Hunting Ridge Hawk Happenings

Special Edition - Grades 5-6 October 8, 2020


Hunting Ridge Families:

Our parents and caregivers have done an amazing job helping to support distance learning with our students in these first weeks of school. We are now ready to welcome students in grades 5 and 6 back to the building starting Tuesday, October 13. In preparation for this, we want to help our parents and caregivers know aspects of our plan and the best ways that they can support a successful return to learn for students. We are thrilled to be welcoming students back to school. In the recent D15 communication to parents a video was included to demonstrate some of the guidelines described below. This might be helpful to view with your child this weekend. In these beginning weeks of school, there will be extra adult support outside to guide children to the correct place so that our newest of students can enter with confidence.


Arrival and Dismissal Times:

Arrival: Monday-Thursday, 8:35-8:45 AM Monday - Friday

Dismissal: Monday - Thursday, 3:25 PM, Friday, 2:35 PM

If your child will be absent from school, please call our attendance line at 847-963-5301. If parents are unsure about whether or not to send their child to school, please call our school nurse Ms. Spears to talk through this with you, 847-963-5302.

Please do not forget to submit physical or medical forms and medications to the school nurse. All sixth graders are required to have a physical form completed whether they are an in-person student or a virtual student. The exclusion date for these is October 15, 2020.


Mrs. Ortlund

What to expect at school during COVID-19

How Can I Prepare My Child?

There are many ways that parents can help prepare for a successful transition to school. Please consider the ideas below as a part of that:

1) Practice wearing masks. Students will need to build stamina for wearing masks for the entire school day. Please help students understand that the mask is supposed to cover the nose and mouth. If the mask is slightly too big, please consider ways to adjust ties on the ears to make it fit snugly.

2) Have a routine for self-certifying each day and signing the form. Parents will sign the card next to the day of the week. Place the card in the plastic pocket of the lanyard. Students should wear the lanyard on the outside of their clothing to school each day. Cards will be replaced by the school on Friday.

3) Know your routine: Changing routines can be very confusing for children. It is very helpful that students know if they are to take a bus or if they are parent pick-up. Please try to stick to the routine as much as possible to help it become a habit each day. Please make sure that students know if they are ordering a lunch or if they have a home lunch. Have backpacks and charged Chromebooks in a common spot so they know what to take to school. Please help us send a lunch to school with your child each day or select a school lunch. We ask for your help limiting lunches brought to school. We want to keep students in their space as much as possible. We are also working to reduce visitors to the school during Phase 4.

4) Consider taking a field trip to school this weekend to help orient your child. Extra practice the first week will help them grow in confidence with the arrival and dismissal routines. This will also allow parents an opportunity to take photos if they choose when other students are not present.

5) We need parents, caregivers, and family members to make sure they are wearing masks. Additionally, when dropping off and picking up students, social distancing guidelines must be followed. Because of our guidelines, parents and caregivers are unable to enter the building with their child. Goodbyes can be said on the blacktop before students enter the classroom.

6) Finally, we need time to grow. It takes many days for students to learn routines and faces. Our staff will be identified in yellow or orange safety vests when outside. Please understand that we will continue to revise our systems and processes to ensure a safe arrival and dismissal.

What Should Kids Bring Back To School?

The first day back to school is filled with a variety of emotions so we want to keep things simple. Below is a list to help you plan:

First day of school:

  • Dress comfortably, include a sweater or sweatshirt in case the classroom is cool.
  • Students are encouraged to bring a backpack to school. This backpack will stay on each student's chair and be the way that items come back and forth to school.
  • Bring basic supplies: pencils, folders, crayons. Additional ones can return each day unless the teacher informs you otherwise.
  • Students have the choice to bring a home lunch or order a school lunch. It is helpful if home lunches are in disposable bags to ease extra walks back to the classroom.
  • Bring math book, Chromebook and charging cord
  • Water bottle (labeled)
  • Sneakers will stay in students' backpacks. Students are encouraged to wear sneakers on PE days.
  • Mask to wear and a backup mask if needed.
  • Chromebooks in cases and charging cords should come to school each day.

Teachers will communicate needs from this point. Should parents have any specific questions, please contact the teacher.

