Administrative Staff:

Mr. Vito DeFrisco, Interim Superintendent
vdefrisco@marian.com

Mr. Mike Shukis, Assistant Superintendent
mshukis@marian.com

Rev. Jared Twenty, Spiritual Director/Assistant Principal
jtwenty@marian.com

Ms. Debra Novy, Principal
dnovy@marian.com

Mr. Joe Price, Assistant Principal/Dean of Students
jprice@marian.com

May 6, 2020

Senior ~ Class of 2020 FAQs

Q: Are seniors able to pick up cap & gowns and any honors stoles, etc. so they can
have pictures taken?
A: Once we have received all of the graduation items, we will be letting you know about
pickups. FYI, through typically, our graduates have had to return their gowns at the end
of graduation, this year we are providing a gown and cap that your senior will be able to
keep.
Q: What is being done with all the money that was raised for the senior class
breakfast?
A: The leftover funds (beyond what was already purchased for seniors) will be
deposited into a senior reunion fund.
Q: Is it possible to still order a yearbook for this year?
A: You can still order a yearbook for $85 until May 15, 2020. Please send in a check for
$85 or go online and make the payment putting Yearbook beside the student name.
Q: When will the virtual graduation video recording take place?
A: We are currently collecting information through a questionnaire that was sent to
senior families. This questionnaire must be completed no later than May 13. Once we
have collected the necessary information, we will begin slotting families into a schedule
for their individualized graduation including walking across the stage when their name is
called, being recognized for any Marian awards that may have been earned, moving
their tassel, getting a professional portrait done as they walk off the stage, and ending
their video segment with tossing their cap.
Q: How many family members will be allowed to come to the senior’s individualized
ceremony?
A: Seniors may have no more than 4 others (family/friends) that will be allowed to
watch, as long as they abide by social distancing standards that will be sent out at a
later date.
Q: What about senior awards?
A: Many senior awards will be distributed when the student comes for their
individualized graduation ceremony. There are, however, several awards that are on
backorder due to the current circumstances.

May 1, 2020

Late Thursday night I received an email from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Diocese of Rockford. In the emails it detailed how all schools, both public and nonpublic, at this time would not be permitted to have graduations or any year- end activities due to social distancing and state imposed stay-at-home orders. This would include our attempt in the end of May to video tape each individual graduate
receiving their diploma while walking across the stage and having a professional company splice together all the graduates to make one ceremony. What follows is the exact language from the Illinois State Board of Education.

“In-person graduation ceremonies of any kind are not allowed at this time. This directive extends to drive-through graduation ceremonies or events where students come in small groups to the school or another location for a photo or to walk across a stage. The  Governor’s extended stay-at-home order prohibits group gatherings. I join you in hoping that events can resume in person sooner rather than later, but that time is not now.”

Please keep in mind that this directive is for the present time. Marian will continue
to do whatever we can and keep planning and working hard to develop some type of
graduation, hopefully a live graduation, for early July.

Mike Shukis
Assistant Superintendent

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April 22, 2020

Dear Parents,

As you already know, Governor Pritzker has announced that school will remain closed for the rest of this school year.

We understand that this has been difficult for so many people and is not the most ideal situation. Of course, the ideal situation would be to be able to connect with our students in his or her classrooms and having students connecting with peers as they normally do.

We hoped that we would be able to bring our students back to school before year-end but that is not possible at this time. As a result of the governor’s decision to close schools, we will continue with e-Distance/Learning for the remainder of the school year. We, along with our principals and teachers, are committed to providing a solid academic program that has been our tradition. We will continue to foster faith and impart knowledge.

All of our principals and teachers (including early childhood teachers) are working hard every day to develop effective e-Distance/Lesson plans. In addition, the Rockford Diocese, along with local parishes, has continued to honor all school employee contracts and that includes employee benefits. You need to know that we rely on your tuition dollars as we continue to provide academic programs to the students we serve.

We want our students to know that we are still here for them and want them to grow. We also want to thank them for staying virtually connected.

To our parents and guardians, we know that you did not plan on spending your time helping your children with schoolwork at home. We appreciate your continued support for your children, our teachers, and each other.

Our school buildings are closed for now but please know that the Rockford Catholic Education Office is here to support the principals and teachers as they work with the students they serve.

