Superintendent News

Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95

A Message from Dr. Kelley Gallt

August 28, 2020

Congratulations on a successful first week of school in a highly unusual school year! I could not be more proud of our students, parents, and staff for their perseverance, patience, and support as we begin the 2020-21 school year.

On Monday, we are thrilled to be welcoming back our first group of students in our staggered start. Our staff and administration have been planning for this return for many months and we are confident that we have effective protocols in place. Some protocols, especially pertaining to health and wellness, may change frequently as we received updated guidance from the Lake County Health Department and the Illinois State Board of Education regularly (most recently just this week). We designed a special set of web pages just for this year (2020-21 School Year) which we will continually update as guidance and other protocols are updated. Please be sure to visit this web page often. In addition, more than any other year, it is important that you read the communications from the district and schools very thoroughly and reach out if you have questions. We are committed to partnering with you to have a successful school year, no matter what instructional model of learning your student is following.

As always, thank you for your continued support as we collectively strive to empower every learner to achieve personal excellence.

Construction Updates

The construction projects at Sarah Adams Elementary School and Seth Paine Elementary School are substantially completed, with only some punch list items still remaining. Over the late spring and summer both schools received improvements (including air conditioning!) which can be seen in these very brief video highlights!

Seth Paine Updates

Sarah Adams Updates

For more information about these and other construction projects, please visit our Referendum Updates webpage.

Health & Wellness Protocols

As we prepare to welcome our first group of in-person students Monday (visit the 2020-21 School Year webpage to see the staggered start schedule), we wanted to send a few important health-related reminders. This information comes directly from our Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Lake County Health Department (LCHD) guidance that we are required to follow in order to conduct in-person learning:

  • Any student who is experiencing any one of the COVID-19 symptoms during the school day will be sent home and encouraged to seek medical attention.
  • Students may return to school under the following conditions: waiting 10 days from the first symptom(s) experienced; visiting their healthcare provider and obtaining a note clearing them to return to school (the provider note must include information regarding the alternate diagnosis, if not COVID-19); upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 test (with documentation).
  • Please also note that if the student has siblings in the District (or a parent/guardian working in the District), the entire family will be required to be stay home from school; other family members who are asymptomatic will be required to quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to work or school.

If your student is sent home, you will receive information from your building-based team regarding the type of communication required to return to school. We thank you in advance for your cooperation in this process, as we all work together to ensure everyone's safety!

Self-Certifying Health for In-Person Learning

As we prepare to begin welcoming some students back in-person, we want to communicate some important information with regard to daily health screening for students.

Within your account on the Home Access Center (HAC), you will see a notification to read and indicate your commitment to our daily health screening procedures. It is critically important that all of our families actively participate in completing a daily self-certification for their student(s) in order to maintain the health and safety for all. Please log in to your HAC to complete the notification. You can access your account from the district website by selecting Home Access under the Parent menu or by clicking this link.

Your child should have received (or will soon receive) a lanyard with an attached blue “student health screening pass” attached to it when he/she picked up their supplies. This lanyard is to be worn at all times and should be shown upon entering the bus or school building to indicate the student has been screened and is able to come to school. Students who exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms should not attend school in person.

Students who do not have their pass indicating they have completed the screening process will be screened prior to entry to the building at the main office.

Calendar Updates

Please visit the district website to see the latest Calendar Snapshot. The latest version has been updated to reflect modifications to the early release dates for this school year.

Meal Assistance from District 95

Meal assistance will be changing effective Wednesday, September 2nd. The National School Lunch Program rules have changed with the start of the school year and the District is required to make the following changes:

  • District 95 will only be able to provide lunches; breakfast will no longer be provided.
  • Lunch recipients are required to be a student at a District 95 school and approved for free or reduced lunch. The District is required to record the student for whom the lunch is provided.
  • Parents may pick up lunches on behalf of children that qualify but will be required to give us the name of the student and their school of attendance.
  • Unfortunately, this means that some families with children not enrolled in District 95 or not currently qualified for free and reduced lunches will no longer be eligible for meal assistance through the district. Home deliveries will also be adjusted accordingly.

Since the District is opening with a staggered start and optional in-person attendance, the process for distributing lunches will need to adapt periodically to the changes in school attendance. The following procedures will be in effect until September 23rd.

  • The District will continue to deliver lunches to families with District 95 students on Monday and Wednesday. If you are not currently having lunches delivered to your home and would like to be added please email the Business Office at with the name of the student, school, grade, address and phone number.
  • Families will continue to have the option to pick up lunches on Monday and Wednesday at the high school from 10am to Noon.
  • Families eligible for reduced lunch are normally charged $.40 per lunch but will not be charged through September 23rd.

