James Hart School Update

March 26, 2021

High Honor Roll & Honor Roll Students for 2nd Trimester

Congratulations to our second trimester High Honor Roll and Honor Roll students. We are proud of you! Keep up the great work! Please click the link above to see the names of our second-trimester honorees.


Due to safety mitigations, we will not be able to have a traditional graduation ceremony, but we plan to make the end of 8th grade very special for the Class of 2021!

Important Dates:

  • Friday, April 9th: Last day to order and pay for Class of 2021 T-shirts/Sweatshirts (see below)
  • Tuesday, May 4th: Graduation Gown and T-shirt/Sweatshirt Distribution
  • Monday, May 10th-Thursday, May 13th: Graduation Filming Appointments, 3-6 pm
  • Thursday, May 27th: 8th grade Supply Drop-Off and Drive-Through Send-Off
  • Tuesday, June 1st: 8th Grade Graduation Video Presentation

Please look for more specific details and appointment times for graduation filming, after Spring Break.

Graduation Gowns:

We have received gowns for all students. The cost is $25. If your student needs a gown, online payments for gowns are now available thru the Parent Portal. Payments may be made by Credit Card by accessing your Parent Portal Account (under Fees - Optional Payments). If your student has a gown and you do not wish to purchase one no further action is required on your part.

Class of 2021 shirts:




*The backside will list all 8th-grade graduates

**All orders must be placed by April 9th.

Please click the link below to order your Class shirt/sweatshirt:

Payments may be made by Credit Card by accessing your Parent Portal Account:

Click on Fees - Click on Optional Payments.

Your order must be placed and paid for by April 9th.

We cannot accept late orders or payments.



We will not have Saturday School sessions during the month of April due to state testing on Saturdays at James Hart. Saturday School sessions will resume on May 1, 2021.


The 5Essentials Survey identifies five indicators that lead to improved outcomes for all students. The survey is administered to families, students and staff. The 5Essentials survey generates valuable data that districts can use to guide their ongoing efforts to improve schools and to offer students an excellent education. The survey is another improvement tool that allows districts and the state to share data as a means to inform parents and community members about the school’s learning environment.

Please take a few minutes to complete the 5Essentials Parent Survey. The links are below.


As you know, spring break is March 29th-April 6th. Traditionally, spring break is a time for family getaways. However, travel increases the chances of spreading and getting COVID-19.

That’s why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local and state public health authorities strongly recommend avoiding all non-essential travel.

However, if you must travel over spring break, you will find useful information about how to travel more safely on the CDC’s Travel Page. The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) has issued the following guidance for anyone coming into suburban Cook County from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.

Anyone traveling from a state on the orange list on this webpage is directed to:

  • Obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in suburban Cook County; OR
  • Quarantine for a 10-day period (or for the duration of their time in suburban Cook County, whichever is shorter); OR
  • Be fully vaccinated, maintain strict masking and physical distancing, and not have any COVID-19 symptoms. Fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

These are recommendations from CCDPH, not formal quarantine orders for travelers (unless testing positive). However, the Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging school districts to request testing and quarantine from any students returning from travel.

To provide the safest environment for our staff and students, we would request that your family is tested and quarantined upon returning from spring break travel.

Please contact your student’s school to create a plan for your student during quarantine. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing both our hybrid learning and remote learning students when classes resume on Wednesday, April 7th. (Schools are closed on Tuesday, April 6th, because it is a local election day—don’t forget to vote!)


The CDC, as well as joint guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education, no longer recommends symptom screening at school.

Starting Wednesday, April 7th, we will no longer take student temperatures upon entering the building for hybrid learning. Please be sure to complete the health certification at home, and student must wear a wristband to signify the following:

  • Absence of COVID-19 Symptoms: fever (100.4 or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, the new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from an unknown cause, muscle or body aches from an unknown cause.
  • Has not tested positive for COVID-19, or is awaiting test results.
  • No known contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.


We’ve received a few questions about COVID-19 rules for school bus transportation. District 153 continues to follow the current guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education:

  • Parents are encouraged to transport their children, if possible, to reduce the number of bus passengers.
  • Bus capacity is limited to 50 persons, including the driver and supervisor(s). We try to limit the number of students on each bus to allow social distancing to the greatest extent possible. However, on some routes, students may need to sit next to each other. Siblings will sit together.
  • Students have assigned seats. Assigned seating is helpful if contact tracing becomes necessary (i.e. when people are within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes who has tested positive).
  • Masks must always be worn on the school bus.
  • No food or drink may be consumed on the school bus.
  • Buses are cleaned between routes. Buses are sanitized after the last route of the day.
  • Students must social distance while waiting at the bus stop.


The Illinois Department of Public Health has NOT canceled mandated hearing and vision screenings for the 20-21 school year (details below). These screenings will begin at James Hart School for hybrid students after spring break.

If you do not want your child's instrument tested due to religious reasons, please contact me at your earliest convenience. The same hearing and vision screenings are available for remote learners too. If you would like to bring your student in for these screenings, please contact me so we can schedule an appointment.

Vision screening: any student new to District 153, students with an IEP, all 8th graders

Hearing screening: any student new to District 153, students with an IEP

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Thank you!

Jessica Kors, RNC




Despite pleas from educators—including us at District 153, the U.S. Department of Education has announced that it will not grant waivers to states from this year’s standardized testing requirements. (Last year’s testing was eliminated due to the pandemic.)

Therefore, all Illinois school districts are required to offer 3rd-8th grade students the opportunity to take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR). In addition, 5th and 8th-grade students must be offered the opportunity to take the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA). Although online, these tests cannot be taken remotely from home. Students must take the tests at school.

The Illinois State Board of Education is allowing school districts to offer testing on Saturdays. To protect the precious instructional time we have left this school year, District 153 has decided to offer these tests on three consecutive Saturdays at the James Hart Campus. District 153 encourages students to participate in testing. However, it is up to parents and guardians to decide what is in the best interest of their student(s).

Please RSVP for your student by SPRING BREAK

In order to plan for the administration of these tests, we need parents/guardians to fill out the appropriate RSVP forms below by March 29th. If you decide to have your student take the IAR, you have a few options:

· Take both the math and ELA sections on the same Saturday

· Take the math and ELA sections on different Saturdays

· Take only the math section

· Take only the ELA section

Once we have RSVPs, we will be able to determine needs for transportation, lunch, testing accommodations, and other concerns. If demand warrants, make-up testing dates may be determined.

IAR Testing (offered to to students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade) [IAR RSVP Form]

Saturday, April 17th

8:30-11:30am - Math

12:00-3:00 PM - ELA

Saturday, April 24th

8:30 AM-11:30 AM - ELA

12:00-3:00 PM - Math

ISA Testing (offered only to students in 8th grade) [ISA RSVP Form]

Saturday, May 1st


Big picture


Students now have access to their grades through Infinite Campus.

The video below explains how to access the Student Portal:


There is a link on the James Hart website under "For Students" to access the Infinite Campus Student Portal website.


Parent Portal is a great way to stay informed about your child's grades. Do you need Parent Portal Information? The link is below:

Parent Portal Information