We look forward to the day when we all can be together once again.

Sincerely,

Mike Kagan                                           Vito C. DeFrisco                       Elizabeth Heitkamp
Superintendent of Schools                 Assistant Superintendent       Assistant Superintendent

________________________________________________________________

April 20, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Late on Friday, Governor JB Prizker announced that schools across Illinois will remain closed through the end of the school year.  At Marian, we were all hopeful that we would be able to return to school in May, and our halls would once again be filled with our students.  However, it is clear by Friday’s announcement that will not happen and that remote learning will continue for all grade school and high school students in Illinois.  Therefore, the Marian Central remote learning program will continue for all Marian students and faculty through the end of this school year.

This news certainly affects everyone in our school community and this statewide directive also presents a number of questions and calendar challenges.  Various members of our school community will address these issues in the near future.  I ask that you please be patient as we work together to resolve the many challenges set before us.  Once again, please feel free to contact us regarding any specific question you may have.

Sincerely,

Mike Shukis
Assistant Superintendent

________________________________________________________________

April 1, 2020

April 1st update-Printable version

Dear Parents/Guardians:
I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. Late yesterday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that remote learning in Illinois will be extended through April 30 th in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Our school building will remain closed, and all scheduled school activities and extracurriculars during this time are also canceled. Marian will continue to deliver remote learning.

It is important to remember that all school’s initial E-learning platform was developed for just 3 or 4 snow days during the school year and not for this extended period of time. Because of this, Marian has made the decision to partner with Elevated Learning Solutions, Inc. to help our faculty better utilize video learning and technology during this time. Our Mathematics Department will be our first pilot
group and will attend their professional development sessions with Elevated Learning Solutions on Friday. Early next week, our plan is to have the rest of our faculty attend their sessions. Once training is completed, we anticipate a number of changes in our class schedule and in what our remote learning days will look like.

We will get these changes out to you as soon as possible. It is important for us to hear your feedback concerning these changes. Please keep the lines of communication open as we continue to move forward. Your input will be invaluable. Please know that we are committed in working toward a much-improved remote learning process and in the education for all of Marian students –it will just be through a different and better format.

I realize that none of this is ideal, however, we do want to assure you that at Marian, our teachers and staff are fully engaged and willing to take on this new challenge and push forward with remote learning with our students. I know this is not the school year that any of us imagined, but I want to thank you for all your patience and understanding as we deal with this unprecedented situation together.

Finally, with my wife a nurse at a local hospital, I would like to extend a tremendous debt of gratitude to all of the first responders and health care personnel who put their own health at risk every day in order to keep us safe. Please remember them in your prayers and stay at home unless absolutely necessary, wash your hands regularly and follow the guidelines set out by the CDC.

Once again, thank you as we continue to work together and support each other during this time and let me know your thoughts on our new remote learning program once we set it in motion.

Stay healthy and safe,
Mike Shukis
Assistant Superintendent

__________________________________________________________

March 30, 2020

Ms. Novy would like to welcome everyone back from spring break to e-learning.  Click here for Ms. Novy’s message.

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March 26, 2020

IHSA – From Craig Anderson, Executive Director of IHSA

I know this time continues to be a challenge for all of us. I hope this note finds you well.

As the IHSA staff and board continue to monitor the updates from government offices as well as state and local health departments, we continue to support the possibility of our member schools completing both regular and post spring sports seasons. The date schools can return to regular session will determine the length of the spring sports season and the potential of an IHSA State Series. We will be working with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) to determine the need for an acclimatization period in advance of competition. No timeline has been set at this time.

We are considering an extension of the spring sports season limitation to provide more participation opportunities for students. This may include movement of the post season timelines and the state series.

We will continue to provide updates as new information is available. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Empower Illinois
Invest in Kids Act: Application Review and Scholarship Awarding Resumed

We are happy to confirm that on Monday, March 23, Empower Illinois resumed application review and scholarship awarding as normal. We recognize families may still be facing some roadblocks due to COVID-19. Therefore, we have also extended the acceptance deadline for anyone with an open Conditional Award to May 1, 2020, to accommodate families who may have limited access to a computer during this time.

If families have questions about their application or awards status, please direct them to our Scholars Helpline (309)-416-0741,  scholars@empowerillinois.org), which continues to be open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.