Reminder: Free and Reduced Lunch eligibility needs to be approved annually. For families that qualify for direct certification you will have already been sent notification for the 2020-21 school year. If you did not receive a notification and have not reapplied for the current school year please click here for more information.

School Boundary Redistricting

As a part of the Forward 95 strategic plan, and in conjunction with the opening of the new May Whitney Elementary School building, the district administration is charged with developing and implementing a district enrollment map that enrolls students in schools according to criteria designed to maximize student and family engagement, student learning, and fiscal responsibility.

To assist in the redistricting efforts, the Board has engaged the services of RSP & Associates. RSP & Associates will complete both the 1) Enrollment Analysis and Student Projects, and 2) Boundary Analysis as well as the public facilitation.

At the past two Board of Education meetings, Mr. Rob Schwarz of RSP & Associates has worked with the Board of Education to accomplish the following items:

  • Presentation of enrollment and demographic study
  • Determination of guiding principles
  • Prioritization of boundary criteria to guide the work of the boundary committee

A boundary committee will be established to work with RSP & Associates and will include seven parent/community members as well as district administrators. An application process will be available soon for the seven parent/community member slots. Boundary committee meetings will be held at 6:00 p.m. on September 17, October 1, and November 19. In addition, there will be two public input sessions for all parent/community members on October 13 and October 14 at 7:00 p.m. More details will be shared soon regarding the Boundary Committee application process and also the public input sessions.

A final redistricting plan is planned to be presented to the Board of Education by the end of January 2021. Implementation of the plan is expected for the start of the 2021-22 School Year.

Zoom Protocols for Successful Student Learning

Parents and guardians are critical partners in creating a successful distance learning experience for students. We value and appreciate the time and effort parents and guardians are putting forth. We need your help in order to continue creating the optimal learning environments for our students.

Please note that we would appreciate if all parents and guardians could help us in the following ways:

  • Help support your child(ren) to access their learning resources such as Zoom, Canvas, Seesaw, etc. Please contact your child’s teacher if support is needed or visit our Family Learning Resources webpage.
  • If you need to help your child access Zoom or Canvas Conference, please remember to keep all information about other children that you may see or hear during eLearning strictly confidential. Thank you for helping us to maintain student confidentiality.
  • Please encourage your child (only) to comment or participate in a Zoom or Canvas Conference meeting as all meetings are intended for children only, even when parent support is needed for students to access Zoom or Canvas Conference. Additionally, to create and foster a classroom environment, it is important that parents are not within the Zoom or Canvas Conference camera shot.
  • Only District 95 staff will be permitted to record the direct teaching portion of a given lesson. Any other recording of eLearning sessions is strictly prohibited and is in violation of District 95 Acceptable Use policies and procedures.

Website Updates

New updates to the website are being made continually. Most recently, we have added a new icon called Family Learning Resources that will help parents and students access some of our commonly used resources such as Zoom, Canvas, and Seesaw. Check back often as we plan to add other helpful information over time.

Additionally, in the coming weeks you will be seeing some changes to the district home page and the school home pages. News, calendar events, and important links will be available at your fingertips!

Tips for Helping Students Wear Masks

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), face coverings must be worn at all times in school buildings, even when social distance is maintained. All individuals in a school building must wear a face covering - but for occasions when students are eating lunch or are participating in select activities (such as band).

In order to maintain the health and safety of all of our staff and students, District 95 will adhere to the guidance of IDPH and ISBE with regard to face coverings for ALL staff and students. We recognize that wearing a face covering (mask) may be challenging for some students, and we are ready to help your student make this adjustment!

Prior to the start of in-person learning for your student, we are asking for parent support in preparing students to wear masks during the school day. Below are several strategies that families can use at home in order to prepare students for mask wearing at school:

  • Have your student practice put on and take of a mask at home

  • Increasing the amount of time your student wears a mask per day

  • Modeling wearing masks for your student at home

  • Reinforcing and giving praise for mask wearing at home

Click here for additional strategies for mask wearing for students. Links for social stories for wearing masks can be found HERE and HERE.

We appreciate your partnership in this effort to keep our school community safe. In the event that you believe your child has a medical contraindication to wearing a mask, please contact your building administrator in order to receive information on next steps. Please note that, while families are welcome to submit additional documentation for consideration, this will not automatically excuse your student from wearing a mask during the school day (or alternate PPE).