Back-to-School

Updated 10/29/2020

Given the changing nature of state and federal health guidance for schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Trier High School has been developing plans for a number of learning scenarios in the 2020-2021 school year. On August 12, Superintendent Paul Sally presented his Comprehensive Reopening and Operational Plan for 2020-2021 , which includes a Reopening Ladder with steps for different learning scenarios the District may move up or down throughout the year.

New Trier's goal is to have students learning in school as often as possible while providing a safe environment for students and staff.

This page will be updated frequently throughout the summer with the latest information on topics including our new block schedule, health and safety protocols, extracurricular activities, and other important topics. Please note that our planning is fluid, and some plans may change if circumstances change. We also will email families and staff and reach out to students on Canvas with important information during the summer. The Frequently Asked Questions page also will be updated regularly as new questions arise. If you need to update your email address on file, please contact  registrar@nths.net

MESSAGES TO NEW TRIER FAMILES REGARDING BACK-TO-SCHOOL PLANNING

October 29, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

With second quarter beginning next week and a continued pause in hybrid in-person learning, we have a number of items to share with families. This note includes information on:

  • COVID-19 screening sign-up
  • New dates for parent-teacher conferences: Nov. 16, 23-24
  • Parent/guardian survey on remote and hybrid learning
  • First quarter grades
  • Special Board of Education meeting on Nov. 4 to discuss steps for a return to in-person instruction

New Trier's Weekly COVID-19 Screening

Thank you to all of the families who have already signed up their students for New Trier's weekly COVID-19 screening ( FAQ ). So far 67 percent of students are registered, and we are excited to begin our program as early as the week of November 9. If you have not yet done so, please sign up now using our quick COVID-19 Screening Sign-up .

Participating in the screening program is required for all students participating in on-campus athletics or extracurricular programs.

Students in 100% remote learning should sign up if they anticipate returning to on-campus learning or activities at any time this year. Don't delay - take a minute to sign up now .

New dates for parent-teacher conferences: Nov. 16, 23-24

New Trier wants to offer more consistent and uninterrupted learning opportunities for students. Right now hybrid learning is paused but could resume as early as the week of November 9. As a result, we have decided to move Zoom parent-teacher conferences to days that were already scheduled as all-remote Trevian days: Nov. 16 and Nov. 23-24.

This change allows the week of November 9 to be a full week of instruction on the Trevian/Blue/Green schedule . The two groups of students who have not yet attended in-person instruction (F-K and R-Z) will be prioritized when on-campus hybrid instruction resumes.

We will send a separate email with instructions for registering for parent-teacher conferences. Registration will take place from November 6 through November 11. We also will extend the deadline for students to drop a class without it appearing on their transcripts from November 16 to November 30 - after conferences take place.

Parent/guardian survey on remote and hybrid learning

Today all students received a survey about their experience with remote and hybrid learning. We also are seeking input from parents/guardians. Please fill out this survey by Tuesday, November 3 to share your perspective on your student's experience this school year.

First quarter grades

First quarter grades will be available via the PowerSchool Parent Portal on Tuesday, November 10 . These grades do not appear on a student's official transcript, but they provide a good indicator of how students are doing in their classes.

Special Board meeting Nov. 4 to discuss steps for return to in-person instruction

Over the past several weeks, we have seen some area high schools join our sender districts in safely offering in-person instruction. In addition, more research has been published indicating that schools that follow CDC guidelines are not increasing COVID-19 transmission in their communities. Given those factors and the great benefit of our new screening program in assessing the risk of COVID-19 at New Trier, the Board of Education has requested a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 to discuss steps for resuming in-person instruction.

At this meeting, the Board will consider the impact of New Trier's COVID-19 screening program, scientific studies, and school-based metrics and practices along with feedback from students, staff, families, and medical professionals to determine a course of action.

Upcoming Communications

  • Update on November 4 Board of Education discussion and school schedule
  • Saliva testing kit pick-up: times and dates
  • Schedule for submitting saliva samples for testing
  • Registration instructions for parent-teacher conferences

Thank you for your partnership in all of our efforts to safely return our students to in-person instruction.

