Principal’s Corner

Tech Tips from the MRC
Did you know turning your iPad completely off allows updates to automatically install when it switches back on, allows the hardware to get the equivalent of a full night’s rest, saves battery life and allows the iPad to function at full capacity? Please help your child fully power down their iPad at least weekly. To do this, hold the power button all the way down until the power off slide bar appears, then slide to off and turn back on. It’s also a good idea to go through their search history and clear out any photos that are not school related. Student iPads should only be used by the student and for school purposes only.

Inclement Weather Plan
At the November board meeting, the inclement weather plan was adopted and approved by the Board of Education. Our goal is always to keep schools open; however, there may be days when the weather is so severe that we cannot ensure the safety of our students and staff. This year instead of a traditional “snow day” where school is canceled, inclement weather days may lead to remote learning days for all students. This would allow students to continue learning and eliminate the need to make up missed days at the end of the year.

Review inclement weather plan HERE

  • The day will consist of live virtual instruction and asynchronous/independent work
  • The focus of live instruction will be in literacy and math
  • Staff will host office hours to answer questions
  • Art, stem, music and PE lessons will be asynchronous/independent work
  • Pull-out services, reading specialist services and differentiated instruction services may be held during the asynchronous work portion of the day
  • Asynchronous independent work will be completed using either SeeSaw or Google Classroom depending on the grade level
  • Information and links will be shared with families from the classroom teacher.

Puberty I for 5th Graders
As part of our fifth grade curriculum, students will participate in a Puberty I program provided in partnership with Candor Health Education (formerly known as Robert Crown Health Center). Below is information on the student program as well as an invitation for parents to preview the presentation through January 31.

FAQ for parents on the Puberty I program can be read HERE.

Parent Presentation
To view the pre-recorded parent presentation click here. Use the password POV1012. The pre-recorded parent presentation will be available through January 31.

Student Program
The student program will be held during school hours on February 24. We will be sending a permission slip home in early February.

Student Booklet
Below is electronic access to the booklets that your child will receive as part of the Puberty I program. These booklets provide information on the physical changes that young people experience during puberty. Please note that both classes and booklets include basic information about the anatomy of the opposite sex.
Male Program: Puberty I Male Booklet
Female Program: Puberty I Female Booklet

We know that parents are the most influential role in a child’s life. For ideas on how to use the booklet, general tips for talking with your child and ways to get conversations started, click here. If you would like more information about the center, or the program your child will attend, please visit the Candor Health Education website at If you have any additional questions, please contact Candor Health Education at (630)325-1900.

Lost and Found
The lost and found is now located outside of the gym and MPR. All children go to the gym/MPR daily and have the opportunity to look for missing items. If you know your child is missing items, please encourage them to look. You can also send an email to the classroom teacher to ask them to remind your child to check the lost and found.

Arrival and Dismissal
Just a reminder that if your child usually walks around the hill to enter the back of the building, please ask them to either walk around on the sidewalk by the car rider line or ask them to use one of the entrances in the front of the building. We do not want children walking around the hill especially if it is icy or muddy.

Continued Safety Measures and Updated Guidance
We continue to work to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

  • Desks remain 3 feet apart in classrooms and students are distanced 6 feet apart in lunchrooms.
  • When possible, choose a surgical mask over a cloth mask. When choosing cloth masks, make sure the mask is washable, breathable, has at least two layers, and fits correctly. Any mask should fit snugly over the nose and chin with no large gaps around the side of the face. Ways to improve a mask’s fit include using a nose clip or nose wire, tying a simple knot in the ear loops, or using a brace over the mask to prevent leaks. See other suggestions from the CDC on ways to improve how a mask protects you. When choosing a cloth mask, look for those made of tightly woven fabrics with two or more layers. One way to ensure a mask has enough layers is to wear two. For example, wear a two-layer cotton mask over a surgical mask.
  • Continue to reiterate frequent hand washing/sanitizing.
  • If your child will be absent from school for any reason, please complete the appropriate absence form.
  • We will continue to work with families to engage students in learning during COVD quarantine/isolation. Virtual instruction will not be provided when subs are present in classrooms. Students who are absent (other than covid-related quarantine/isolation) – virtual instruction will not be available.
  • Any students reported from 1/12/22 forward – new guidance is being applied. To be eligible for the early return date (isolation of only five days versus ten) you must meet the following requirements (if you do not, you would remain at home until your 10-day quarantine is complete OR the requirements have been met)
    • Fever free for 24 hours
    • Asymptomatic OR have improved symptoms
    • Diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours
    • Wear a mask for days 6-10 – this includes recess, outside breaks, and when not actively eating.

Surveillance Testing 

For families who have enrolled in our weekly surveillance testing, please be sure to continue to return your child’s surveillance test to school on Monday mornings.

Opt in to surveillance testing:

  • Login to Skyward
  • Click on the forms tab
  • Complete the Surveillance Testing permission form for each student

Vaccine Card Upload (optional & confidential)

Parents may also upload their student’s vaccination card to Skyward in an effort to reduce quarantines and keep students in school. This step is optional and information will remain confidential.

To upload your card:

  • Login to Skyward
  • Click the “Online Forms” button
  • Find the “Covid 19 Vaccination Card” form and click “Fill out Form”
  • Click “Choose File” to upload your vaccination card
  • Upload your card
  • Click “Complete Step 1 and Move to Step 2”
  • Enter the information into the fields
  • Click “Complete Step 2 and Move to Step 3”
  • Click “Submit COVID-19 Vaccination Card”

Please continue to monitor your email for updated announcements from District 181 related to COVID-19, surveillance testing, and updated health and safety guidance.

ISBE Updated Guidance

IDPH/ISBE FAQ for Schools

Executive Order

Suggestions from the CDC

Thank you for your partnership in education!
Barb Shanahan, Madison Principal