_________________________________________________________

March 23, 2020

Update from the Diocese of Rockford
As many of you already know, this past Saturday, March 21, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced the closure of all Illinois schools until at least April 7. The announcement came as the governor issued a statewide stay-at-home order. All schools in the Rockford Diocese will comply with this date and anticipate continuing to utilize e-Learning/Distance Learning after Spring Break.

At this time, we just don’t know for sure when we will be returning to school and we probably won’t know anything definite until the first week in April. In the meantime, our faculty will continue to receive additional resources and training in an effort to develop and deliver E-Learning lesson for a longer closure.

From McHenry County Health Department (MCHD)
As of March 21, 2020, MCHD communicated that students and staff with mild respiratory illness are advised to STAY HOME; testing is not indicated for mildly ill or asymptomatic persons. Students and staff should consult with their health care provider if they have:

  • Fever, cough, trouble breathing, or other flu-like symptoms that are not better or are worsening after 24-48 hours
  • Mild symptoms and are immunosuppressed or are an older adult with chronic health conditions

MCHD asks that students and staff do not call them about getting testing. MCDH is not performing testing at any of their locations. Health care providers will determine if someone should be tested and will call the MCDH if needed.

All household contacts to a (confirmed or possible) case of COVID-19 should stay home and watch for symptoms for 7 days after the case has been afebrile and feeling well and for a minimum of 14 days (this means that household contacts may need to remain at home longer than the initial case).

 Resources for Our Catholic Family

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March 20, 2020

E-Learning & Attendance Update – From the Diocese of Rockford Education Office

Dear Parents,

Recently, many of our school administrators and teachers have received questions from school parents regarding the decision to continue e-Learning and grading e-Learning assignments. Governor Pritzker’s executive order required all school (public/nonpublic) to close from March 17 until March 30. These days have been declared as “Act of God” days and not instructional days. These days will not be required to be made up.

The state has been very clear in suggesting students should participate in enrichment activities through e-Learning plans. We realize the Illinois State Board of Education has stated that e-Learning assignments should not be graded and should be used as enrichment activities only. The Catholic Education Office has established its guidelines for our Diocesan schools including how these “Act of God” days will be handled. Our guidelines have been developed with the students’ best interests in mind.

To keep our students engaged and moving our schools’ curriculum forward, the decision was reached that our students would be engaging in e-Learning during this mandatory school closure and not just “busy work.” These e-Learning assignments will be graded and student attendance will be recorded as present or as virtual learning days.

Everyone needs to understand that e-Learning is very different than classroom instructional time and different strategies are used to engage students in learning. E-Learning is not designed to fill the entire day but it is designed to engage students in learning and helping to prepare our students for the next grade level. E-Learning is developed specifically for learning that takes place outside the regular classroom. It should be rigorous as it can be and at the same time, teachers understand that it requires a delicate balance of providing just the right amount of student engagement. Teachers vary their lessons from independent self-paced learning to teacher lead electronic instruction. Depending on the Internet availability in the home, some schools are providing student packets as a means of instruction. Everyone must follow the IDPH guidelines of not allowing groups of 10 or more to group together and even then they must practice social distancing.

Our goal is to support our school administrators, faculties, students, and parents as we maneuver through this very difficult period and continue to prepare our students for the next step in their educational journey.

We appreciate your patience and understanding and will continue to keep you all in our prayers. We ask that you pray for us as well.

Sincerely,

Mike Kagan                              Vito C. DeFrisco                             Elizabeth Heitkamp
Superintendent                       Assistant Superintendent             Assistant Superintendent

 

AP Testing Update – As of March 20, 2020, the College Board has decided that face-to-face AP testing will not take place this May 2020. Instead, they are working to determine the process and dates in which students will be able to take their AP tests online from their homes. Please click here to find out more information and stay updated on what continued decisions the College Board will be taking. We suggest that students communicate with their AP teacher(s) to make sure that they are clear on how to best prepare before taking their exams.