Paul Sally

Superintendent

______________________

October 23, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

If you have been watching our COVID-19 Dashboard , you know that we have not seen the drop we had hoped for in the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 for both the Township and the area where our staff live. As a result, we must continue our pause in 25 percent hybrid learning and off-season athletic contact days for the week of October 26. 

Right now, these metrics are our best proxy for understanding the risk of COVID-19 coming into our buildings. However, a more effective way to assess and mitigate that risk is our new weekly COVID-19 saliva screening program for students and staff. We are proud to be the first high school in our area to offer weekly screening. If we have high participation from our students, we will be able to offer more consistent in-person instruction. 

COVID-19 Screening Information and Sign-up

I encourage all parents/guardians to sign up their students now using our COVID-19 Screening Sign-up Form . You must complete this form in order for your student to participate. There is no charge for the screening. 

Enrollment in the screening program is required for any student participating in an on-campus athletic or extracurricular opportunity.

We hope to begin the program no later than the week of November 16. To learn more details, please visit our FAQ page or watch our Oct. 22 Webinar . The screening is quick, non-invasive, scientifically validated, and has produced no false positives to date. Results are returned the same day. 

We are offering this opportunity to students who have enrolled in hybrid learning or on-campus extracurricular programs. However, families who have chosen the 100% remote option should still sign up if they anticipate their students may enroll in an on-campus opportunity in the future. 

Please don't delay in signing up for this program. We need to have accurate participation numbers as quickly as possible so we can assemble screening kits and work with the lab on a screening schedule. 

Special Education Cohorts Next Week

Students in programs including Educational Life Skills, Transition, Learning Strategies, and New Trier Learning Center will continue to attend school in cohorts next week based on their individual needs.

Athletics and Extracurricular Program Next Week

The in-season sports and extracurricular program will continue to operate using our strict safety protocols. Contact days for out-of-season sports continue to be on hold. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences November 11-13

New Trier will hold parent-teacher conferences via Zoom on Nov. 11, 12, and 13. Look out for an email soon with instructions on signing up for these conferences. Registration will take place from Monday, Nov. 2 through Friday, Nov. 6. 

Parent-Teacher Conference Dates and Times:

Wednesday, Nov. 11: 4:30-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 12:     2:30- 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 13:          12:30- 3:00 p.m.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to get more of our students back on campus soon for uninterrupted in-person instruction. 

Sincerely,

Paul Sally, Superintendent

_________________________

October 16, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in our Township, larger suburban area, and the state have continued to increase, with the state today reporting its highest single-day number of positive cases since the pandemic began. As a result, the pause in 25 percent hybrid instruction and athletic contact days for out-of-season sports will remain in place for the week of October 19. As in the previous week, our pause this week is due to the continued seriousness of the COVID-19 numbers across Illinois and in our community, not the number of New Trier student and staff cases.  News reports or rumors about an outbreak closing the school are false.  Please see New Trier's COVID dashboard to see the pattern of our metrics.

COVID-19 Saliva Screening and Parent Webinar October 22

We want our students back in school, and we continue to study how we can balance in-person instruction with the safety of students and staff. This week our Board of Education approved a contract for voluntary weekly saliva screening for students and staff - a process that could go a long way toward helping get more students back on campus for uninterrupted learning. We hope to have that program in place within 30 days.

On Thursday, October 22, at 6:30 p.m. you are invited to a parent webinar about the COVID-19 saliva screening program. Please sign up for the webinar in advance here ; you will then receive a Zoom link. Administrators will explain the program and answer questions.

Saturday Oct. 17 PSAT/NMSQT

The PSAT/NMSQT for juniors will take place as planned on Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Winnetka Campus. Registered students received information in adviser rooms this week about their testing rooms, 7:45 a.m. arrival time, ID requirement, and other information. All students must present their Ruvna health screening QR code to access campus. Safety protocols are in place with all students required to wear masks, stay in their designated area, and socially distance.

Special Education Cohorts

Students in programs including Educational Life Skills, Transition, and New Trier Learning Center will continue to attend school in cohorts next week based on their individual needs.

