I am so proud of the work of our staff and students via e-learning.  
The State of Illinois has not given school districts any additional information as to when students will return. As of tonight at 6:00p.m., the closure is scheduled to go through April 7 with students returning April 8. While we all hope we can reopen our schools April 8, our students’ health and safety is our top priority, and the District is preparing for a possible/probable extended closure.  
On Friday night the State of Illinois issued new guidance for remote learning moving forward. We were one of the first Districts with an approved e-learning plan. These remote learning days will not need to be made up at the end of the school year as of now. With this new guidance, over break, we finalized a change to our plan. As many of you know we will be distributing student iPads to our K-2 students this week. Each school will arrange the time this week.
Starting the week of March 30th, Wednesdays will be scheduled as “Independent Student Learning Days”. This will enable teachers to plan, meet with administration and departments, grade student work, and record lessons.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday will continue to be full school days with teachers accessible from 8:30-3:00. Lessons for Wednesday’s Independent Learning Days will be posted for students on Tuesday. They will have clear instructions for self-directed learning. Teachers will not be available for student inquiries on these days but principals will continue to be available. Each school will be sending out more information as well. 

Finally, I want to thank all of you that are working on the frontlines. Thank you to our first responders, doctors, nurses and all the medical professionals. Thank you to all of you working in our grocery stores and pharmacies. Thank you to all of our truck drivers and delivery services as well.  We appreciate everything you are doing for our community! Please stay safe and stay healthy!  
I would like to again thank you for your partnership during this difficult time. We are all in this together and I could not be more proud to lead District 126. Please stay safe and take care of one another.  
Craig Gwaltney Superintendent of Schools  

March 27, 2020

Good afternoon,

This message is specifically for families with children in grades K-2. 

Students in District 126 use iPads in grades K-2. The district does not send these iPads home with our K-2 students; however, due to the extension of the mandated school closures, the district has been preparing the iPads to be available for home use. 

District 126 will be distributing student K-2 iPads to interested families on Wednesday, April 1st! 

If you would like to receive your child's district issued iPad to use at home to assist with the completion of E-Learning activities, you MUST complete the iPad Request Form linked below by Tuesday, March 31st, at noon.  

K-2 iPad Request Form

Please complete the form ONLY if you want to pick up your student's iPad.  You only need to complete the form once. 

Details regarding iPad pick-up at your child's school will be sent out prior to next Wednesday.

Enjoy this last day of Spring Break. 



March 27, 2020


District 126 will be distributing meals next week at Lane School from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm on Monday, March 30, and Thursday, April 2.

Also, E-Learning for students in grades K-8 begins again on Monday, March 30th. 

Be safe and be well. 



March 24, 2020

Good afternoon,
Today is the first day of our Spring Break and so many plans have had to be changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  No one certainly planned for this type of Spring Break! While there are no E-Learning activities scheduled this week, we know that this is a trying time and parents are at home looking for ways to keep their children engaged.  As a mom of three children, I'm certainly looking for ways to keep my own children engaged and off of YouTube videos, social media, Mindcraft, Fortnite, and other video games for their entire Spring Break while at home. I thought I would share two resources listing various free activities for families! 

The South Cook Regional Education Center in Chicago Heights created a list of activities and resources.  Click here to view their resources. 

Common Sense Media has also created a list of free activities ranging from drawing lessons to museum tours happening online. Check out their great online activities here. Their site will also be updated as new things are announced. 

Don't forget....the district will be distributing meals this week!

Tuesday, March 24, from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at Lane School

Thursday, March 26, from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at Lane School

Stay well and be safe.

Lori Connolly


March 21, 2020

Good morning.

District 126 will be distributing meals for our students next week during Spring Break.  

Meals will be distributed at Lane School between 10:30 am - 12:30 pm on Tuesday, March 24, and on Thursday, March 26.

Be well.

Craig Gwaltney


March 20, 2020

Good afternoon.

Governor Pritzker has announced the extension of the mandatory Illinois school closure through April 7, 2020.  As of now, schools are tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 8, 2020.

We completed our first week of E-Learning and we hope that it worked well for you and your family. 

Next week is the district's scheduled spring break.  There will be no E-Learning next week. 

E-Learning will resume for students in grades K-8 on Monday, March 30.

The district will continue to provide our families with information as it becomes available. 

We understand how challenging the extended school closure will be for everyone. We thank our families, students, staff and community for all that is being done to support one another during this unimaginable time.

Please take good care of yourself and your family.  

Craig Gwaltney


March 14, 2020

District 126 follow up:  Social Distancing Recommendations

Good Evening District 126 Students, Families and Staff:

The events of this week were unprecedented, and there are many questions out there about what comes next for our school community. There will be a great deal of digital communication in the coming days. Please take time to read the messages that come your way.

Yesterday’s decision to cancel school for the next several weeks came together very quickly. We have been operating with guidance from South Cook County Intermediate Service Center (ISC4) and the experts at the Cook County Health Department (their information related to COVID-19 can be found here). They have been explaining to us the CDC guidelines for COVID-19, and how they work to keep us safe. We have been operating for the past week within the strategies recommended by the CDC in the first two columns of the CDC guidelines on pages 3-7 of the chart. Based on this information, all surrounding districts fully expected to have school in session until spring break.

However, yesterday the strategy across our community and the State began to change toward an approach of social distancing. As a result, we are responding to this crisis as if our community already has a substantial outbreak.  As a result we have put into place personal protective measures to close down our schools for students while most of our staff will continue to work to support our community. 

This is a very drastic measure, and for it to be effective and not anxiety producing for our students, we ask that you take the following actions with your students and families based on recommendations by the CDC and the Cook County Health Department:

  • Avoid gathering in public places – especially in close proximity to others. 
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel.
  • Try to keep 6-10 feet between yourself and others – give yourself space.
  • Be at home as much as possible.
  • Try to limit who you and your children interact with to the same people you typically are around.

Kids and families should not:

  • Be visiting each other’s homes or having sleepovers.
  • Sharing food or drink.
  • Competing in team sporting activities – use this time to train individually or with someone in the home.   

Kids and families should:

  • Avoid excessive media coverage of COVID-19
  • Take care of their body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
  • Spend time outside – fresh air and exercise is one of the best things you can do over the next few weeks. 
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with friends or family members. Maintain healthy relationships. 
  • Use your technology and social media for good purposes – support one another and show that you care for one another.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.

Keep following the practice of washing your hands regularly and covering your cough or sneeze.

We will be following up on Monday with a lot more information related to teaching and learning. We are focused on demonstrating to our students that we care about them and want to help keep moving their learning forward during these unprecedented times.

We ask that you partner with us in “flattening the curve”, and helping to stop the outbreak even before it gets into our school community.

I appreciate our partnership in raising healthy and successful students.

Craig Gwaltney


Additional resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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11900 S Kostner Avenue
Alsip IL 60803
708.396.3793 (fax)

Lane Elementary

4600 W 123rd Street
Alsip IL 60803
708.396.3753 (fax)


Stony Creek Elementary

11700 S Kolin Avenue
Alsip IL 60803
708.396.3755 (fax)


Hazelgreen Elementary

11751 S Lawler Avenue
Alsip IL 60803
708.396.3754 (fax)

Prairie Junior High School

11910 S Kostner Avenue
Alsip IL 60803
708.396.3798 (fax)

Early Childhood Center

12250 S Orchard Avenue
Alsip, IL 60803
708.575.9434 (fax)