Water Bottles

During this time, the school water fountains will not be accessible. As a reminder, we ask for your help to please send your child with a water bottle that has the child's name or initials on it so s/he can access water when needed.

CARE Start Dates

Please help make sure that the school, your child, and child's teacher know the plan for after school. Please verify with the office if you have questions, 847-963-5300.

The CARE start dates are listed below:

10/13 ongoing

Before and After-School CARE begins for 5th/6th

Self-Certifying and Masks

During the August pick-up, students were provided a lanyard with a card inside. This card must be signed each day of school, by a parent, indicating the student is symptom free and fever free. Students should wear this lanyard on the outside of the coat or jacket so it is easily visible by school staff.

Students are expected to wear masks on the bus, on school grounds, and inside the building. When students arrive, temperatures will be taken before entering the building. Should students be exhibiting symptoms, our nurse will be notified to assess the situation.

From the Nurse - Mrs. Spears

New School Year Health Forms and Health Documents:

As a gentle reminder, students that are entering kindergarten or sixth grade have specific physical, dental, and/or vision requirements. Please see the Health Documents link to our D15 website and consider scheduling these appointments before the new school year begins. All medications that are kept on site must be accompanied by a physician's order. Over the counter medications must be provided by the parent or guardian in an unopened box. As students return to school for in-person learning, these medications can be dropped off to the nurse.

Transportation - Safe and Secure

SAFE AND SECURE IN OUR “NEW NORMAL”: COVID-19 Informed Bus Protocols in District 15

We need parents to help let us know anytime there is a change to transportation or after school care dismissal. The school will notify transportation of the changes.

What’s new:

  • All buses are deep-cleaned nightly, with the same antiviral used inside the school buildings.

  • All touch surfaces on the buses are spot sanitized after each route, with the same antiviral used in the school buildings.

  • Driver and all bus riders MUST BE MASKED for the duration of the bus ride.

  • Rules for optimal airflow in the buses have been put in place.

  • Temperatures will be taken enroute, where possible, or at school before entering the building.

  • Bus capacity has been reduced to <45 passengers per bus, more stringent than state recommendations.

  • Seats have been assigned based on stop order (first students to board, walk all the way to the back) to minimize cross traffic and to maintain social distancing.

  • Siblings or members from the same household will be assigned to sit together on the bus.

  • Assigned seats will be strictly enforced by the driver.

  • Eating/drinking on the bus is PROHIBITED.

How students are expected to ride:

On the way to school:

  • Know your pickup time and route number.

  • WEAR YOUR MASK: if a student is at the stop without a mask, a disposable mask will be provided and school contacted with student’s name.

  • Be at your pickup location 5 minutes ahead of time.

  • At large stops: line up in grade order, big kids first, siblings together.

  • Wait until the bus stops before approaching the door.

  • Board quickly and quietly.

  • Go immediately to your assigned seat.

  • Keep your backpack on your lap.

  • Stay in your seat, out of the aisle.


  • Temperatures will be taken enroute, where possible, or at school before entering the building.

  • At school, stay seated until the driver dismisses you.

  • Enter school quickly and quietly through assigned door.

On the way home:


  • Go to your assigned seat quickly and quietly.

  • Keep your backpack on your lap.

  • Stay seated, in your assigned seat, out of the aisle, until the driver dismisses you.


  • At your stop, stay seated until the driver dismisses you.

  • Exit quickly and quietly.

Arrival and Dismissal

There are several ways that students arrive to school each day. Parents and caregivers are critical to ensuring the safe arrival of all students. Your help modeling our Hawk Habits of Respectful, Responsible, and Safe is greatly appreciated.

NOTE: The Mallard lot is closed to parents for parking during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal. Please park on the street.


Bus Arrival: Students taking the bus are encouraged to be at stops 5-10 minutes before the pick-up time. Most busers, arrive in the bus lane on the Harvard side of the building. Students will follow posted signs to grade level entrances where staff members will greet them, check self-certification cards, and take temperatures. Our Grade 5 and 5/6 students will walk past the playground, along the path to the the lines outside of Door #8. These classes will enter through Door #11. Once inside, students will go directly to classrooms and wash hands. Our grade 6 students will line up on the lines outside of Door #3 in our lower blacktop area.