Athletics and Extracurricular Program

The in-season sports and extracurricular program will continue to operate using our strict safety protocols. Contact days for out-of-season sports continue to be on hold.

This is not the news we hoped to share this week, and we will continue to monitor the metrics on our COVID-19 dashboard closely so we are prepared to move back into in-person instruction whenever those metrics allow. When we do resume, those students who have not yet come to campus in person will go first. I will keep you informed over the coming week.

Thanks,

Paul Sally

Superintendent

_________________________

October 12, 2020

Dear New Trier Families,

The state of Illinois, our general area, and our Township are seeing a surge in the number of positive cases of COVID-19. This week the state has seen some of the largest numbers of new cases since May. Given these increases - explained in more detail below - and the metrics and thresholds New Trier has established for in-person learning, we will need to pause our 25 Percent Hybrid Instruction originally scheduled Thursday and Friday as well as athletic contact days for out-of-season sports for the week.

I want to emphasize that we are strongly committed to our in-person learning plans as evidenced by New Trier being one of the first public high schools back in person last week.  I hope to be able to resume having 25% students on campus the week of October 19.

The State SAT for seniors on Wednesday, Oct. 14 as well as the PSAT/NMSQT for juniors on Saturday, Oct. 17 will take place as planned at the Winnetka Campus under the strict safety protocols we have been following for standardized testing. More information on those tests is below.  

Local and Regional Increases in COVID-19 Cases

A few important notes from the IDPH website and our COVID Dashboard :

  • Our Township Zip Codes have a Rolling 7 Day New Cases per 100,000 people of 88.4.  Today is the fourth consecutive day this number has exceeded our threshold for hybrid in-person learning which is set at 70.
  • Our New Trier Staff Zip Codes (unweighted) have a Rolling 7 Day New Cases per 100,000 people of 117.2. Today is the fourth consecutive day this number has exceeded our threshold for hybrid in-person learning which is set at 100.
  • Due to its increasing metrics, Lake County was officially placed on the county warning list by IDPH last Friday.

Locally we have seen an increase in the number of New Trier students testing positive, with 11 students currently positive.  It is important to note that none of these cases are from school-based transmission. In fact, most of these new cases have been traced back to a party and a series of weekend gatherings that many students from New Trier students as well as students from other schools attended. It has been challenging to conduct contact tracing from these events.  I am disappointed that these events are a contributing factor to our rising numbers. I would like to reiterate in the strongest terms possible that all members of our New Trier community must abide by the common sense rules of social distancing, wearing a mask, no large gatherings, and hand washing if we want to have a chance to offer uninterrupted in-person learning.

Schedule for This Week and Beyond

The following is the revised schedule for this week:

  • Tuesday 10/13 - Trevian Day - Remote learning for all
  • Wednesday 10/14 - Senior State SAT at Winnetka Campus, no school for sophomores and juniors, Trevian Day (remote) for freshmen. If you registered for the October 14 Senior SAT test date and now want to switch to the April 13, 2021 state testing date based on our pause to in-person learning, please fill out this Google Form . This option is available to students who use extended time as well.
  • Thursday 10/15 - Blue Day - Remote learning for all; 2nd day SAT for students with extended time
  • Friday 10/16 - Green Day - Remote learning for allSaturday 10/17 - PSAT/NMSQT at Winnetka Campus

My hope is that we will be able to resume our 25% hybrid plan on Tuesday 10/20.  A final  decision will be made on Sunday 10/18 at the latest.  The tentative in-person schedule would be adjusted as follows:

            Letters F-K: October 20, 21

            Letters R-Z: October 22, 23

            Letters A-E: October 27, 28

            Letters L-Q: October 29, 30

Special Education Cohorts

Students in special programs including Educational Life Skills, Transition, and New Trier Learning Center will continue to attend school in cohorts this week based on their individual needs and what was communicated by the department last week. Other students with IEPs  who started attending as of October 6 will pause in-person instruction for the week. 

Athletics and Extracurricular Program

At this point our in-season sports and extracurricular program will continue to operate using our strict safety protocols. Out of the utmost precaution, we will pause athletic contact days this week for teams that are not in season . Again, I ask that all families answer the Ruvna screening questions honestly to help protect everyone's health and well-being.

