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ORION HIGH SCHOOL AWARDS CEREMONY

posted May 15, 2020, 6:38 AM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated May 17, 2020, 10:56 AM by Kyle Taylor ]

The Orion High School Awards Ceremony video will be available to view on Sunday, May 17, 2020, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Please click on the link listed to view the video.  (Link will not be available until 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2020.)  Congratulations to all of the students who are receiving awards!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR'S SCHOOL DISTRICT RETIREES!

posted Apr 29, 2020, 10:35 AM by Bobbi Thomsen

Congratulations and Best Wishes to this year's Orion School District retirees!
Mark Anderson, Custodian, 21 Years of Service
Jennifer Bell, Paraprofessional, 31 Years of Service
Robert "Yogi" McHugh, Bus Driver, 12 Years of Service
Rosie Stiles, Bus Driver, 43 Years of Service

SPORTS PHYSICALS CANCELED

posted Apr 22, 2020, 9:52 AM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Apr 22, 2020, 9:53 AM ]

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the school district will not be able to offer sports physicals for student athletes that were previously scheduled on May 20, 2020, (for next school year).  We are very sorry for the inconvenience.  Thank you, Kenis Johnson, R.N., School Nurse

MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT BLESSMAN CONCERNING REMAINDER OF 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR

posted Apr 1, 2020, 7:40 AM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Apr 20, 2020, 8:10 AM ]

Dear Parents and Community Members:

I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well.  Friday, April 17, Illinois Governor Pritzker announced that remote learning in Illinois will be extended through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Although in-person learning has been suspended for the remainder of the school year, at Orion C.U.S.D. #223, I assure you our entire staff remains committed to learning and engaging with all students through remote learning, as well as continuing with our food distribution program.  Food distribution will continue on Mondays and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. - Noon.  If you are not currently receiving lunches and would like to start, please contact Sheri Schulenberg at 309-526-3388.

Like you, we are saddened by the reality that our school community will not be able to reconvene in person this school year due to this public health crisis.  So many of you have worked so hard to learn and grow in both the classroom and in extracurricular activities that Friday's announcement may feel like a step back.

However, the final chapter of this school year hasn't been written yet.  These past few weeks have proven our school community is more resilient, more capable, and more compassionate than maybe what we previously realized.  I'm confident our collective strength will shine through during the remainder of the school year.

Having said that, Friday's announcement will result in significant and multiple scheduling changes in our district (Prom, Awards ceremonies, 8th grade promotion, Seniors' last day, High School graduation, Summer School options, etc.).  Please be patient as we work as a district to get information to you in the next several weeks.

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.  We are looking forward to our students returning in the Fall.  We want to wish our Seniors the best of luck in their futures and thank them for their leadership.  Go Chargers!

Yours in Education,

Joseph A. Blessman, Superintendent

E-LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

posted Mar 27, 2020, 11:45 AM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Mar 30, 2020, 12:42 PM ]

E-Learning Opportunities will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020.  The purpose of E-Learning Opportunities will be to provide educational opportunities for our students in place of a traditional school day.  The intent is to keep the educational opportunities familiar, using resources that our students, staff, and parents have utilized previously.  Teachers will prepare learning opportunities for our K-5 students by grade level and course-specific opportunities for our 6-12 students based on their individual schedules.  Students will be required to log-in daily to complete an attendance form via Google Forms.  Please click this link to log-in:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnxUMueyMaPTYdhjHsk87wwT3_mxQhTlqzL-4t_Ua7OwSpgg/viewform 

Students will be expected to complete tasks per teacher instruction depending on grade-level assignments.

On the Attendance Form, students will enter their school email address, first name, and last name.  Once the Attendance Form is complete, students will go to the E-Learning classroom that has been assigned by their teacher.  Examples:  Google Classroom, Edmodo, etc.

The purpose of E-Learning Opportunities is to provide students an opportunity to continue learning during time away from the school building.  However, the purpose is not to grade work but to continue their academic progress.  Students will not be penalized for their work.  Students are strongly encouraged to complete all assigned tasks to ensure they do not fall behind in their academic work when school resumes.  For those students who do participate, these activities will be given participation points.  

Specials teachers (Special Education, Title, Music, P.E., Art, etc.) will be co-collaborators on homework with classroom teachers or they may create their own E-Learning Opportunities.

Additional information concerning E-Learning Opportunities is also located on the C.R. Hanna, OMS, and OHS sections of this website.  Please click each building tab listed towards the top of this page to view each building specific information.