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March 18, 2020

Bishop’s Statement 3-17-20 – click here to download and print

Marian Central continues to meet weekly with McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH).  The news from this Tuesday’s meeting centered on the lack of tests (for the coronavirus) available to the public.  Currently, those who meet the criterion (over 60 years of age with other health issues) will be the ones who first receive the tests.  The MCDH and other agencies are working very hard to obtain more desperately needed tests.  In regard to schools, it is still very important, even though we are doing e- learning, for our parents to inform the attendance line if their child is sick and describe their symptoms.  The health department still is in need of this information even while e-learning is taking place.

Below are some of the highlights from the Bishop of Rockford, the Most Reverend David Malloy’s recent letter, which we are including.

  • The announcement of the suspension of public Masses until at least Saturday April 4 and this date is only advisory at this time.
  • This decision, as well as the decision to close schools, comes from the recent guidance of the Federal Government and from the State of Illinois for the limiting of public gatherings to reduce the opportunity for contracting and the spreading of the coronavirus.
  • Please keep in mind that Marian Central will be closed through the March 31st. However, this date will be evaluated, as we get closer to the 31st.
  • Marian’s school office will now be closed. However, we will all be working from home.  If you need us just send us an email.  Please continue to call into the attendance line when needed.

While many of us Catholics will hurt from not receiving the Eucharist, as the Bishop has indicated, we can still pray.  Let us all take his advice and pray daily.  There is so much to pray for at this time.  Let us remember the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless.  The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.  We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”  We all have the power to love and pray for those around us and maybe at this time, that is what is most needed.  

______________________________________________________________________

March 13, 2020

Coronavirus Letter  From Bishop Malloy – 3-13-2020; click here for printable version

Dear School Administrators, Staff & School Families,

Bishop Malloy has approved the following directives for dissemination by the Catholic Education Office:

  • Beginning on Monday, March 16, classes at all Diocesan elementary and high school facilities are to be
    suspended until at least March 30, at which time the situation will be re-evaluated, and further directives will be provided. During this time period, however, schools are expected to put into place e-Learning/distant
    learning protocols.
  • The suspension of on-site classes also includes ALL athletic, extra-curricular, and co-curricular activities both on and off-site. The suspension of these athletic, extra-curricular, and co-curricular activities is to begin
    immediately and will be re-evaluated at the same time the school situation is re-evaluated.

Administrators, we recommend that during the next two weeks that you direct your school or parish maintenance staff to do a deep cleaning of your school facility and that you also limit access to your building.

Families & staff, we ask that if anyone is planning on traveling outside the continental United States during the upcoming spring break that you inform your school administrator and place yourself on a 14-day self-quarantine when you return. This is important because you will not be allowed to return to school until that period of time has elapsed. And the quarantine period begins the day you return from the trip.

Because this is an ever-evolving situation, there may be more information and directives that will be communicated to you through School Speak, parishes, social media, and the diocesan website. Also, please check your e-mail regularly.

Let us pray for all those who have been affected by the Coronavirus, both directly and indirectly, and to an end to this outbreak.

Thank you for your cooperation in helping to manage this current pandemic.

God bless you all,
The Staff of the Catholic Education Office

Click here for E-Learning Procedures

_____________________________________________________________________

March 6, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

As you are aware, cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been prominent in the news over the last several weeks. In the most up to date information we have from the McHenry County Department of Health, the risk continues to remain low for COVID-19 in McHenry County. Marian Central would like to ensure our families that we will keep in close contact with the McHenry County Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health (links to these websites are below), and the Diocese of Rockford and follow any recommendations they have regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).

McHenry County Department of Health https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/home/showdocument?id=96707

Center for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Illinois Department of Public Health http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-servies/kisease-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

Additionally, the MCDH has asked all schools to follow their usual protocol for parent’s notification of students who are ill and to make sure they describe the illness and symptoms to the school office. We are also asked to reinforce with our staff and students to stay home when ill, cover coughs, wash hand frequently and disinfect high touch surfaces. We have asked our custodial crews to increase their daily cleaning with an emphasis on regularly disinfecting commonly touched surfaces. I have also sent out a school planning resource from the CDC entitled “Get Your School Ready for Pandemic Flu” to all our faculty and staff.

Marian will continue to place a significant importance on prevention as described by the Center for Disease Control. We encourage all individuals with cold-like symptoms to be evaluated by medical personnel and we encourage everyone to click on the links above for additional information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) regarding preventative actions for you and your family.

Sincerely,

Mike Shukis
Assistant Superintendent