The Dolphin Dive

September 3, 2020

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A Note From Mrs. Daly

Dear Virginia Lake Families,

We want to emphasize to all parents that we understand the challenges you face as we deal with these unprecedented times. Your child’s education is a shared responsibility and you are being asked to play a greater role than ever before. Our goal is 100% student participation. We are here to lead, guide, and support learning efforts at home. You are encouraged to reach out to the teachers with any questions and or concerns you may have. Discussions will continue to be conducted to ensure that we are implementing practices that are in the best the interest of supporting high quality, engaged learning for all students, maximizing the impact of communication and interaction between teacher and student, and providing support, collaboration and guidance to teachers and between home and school.

Student Roles and Responsilbiies:

  • Review lessons and learning activities assigned by the teacher.
  • Participate in video/real-time lessons.
  • Complete assigned work/learning activities to the best of their ability and by the due dates indicated.
  • Read at least 20 - 30 minutes every day.
  • The camera needs to stay on and students need to be participating in all lessons.

Parent Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Review the Remote Learning Plan.
  • Establish a daily routine and provide an appropriate space to support student learning.
  • Review assigned work, discuss expectations with your child and communicate with teachers.
  • Set limits on technology use for games, social media, etc.
  • Emphasize the importance of learning and education.
  • Expect your child to read at least 20 - 30 minutes every day.
  • Ensure that children are eating healthy each day including fruits, vegetables, and protein in their diets.
  • It is important that students get an appropriate amount of sleep each night.
  • The following guidelines should be considered: Ages 3-5 (11-13 hours of sleep), Ages 5-10 (10-11 hours of sleep), Ages 11 up (9 to 10 hours of sleep).
  • Be sure to follow best practice hygiene including brushing teeth twice a day, bath and change clothes daily, wash hands regularly, and follow CDC preventative measures recommendations.

During the month of September, our Virginia Lake theme is community building and a welcoming place where every student feels like he or she belongs even though we are virtual/remote right now. Our classroom teachers continue to remind our students to welcome others and act and speak in a safe, respectful, and responsible ways. In addition, making sure all of our students are following respectful and appropriate screen behavior.


Mrs. Daly

Clinician Corner

Mrs. Maureen Filantres LCSW - I was at Virginia Lake last year and am excited to be back with the students! I spent the summer at home gardening, cooking and taking long walks with my family. Over the last week I have seen many students’ shining faces and the excitement that comes with the first days of school even though they are not physically in the building. I am proud to see the hard work of our teachers and parents paying off in the first week of school! Keep up the good work!

Ms. Carliann Pentz MSW- This will be my first year at Virginia Lake as the bilingual school social worker. I am so excited to be here! Although these have been unfortunate times, I am grateful for the summer I had before starting at the Lake. It included activities like baking, practicing yoga, walking by Lake Michigan, reading, and spending *virtual* time with my family and friends. There is definitely still stress, though, throughout our communities; it is incredible how well everyone has navigated the beginning of school during this time! The students, parents and family members, and school staff have been working so hard and rolling with the punches as we begin an unusual school year. Our school community is strong and amazing, and I feel confident we will only get stronger as the school year continues. Bravo! :).

Mrs. Mayra Lara Ed.S.- I am new to Virginia Lake this year and I am really looking forward to continuing to meet staff, students, and families. I spent my summer with my family. I have a 1-year-old daughter and we enjoyed taking walks and water play this summer. Although the beginning of this year has definitely been a difficult one to navigate, I will share that I am extremely proud and lucky to be part of the VL community. Everyone has jumped right into e-learning and has gone above and beyond despite some of the challenges e-learning brings for everyone. I have been so happy to see some of the students and families smiling faces through virtual learning times. Keep up the great work.

We know this school year is quite unusual and, consequently, pretty stressful! We are sharing this image as a gentle reminder for all of us as we begin the new year. No matter the challenge, we will persevere together as a team. We are here for you!

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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 ther 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 schedule a MAP test “dry run” in early September. Students will take the actual MAP test between September 14 and October 1. Your teacher will provide specific test dates and times to you prior to testing in the coming weeks.

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.

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 GoGuardain 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 our preferred virtual meeting platform. We are moving away from Google Meet due to some technical challenges that will not be resolved until later this fall. Additionally, 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 accessed. Therefore, students must either use their school issued Chromebook or sign into Chrome on a personal device for learning at home during school hours. Students who are not using a school issued Chromebook or are not signed into Chrome will not have the same functionality or security that they would otherwise have in school.

Parent Universities are coming soon. Look for the first to be launched the first week of September. These self-paced courses and presentations are designed to help you help your students learn at home. Visit the virtual learning webpage to learn more.

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.

Live instruction information

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.

Calendar Dates & Rolling Re-entry Plan

Specifically, our starting date for rolling re-entry will be delayed until Monday, September 21, and be implemented on a modified schedule.

Monday, September 7: Labor Day - Holiday - No School

Monday, September 21: Kindergarten and K-8 self-contained special education programs

Monday, September 28: Grades 1-2 and self-contained early childhood

Monday, October 5: Grades 3-4

Monday, October 12: Columbus Day - Holiday - No School

Tuesday, October 13: Grades 5-8 and ECDEC (junior high in the hybrid model)

Tuesday, November 3: Election Day - Holiday- No School

Monday and Tuesday, November 23 - 24: Parent/Teacher Conference Days

Wednesday, November 25: Student Nonattendance Day

Thursday and Friday, November 26-27: Thanksgiving Recess - No School

Monday, December 21 - Friday, January 1: Winter Break - No School

Want to Get Involved? Join our VL PTA

Due to the unpredictable times and not being able to host in-person PTA events/fundraisers, Virginia Lake PTA would like to give our VL community the opportunity to directly donate to our PTA. The VL PTA enhances our school and student experiences throughout the school year. All donations of at least $10 will give your family PTA membership status for the 2020-2021 school year. All additional funds will be used to enhance our school and student experiences!

What does your donation to the VL PTA go to?

Future-ready library - new tables

Teacher/Staff appreciation

Student activities/clubs

School beautification/enhancements

Books for classrooms

Birthday Books for students

Possible student needs due to COVID

Donation Amount:

__ $25

__ $50

__ $75

__ $100

__ Other $ _____

You can send your donation directly through Venmo at Virginia-Lake PTA (please add note: membership/donation)


Send a check payable to VL PTA (with a memo stating: membership/donation) and mail to:

Virginia Lake School (PTA), 925 N Glenn Drive, Palatine IL 60074