FREE STUDENT LUNCHES AVAILABLE

posted Mar 20, 2020, 2:15 PM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Apr 20, 2020, 8:13 AM ]

Message from Superintendent Blessman:  Due to the current fluid situation and to protect the health of our kitchen staff, we will only be having lunch pick-ups on Mondays and Thursdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., starting Monday, March 30, 2020.  You may pick up three days worth of lunches on Mondays and two on Thursdays.  If this does not accommodate your schedule, please contact the district office at 309-526-3388.  If you have not previously picked up lunches and would like to start, pick-up is in the high school teachers' parking lot.  Lunches are available for children ages 0-18 who live in the Orion School District.  Thank you and stay safe.

ORION PARENT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

posted Mar 16, 2020, 11:39 AM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Apr 20, 2020, 8:49 AM ]

Orion Parent FAQ’s

(Last updated: 4/1/2020)

 

Why are schools closed?

     Governor Pritzker gave an executive order to close all public and private schools in Illinois to limit the spread of the ​COVID-19 virus.

 

When will school reopen?

     Schools are closed for the remaining 2019-2020 school year.

 

When will E-Learning Opportunities begin?

     E-Learning Opportunities will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020.

 

What are E-Learning Opportunities and what are district expectations?

     The purpose of E-Learning Opportunities would be to provide educational opportunities for our students in place of a traditional school day. The intent would be to keep the educational opportunities familiar, using resources that our students, staff, and parents have utilized previously.

     Teachers will prepare learning opportunities for our K-5 students by grade level and course-specific opportunities for our 6-12 students based on their individual schedules.

 

What will a student’s day look like?

     Students will be required to login daily to complete an attendance form via Google Forms.

     Students will be expected to complete tasks per teacher instruction depending on grade-level assignments.

 

How does my student sign into the Google Attendance Form?

     Students will go to www.orionschools.us where the Google Attendance Form will be the top link on the webpage.

     On the Attendance Form, students will enter their school email address, first name, and last name.

     Once the Attendance Form is complete, students will go to the E-Learning classroom that has been assigned by their teacher.  Examples: Google Classroom, Edmodo, etc.

 

What are my expectations for grading students' work?

     The purpose of E-Learning Opportunities is to provide students an opportunity to continue learning during time away from the school building. However, the purpose is not to grade work but to continue their academic progress.  Students will not be penalized for their work. Students are strongly encouraged to complete all assigned tasks to ensure they do not fall behind in their academic work when school resumes.  For those students who do participate, these activities will be given participation points.

 

What do ‘specials’ look like with E-Learning Opportunities  (SpEd, Title, Music, P.E., Art, etc.)?

     Specials’ teachers will be co-collaborators on homework with classroom teachers or they may create their own E-Learning opportunities.

 

What are the expectations for Chromebooks that are borrowed from the school district?

     Chromebooks were sent home with students at the end of the day on Monday.  If you still need to request a Chromebook, please contact ktaylor@orionschools.us or the district office at (309) 526-3388.

     Chromebooks should be returned on the 1st day school returns to regular attendance.

     Chromebooks should be returned in the same condition in which it was signed out.

 

When do I pick up my students packet of information/work if I do not have Internet?

     March 30th will be the first day that packets will be available for pickup.  Packets can be picked up at the main entrance to each school building and will be available anytime after 8 a.m.  This date is fluid.

 

Will students be allowed in the building?

     Students will not be allowed in the building with the exception of picking up meals.  If a student left learning materials in the building, call the school office and make individual arrangements between
8 a.m.-3 p.m.

 

Will lunches be available to students?

     Beginning March 17, 2020, lunches will be available for all children living in the Orion School District, ages 0-18, free of charge.  Lunch pick-ups will be held on Mondays and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

     The process will utilize a drive through system located in the back parking lot of Orion High School.  This lot is located on the north side of the building. 

     Three days of lunches may be picked up on Mondays and two on Thursdays.  Either parents/guardians or the student may pick up the lunch(es). 

     Initially these lunches will be sack lunches with the potential for hot lunches in the future.

 

What type of cleaning will be done over break?

     Our custodians currently use products that are recommended for disinfecting against the ​COVID-19 virus.  All buildings and school vehicles will be thoroughly cleaned.

     Over break, each building will be thoroughly cleaned and have limited access from outside visitors.

 

Will the individual school offices and district offices be open?

     All offices will adhere to the social distancing policies as mandated by the State of Illinois.

     The offices will be staffed for phone calls from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday - Friday.

     Please be aware that these dates and times are fluid due to circumstances within the district.

