James Hart School Update

March 19, 2021


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!)

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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



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.


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.


Families of 8th-grade students will receive information soon about plans to celebrate the Class of 2021. We will not be able to have a traditional graduation ceremony due to safety mitigations, but we plan to make the end of 8th grade very special for the Class of 2021.

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.



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

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