COVID-19 School Closings [Updated 3/18]

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Parents,

As you well know, it is required by the state of Illinois for all schools to be closed until March 30th, returning to school on Tuesday, March 31st. Though this is still the plan, long-term closures are a very real possibility. Today the state of Kansas closed all of its schools until the end of the year and other states are said to be following. The CDC gives guidelines to schools recommending that plans for digital and distance learning be put in place should extended closures be needed.  

BBCS teachers have been diligently putting plans in place for distance and e-learning. USA Today reported that many schools are scrambling to put together plans for distance learning and are worried about its effectiveness.  We are VERY fortunate and blessed at BBCS because the primary source of our Curriculum is the publisher Abeka, which is a curriculum used for traditional schools and homeschool families all across America. Because of this, each of the subjects and lessons has corresponding lesson videos available with master teachers teaching the lessons. Our other major curriculum user, BJU Press, also is providing us with videos and resources that will make distance learning not only possible but effective.   

Because we do not know the possible length of an extended closure, our first goal has been to put together plans for a week of distance learning from 3/30-4/3.  

  • How Will I Get My Child’s Books? 
    • K-4 Parents have been mailed their work.  Though this week’s work is supplemental in nature, we would continue with the curriculum lessons, videos, and papers beyond the first week.
    • K-5 – 12th grade parents will need to come to the school on Friday, March 20, or Monday, March 23, to pick up your child’s work and books. (Please use Door F when entering and exiting the building.) We are asking that you not only take the books, but ALL of your child(ren)’s belongings: notebooks, devices, utensils, everything. 
    • A teacher from each department should be at Door F to greet you, see that you get what you need, and help you with any questions. They will also be sanitizing and disinfecting areas throughout the day.
    • In order to keep the building from becoming unsafe with the number of people coming in and out, we are asking parents to sign up for a spot to come get these items.  Please go to the link provided through Sign-Up Genius and pick a time that will work for you.  If you don’t see a time that will work, please contact the office and we will figure out a way to help you! Although we are limiting the number of persons in our building per the CDC’s recommendation, you may bring your child(ren) with you as you pick up school materials.
    • Link for Friday:
    • Link for Monday:
  • How Will I Know What My Child Needs to Accomplish? 
    • Parents may access your child’s lessons for each day in FACTS (Formerly known as Ren-Web), our student-information system.  Most parents are already set up with your username and password for FACTS; if you are not set-up, now is the perfect time!  
    • If you need assistance logging in please call the office or email Mrs. Tackeberry at
    • In addition to the summary of work to be done, there may be information regarding video lesson numbers that your child should watch; links to necessary material for the lesson; additional resources to view or direction to continue work in their Google Classrooms. 
  • Will my Child Need Login Information to Access Any of the Videos?   
    • Yes, for Abeka videos, and No, for Bob Jones videos! Every Berean student has an individual login created for them through Abeka video, and may be accessed by going to ABEKA.COM The videos that your child will need have been loaded to their account.  
    • Username: This update was emailed to parents of BBCS students. Please check that email for username and password information.
    • Password: This update was emailed to parents of BBCS students. Please check that email for username and password information.
    • (After logging in, your child will go to the “Dashboard” where they will be able to choose the video grade, subject and lesson number.)
    • Preschool – 4th Grade will use Abeka video exclusively.
    • 5th-12th Grades will use a combination of Abeka video, BJU Videos and Berean- teacher-led videos.  Abeka videos are the only ones that children will need to login to view; the others will be accessible through links in Ren-Web. 
  • What is the Plan for an Extended Closure? 
    • The simple answer is that our curriculum plans and lessons would not have to change.  I believe we could easily continue distance learning with great success. We are working on the many details of assessment and recording to make the process credible, but not overwhelming to parents and students. 
  • What is the Plan to Pick up my Child’s Candy Sale Order? 
    • Our World’s Finest Chocolate Order is scheduled to be delivered this Friday, March 20th.  We will gather orders together on Friday and place orders in bags by a child’s desk or locker. Please let us know if you have any questions in particular.  

Please know that though our buildings are currently closed for school, our staff is readily available to help you in any way that we can right now.  Our calls are being answered during regular business hours and our teachers are answering emails and communicating with each other every day. Though we have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime, we can do “all things” through Christ.  May we continue to find joy, peace and sustaining grace to pass on to others in their time of need!  

Sending love and prayers,

Mrs. Williams

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dear Parents,

Today the Health Department reported that a resident in Winnebago County tested positive with Covid -19; with this announcement came even more severe recommendations of social distancing and public exposure.  Because of these recommendations, we believe it to be the right decision to cancel school for tomorrow, in addition to the March 17th-30th closings. This would include preschool through 12th grade.

These mandatory days off are considered “act of God” days, like snow days, and do not have to be made up, unless the number of days off affects our required number of academic school hours by the state of Illinois.  As of right now, with the mandatory closings that are in effect, we would not have to make up any days, as our school calendar is well over the required number of academic hours required by the state. However, I want to be ready to start a week of e-learning after March 30th for each of our grades, should the mandatory closings be extended. 

Tomorrow, the staff and teachers will be meeting and working in their classrooms.  Our goal is to prepare a week of lessons that would be available through e-learning, again this would be only if the mandatory closings are extended.   We will make plans available to parents this week along with times for parents to come by and pick up school work. Here are a couple of things to think about should the closing be extended. 

  1.  A device of some sort would be necessary to stream the e-learning lessons: a phone, tablet, or computer of some sort.  
  2. The lessons would only be accessible through the internet.  I know that many internet companies are offering promotions for free or low-cost internet during this time.  Please consider being prepared for this option, should it be needed. Here is a link regarding internet offers at this time.
  3. Books and materials would need to be picked up at the school.  We will give more details tomorrow regarding when you may come in to pick these up.  

Our hope is that we will not need the e-learning and that we would be able to return to school on March 31st!  If for some reason this is not possible, we are excited to have the opportunity for the children to be able to continue their learning at home. I’m so thankful in times like these that I know the Lord and his peace; may we lift up our city, state, country and each other in prayer. 

Elizabeth Williams

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience as we daily navigate through the bizarre events of public closings and cancellations amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.  It was announced today by our Governor JB Pritzker that the state of Illinois will be closing all schools, public and private, from March 17 through March 30th.  Because of this mandatory closing, BBCS will be closing its doors for all grades K3-12th grades on these days.  

Prior to this mandatory closing, our daycare planned  to provide care during our Spring Break; but we have been advised to close our facilities for the entire time that has been recommended by the state. 

My goal is for us to be able to provide some instruction to our students during these days off.  I will be working with our teachers over the weekend to determine what instruction we are able to send  home, though the work-load and lack of instruction time will not be enough to count these days as school days. Currently, we are told that we can have school on Monday the 16th, so unless we are told otherwise, we will plan to have school.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or the school office.  

Elizabeth Williams  

School Administrator

Berean Baptist Christian School

815.962.4841 Ext. 120

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