Parent drive-up: Our parent dive-up/drop-off: Parents will enter the Mallard parking lot and proceed through the drop-off loop. Children should be sitting on the passenger side of the vehicle so they can safely exit the car. Please work with your child to practice unbuckling and opening and closing the door if this is you arrival option. Parents cannot put their car in park and exit the vehicle to assist their child with this drop-off option. Students able to exit safely will move to their designated doors. Older students will walk past the playground to the lower blacktop area. to meet their classroom adults. Students waiting to enter may be asked to stand on lines supporting social distancing to control numbers of students safely entering the building. Please do not park in the Harvard lot or on Harvard.

Parent Walk-Up: For students unable to independently exit the vehicle, we ask that parents park their car along the Mallard side of the street, mindful of NO PARKING signs, and walk their child to the upper blacktop area. The parking near the bus lane is closed until 8:50 AM.

As students arrive, they will notice painted lines on blacktop areas where they can safely stand while waiting to enter. We will be working with students in this first week to teach this expectation to manage more students. Parents can help us by not gathering on blacktop areas to help keep our numbers below 50.

Bikes: For the safety of everyone at arrival and dismissal, we ask that bikes are walked when on school grounds. Racks can be found on the upper blacktop.


Our parent pick-up students will make their way to meet parents on the Mallard side of the building. There is no drive-up pick-up at dismissal.

After school, our parking lots on Mallard are closed to parents. Parents must park along the street on Mallard and walk to the pick-up areas. Please help to stay on the sidewalks.


Our Mallard and bus lane lots are closed at the beginning and end of the day. Please be careful to park along the Mallard side of the building. Police may ticket if people are illegally parked. The front of our school is also a bus lane. We ask for your help in not parking there during arrival and dismissal.


Are you looking for information on your child's bus route? Parents should visit Infinite Campus Parent to view bus information. Pick-up and drop-off times may change slightly with new student enrollments, drops, or changes from distant learning to in-school (with approval from the district office) and parents will need to check online for changes often.

When taking the bus, we recommend arriving to the bus stop 5-10 minutes before the expected arrival. When picking up students, please know that adults are expected to meet kindergarten students at the bus for a safe exit and walk home. Should parents be giving an older sibling or another adult permission to take a kindergarten student off the bus, please notify the school. For more information about this department, please visit our website.


Lunch will look differently than in years past in light of our guidelines. Parents wishing to pick-up their child for lunch can do so. Our noon hour is from 11:50 - 12:50 PM. Please notify the office, your child's classroom teachers, and your child that s/he will be leaving for lunch. Parents can enter through Door #1. Students will exit through the office. Parents can return students through Door #1 by 12:50 PM.

Our noon hour will be a 20-20-20 noon hour. This is in place for all schools across the district. Students will eat for 20 minutes, have outdoor recess for 20 minutes, and have indoor recess for 20 minutes. Students in grades 5-6 will eat from 12:30 - 12:50 PM. They may be eating in the classroom, cafeteria, music room or art room. Home lunches will be kept in backpacks until lunch time. Disposable bags help us with easy transitions. School lunches and milk will be delivered to the eating areas each day. The school will make this decision to ensure safe eating and cleaning protocols are carefully followed. This plan is subject to change over the course of the year.

Indoor recess: Students will relax independently at their desks. They may read, draw, etc.

Outdoor recess: Playground areas are closed during school. There will be zones where different grade levels can have choices for activities. Mr. Sobel will be working with students in class on games they can choose to play in their different play zones. During recess, students will not be wearing masks. They will be asked to put masks on again before entering the building. The teachers will be giving students a mask clip that will allow them to clip their mask to their shirt during play. At the end of the day, students can keep their clip in their desk for the next day.

The Office

Our district guidelines include reducing visitors to the school building. We ask for everyone's help with this. If a parent needs to talk with the nurse, please call her on the phone. If a parent has a question, kindly call the school office, 847-963-5300.

Parents that need to drop-off or pick-up items will do so through Door #1. After ringing the bell, please let our office team of Mrs. Cefalu and Ms. Amato know how we can help you. We will do our best to meet you at the door to streamline the process. Many items will be labeled for pick-up and left on the table inside of Door #1.