East St. Louis School Dist. 189 Update

April 1, 2020

Dear School District 189 Parents, Students and Community Members:

I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. Yesterday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced schools will remain closed and that remote learning in Illinois will be extended through April 30, 2020 in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19. 

During this time, at-home learning will continue. Our schools’ commitment to learning and education will remain open and learning will continue for all students - just through a different format.

While it is not ideal, we want to assure you that at East St. Louis School District 189, our teachers, administrators and support staff are fully engaged and willing to take on this new challenge and push forward with remote learning, engaging with students and continuing with our food distribution program. 

I know this is not the school year that any of us imagined, but I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with this unprecedented situation together. 

Here are the three priorities for our leadership and planning moving forward:

PRIORITY 1 - Feed and care for the extended safety, health, and welfare of all children and youth in the community at large.
School District 189 is proud to provide dependable meals to all children and youth in our community age 18 and under and up to age 21 for those with special needs. Grab and Go Meals on Wheels are currently available Monday-Friday from 10:00am-Noon. We are grateful to our partners at Illinois Central Bus and Chartwells and to the critical staff that make this service possible. You can find the locations for Grab and Go Meal pick up on our website: https://www.estl189.com/Page/1

PRIORITY 2 - Communicate clearly with staff, students and community.
Rumors and inaccurate information may spread during this time of uncertainty. Please use our school district website www.estl189.com to receive accurate and timely information. You can also receive news highlights on our @estl189 Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you have questions pertaining to your child’s education, please contact your school principal. A list of all principal email addresses can be found here: https://www.estl189.com/domain/68

If you have other questions, please email questions@estl189.com. Robocalls will continue to be sent out periodically. We encourage all families to provide their principal with a current, working phone number and email address. These uncertain times can be stressful and traumatic for children and youth. If students need social and emotional support, please contact our School District 189 Students Support Text Helpline: 618-249-4443. 

PRIORITY 3 - Provide for the continuity of learning in the greater East St. Louis community.
All students should be checking their school emails frequently for communication from their teachers. Our school district website www.estl189.com includes links for our curriculum, Google Classroom, and numerous other education resources to support learning during school closure. If your 1st-12th grade student needs a Chromebook and you have not already picked one up from school, please contact your school principal to make arrangements.

Through April 30th, it is critical for all members of our community to follow the stay-at-home guidelines and practice social distancing. Even though the weather may be sunny and beautiful, it is not safe for groups of 10 or more children, youth or adults to be gathering for sports and other activities. Please keep 6 feet distance between you and others in the community at all times.

While this is a difficult and uncertain time for all of us, I know that upcoming graduates have many questions about how school closure affects their current education, prom, graduation and their future. I encourage members of the senior class to consistently check for communications from your administration. We will provide more information as we receive guidance from Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Senior dues will be refunded for activities we are unable to provide. Currently, the Governor’s order prohibits gatherings of 10 or more. Due to the uncertainty that has been caused by the coronavirus, we cannot determine when or if senior activities will be held. Because of this, we will provide refunds for senior dues. Please be patient as we work to provide these refunds. 

It’s important we continue to work together and support our students. Thanks again. 


Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent