News from Carl Sandburg School

September 1, 2020

Wildcat Pride Continues

Dear Carl Sandburg Junior High Families:

Happy new year, Sandburg community.

We hope you enjoyed the Open House videos. We have so much to be proud of as a learning community.

After being quickly pushed into virtual learning last March, District 15 has studied and planned and created in order to provide a more engaging and accountable teaching and learning plan. As you have noticed, this school year has begun more purposefully and positively than last year ended. We are taking attendance at the beginning of each period, teaching on-screen for an average of half of the class period, and are treating virtual learning much like we would be setting in a live classroom.

We began the year with the focus on tools and expectations, just like we have done for years while we have been in-person. We are providing social-emotional lessons and supports as we would typically do.

When we return, you'll notice a freshness to the building. Our multi-purpose room is freshly painted in white and red and our lockers are updated to our school colors.

We look forward to providing you the best. Please contact us with your questions and needs.

Stay healthy out there. We'll see you soon!


Douglas Harter, Carl Sandburg Junior High Principal

Virtual Learning and Attendance

This year’s distance learning is more structured and interactive than what students experienced in the spring. Improved structure, minimum direct instruction time requirements, academic schedules, assignments, and grading all make distance learning more similar to the regular school routines.

Attendance requirements during distance learning are also similar to the requirements of regular school. Students must log in and be present at the scheduled start of each school day and attend each subject’s or class’ live teaching that day. Teachers take attendance and record students that are not present during the live teaching portions of the student’s schedule. Although students are required to attend the live teaching portions of the day, students may elect to complete independent school work or assignments during any part of the day.

If your child will be absent, the child’s parents are required to call the school’s absence line and notify the school that their child will be absent. If your student is marked absent and a parent has not reported the absence to the school, an automated attendance call and text will be generated.

Regular attendance is essential and District 15 schools are required to follow their attendance and truancy procedures. If your child is unable to participate in live teaching due to technology problems, parents should contact the school’s attendance line so that your child’s absence can be marked as an excused absence.

Virtual MAP Testing

Each year District 15 students in grades 2 through 8 take an achievement test called the MAP test. The MAP test measures a student’s reading and math levels, is taken by the student with a Chromebook, and takes between 20 to 40 minutes to complete.

This year, all students in grades 2 to 8 will take the MAP test during the distance learning portion of the school year. Teachers will be in contact with students to explain and walk them through the virtual MAP test taking process. Schools will scheudle a MAP test “dry run” in early September. Students will take the actual MAP test between September 14 and October 1. Your school will provide specific test dates and times to you prior to testing.

Linked below is our parent and student “cheat sheets. You will be provided with another copy closer to MAP testing. Parent/Caregiver Cheat Sheet, Student Cheat Sheet.

Technology Support

For assistance with technology, parents or students should call or email the teacher or the school’s office. The school office can assist with troubleshooting or, if necessary, can replace a broken device with a loaner.

New Technology For Virtual Learning

In order to help keep students safer and more scholarly online during virtual learning, District 15 has adopted GoGuardian Teacher - an instructional delivery, classroom management, and community building tool. It helps keep students on-task and helps teachers stay connected to students wherever they learn. We will be deploying GoGuardian Teacher in phases over the next three weeks. Please review this letter to learn more about this powerful learning engagement tool.


The District is also in the process of deploying Zoom as an additional virtual meeting platform tool for teachers. Zoom has introduced several new layers of security and privacy controls ensuring that we are able to provide a secure virtual conferencing experience for our students.

Both Zoom and GoGuardian require that students are logged into Chrome with their District 15 account in order to be accessible. If your student is not using a district-issued device, please be sure he or she logs into Chrome with District 15 login information to fully access instructional materials.

Socialization and Connection During Virtual Learning

To help support students’ social and emotional learning and well-being during this time, we have created websites for elementary and Jr. High school aged students as a resource for families. You will find activities, articles, and ideas on ways to support socialization, connection, and overall well-being. This includes fun daily activities that you can utilize with your child and family. The resources are aligned to the IL Social and Emotional Learning standards that the students are learning during school, and includes helpful information and tools for self awareness, self management, social relationships, and more.

Information About Live Instruction

Live instruction for students in grades 1-8 is approximately 2.5 hours per day. “Live teaching” means the teacher is presenting a live lesson, not a recording, or is engaging with students via video. Kindergarten and early childhood live instruction will be approximately 75 minutes per day.

Special Education Needs

If you have questions about your student’s special education needs, please contact your school administrator to schedule a time to discuss your child’s IEP.

Multilingual Program Questions

If you have questions about your student’s language programming, please reach out to your school administrator to schedule a time to discuss your questions or concerns.
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Seeking Employment?

District 15 is hiring for a variety of positions that would be a great fit for many of our parents and community members! Application information is linked below.

Bus Drivers (
Classroom Assistants (
Nutrition Services Staff (
Substitutes (

Internet Service Provider Assistance Programs

Community Consolidated School District 15 recognizes that providing internet at home may represent a financial hardship for some families. Internet providers recognize this need as well and have programs in place for qualifying families:

Our community also offers free Wi-Fi at various locations. Find links to locations in our community and surrounding areas that offer free Wi-Fi:

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