 


WHAT WE KNOW CURRENTLY ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

posted Mar 13, 2020, 12:07 PM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Mar 16, 2020, 9:31 AM ]

WHAT WE KNOW CURRENTLY


 

Update Message to Families

March 13, 2020


Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

In Orion CUSD #223 the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities.  With the recently elevated discussion regarding the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the news, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications.

 

As a school district, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We encourage our students, staff and families to be mindful of key preventive measures.  The CDC offers some tips on its website that can be useful in avoiding the spread of this and other illnesses. 

 

The State Superintendent has requested that school districts immediately begin working on emergency plans, including research-based E-Learning plans, in the event of a state emergency declaration due to the growing number of Coronavirus/COVID-19 cases.  The district worked on an E-Learning plan this week and submitted it for ROE approval. The purpose of this E-Learning plan is to provide educational opportunities for our students in place of a traditional school day.  This plan attempts to accommodate our students’ needs and their internet/technology access capabilities.  However, we are preparing in the event ISBE and/or the Illinois Department of Public Health requires us to do so.  

 

Here are some facts in regards to E-Learning days that we want you to be aware of:

·         E-Learning activities do not have to be on the computer.  Think beyond the traditional mindset as activities may include:  1) worksheets, 2) online programs, 3) play-based activities, 4) project-based activities, 5) etc.

·         E-Learning days count as a day of regular student attendance days and do not have to be made up at the end of the school year.

·         Each activity (lesson) should take into account the student’s time, pace, and means of learning.

 

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Joe Blessman at 309-526-3388 or jblessman@orionschools.us

 

Sincerely,

 

Mr. Joe Blessman, Superintendent

CORONAVIRUS

posted Mar 3, 2020, 1:26 PM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Mar 12, 2020, 8:58 AM ]

The Orion School District recognizes your concerns about the encroaching spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its potential impact on schools.  At this time, while there is no antiviral treatment that attacks the coronavirus, individuals are being treated with pain relievers, cough syrup and other medications for the symptoms.  So, it is important that we rely on prevention, as we did when advising about the "swine flu" (H1N1) in 2009.  As we await guidance from the CDC on specific strategies for schools, the Orion School District encourages you to follow common sense strategies for preventing the spread of communicable diseases:

Individual level
  • Practice social distancing and courtesy when ill.
  • Keep children home who exhibit cold and flu-like symptoms.
  • Discourage your student from sharing food or drinks.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Handwashing
  • Review hand-washing techniques with your student.
  • Encourage your student to keep unwashed hands out of their mouths, eyes, etc.
  • Encourage your student to use antibacterial soap rather than hand sanitizers.
School level
  • Currently, public health officials are not recommending the use of masks or gloves in public settings.
  • At this time, federal health authorities are not recommending that schools cancel classes.
And remember, while the Coronavirus news is concerning, it is important to point out that there are other respiratory viruses like influenza currently circulating in schools.  Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them.  Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19.

A Health Alert was sent out on March 2, 2020, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Please click on the link listed below to view the Health Alert.


CANCELED: KINDERGARTEN ROUND-UP SCHEDULED ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8

posted Feb 3, 2020, 8:33 AM by Bobbi Thomsen   [ updated Apr 23, 2020, 7:28 AM ]

The 2020 Kindergarten Round-Up at C.R. Hanna Elementary School previously scheduled on Wednesday, April 8, 3:00-7:00 p.m. HAS BEEN CANCELED due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Please go to the C.R. Hanna tab on this website to complete an on-line form for incoming Kindergarten students for the 2020-2021 school year. 

To be eligible to enter kindergarten in the Fall, a child must be five years old on or before September 1, 2020.  Proof of birth must be presented at the time of registration.  A certified birth certificate from the state or county office that the child was born in will be accepted.  A hospital certificate will not be accepted.

State law requires that each child entering school for the first time have the following documentation:
1.  Physical examination with up-to-date immunizations
2.  Dental examination
3.  Vision examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist

ALL parents of incoming kindergarten students will need to provide Proof of Residency.  Please note: Even if you have older children in the Orion School District, you will be required to provide this information as well.
Here are a few examples of what the Proof of Residency form requires for new students:
Examples from Category 1 on the form (MUST PROVIDE 1):
Lease Agreement
Mortgage Papers
Property Tax Bill (most current)
Examples from Category 2 on the form (MUST PROVIDE 2):
Driver's License
Library Card
Utility Bill (with current address)
Vehicle Registration (with current address)
If you have any questions or have a unique living situation, please feel free to contact the C.R. Hanna School Office at (309) 526-3386.


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