State SAT and PSAT/NMSQT

Similar to our extracurricular program, we have successfully offered several ACT and SAT tests using strict safety protocols at times when in-person learning was not occuring. During these tests, in addition to following protocols such as mask wearing, students are not moving throughout the building and do not have lunch on campus. We know many students have prepared and studied anticipating these testing dates, and we know we can offer them safely based on past practice. For families who registered for the October 14 state-required SAT for seniors and now wish to switch to the April 13, 2021 state testing date, please fill out this Google Form

We were excited to have some students back on campus for in-person instruction last week. Our processes and procedures worked well, and we will be making adjustments for future hybrid classes based on feedback from students, teachers, staff, and parents. We are hopeful that this pause will be a brief one, and that by working together as a community we can get our students back in school for in-person instruction as soon as we can.

Thanks,

Paul Sally, Superintendent

_____________________

October 2, 2020

Dear New Trier Parents and Guardians,

We are excited to welcome back our students to in-person learning, with our first group on campus for 25 percent hybrid instruction on October 6.  As we approach this date, we want to remind parents that all students must have completed the COVID-19 Course and signed the Trevians Care for Trevians Pledge , both of which are available on their Canvas app through the Principal's Campus Connect Canvas site.

This morning, advisers showed students a new Safety Video about what they should expect when they come to campus. I encourage you to watch this brief video featuring New Trier students, which includes helpful information for families as well. 

Some reminders for students returning to school: 

  • Students must wear a properly fitted mask that covers their nose and mouth and fits under their chin at all times on campus grounds, in buildings, and on buses. No exceptions. 
  • Bandanas, athletic gaiters, and masks with exhalation valves do not meet CDC recommendations and will not be permitted during the school day. Masks should have ear loops or ties and should not allow gaps around the nose or mouth. We will provide each student with one cloth mask that meets these guidelines.
  • Students must wear their IDs on a lanyard every day. Lanyards and IDs for students who have not picked them up will be distributed in adviser room.  
  • Students must present their QR code from our Ruvna health screening app to be admitted to campus. Parents are emailed/texted this unique screener every morning and must fill it out each day their student will be on campus for instruction or extracurricular activities . Text or email the code to your student to present on campus.
  • Students should bring headphones or earbuds along with their iPad and charger every day they are on campus. Lockers are not available, so they will need to carry their school materials in a backpack or bag throughout the day. 
  • Students also should bring a water bottle each day. Vending machines are currently not available, and drinking fountains are being used only as water bottle filling stations. We have ordered water bottles with straws that can be used under a mask for every student; they are set to arrive for distribution later this month.  
  • We encourage students to bring their own lunches. Quest Food Services is offering one lunch bag option each day that must be pre-ordered by 9 a.m. Information on pre-orders can be found here
  • Students must enter or exit campus from the Trevian Way glass entrance, East entrance near the gyms, or Winnetka Avenue entrance only. 

During the school day: 

  • Students who have long breaks between classes must remain on campus at this time. We have designated areas for them to study or take a break inside and outside. As in-person instruction progresses we will evaluate the potential for students to safely leave campus during lunch or long breaks. 
  • Students may leave campus if their free period or lunch period is at the end of the day.  Students must check out with security at the exit area.
  • We have a number of spaces available for students to use during their lunch and free periods, including some not mentioned in the video. Staff will direct students to these areas.

Schedule for in-person learning, based on first letter of last name. Students are not allowed on campus during the school day except for on their designated days: 

  • A-E: Oct. 6, 7, 27, 28
  • F-K: Oct. 20, 21; Nov. 2, 4*
  • L-Q: Oct. 8, 9, 22, 23
  • R-Z: Oct. 15, 16, 29, 30

* No in-person pairing Oct. 13-14 because of a mandated state testing day for seniors on Oct. 14; Nov. 3 is Election Day holiday

More information on safety precautions, health screening, our COVID-19 dashboard, and all information emailed to families can be found on our Back to School web page

Thank you for your help and support in keeping our community healthy so we can offer in-person opportunities for our students safely throughout the year.

Denise Dubravec

Principal, Winnetka Campus