COVID-19 Update - Wheaton Academy
E-Learning Update: 3/31 Read

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

UPDATE:  March 31, 2020 3:00pm

Greetings Wheaton Academy Family,

I trust that even though circumstances are very different this Spring Break, you are still finding good – time with family, a chance to connect with the Lord, rest, chances to play games and other hobbies, and opportunities to refocus on what is important. As you have probably heard, President Trump and Governor Pritzker have extended the stay at home orders until April 30.

Wheaton Academy will continue our E-learning plan, and we are pleased to let you know that what we have been doing is in line with all of the state guidelines and recommendations. This will allow students to continue their education and to receive credit for these classes, ensuring that they will not fall behind when we return to school.  We are committed to supporting our students and families in their learning and their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Classes will resume on Monday, April 6, and lessons will be released at 9:00 a.m. We will be providing you more specific details and information about expectations and how we will support students through the duration of the E-learning time-period on Monday when we return.

Know that we are praying for you and your families as you navigate this difficult time.  We want to encourage you with Isaiah 43:1-2:

But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Blessings,

Kori Hockett
Principal



UPDATE:  March 27, 2020 5:30pm

The past two weeks have been far different than I could have ever imagined. For each of our students, families, faculty, and staff, we have experienced ups and downs, and a whole host of emotions as we navigate this global crisis.  Here are a few pieces of information for you as we head into Spring Break next week:

  • While there will be no academic instruction and teachers will be observing Spring Break, as we walk through these circumstances, students will have a variety of reactions, including stress, anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions.  Wheaton Academy’s Student Services team is available and continuing to reach out to and help support students even during the upcoming Break. They are committed to helping you and your student if there is a need in the upcoming week and have created a resource packet for Spring Break you may view by clicking here. If you need to reach one of our staff members you can email:
  • At this point, we have not been made aware of any cases of COVID-19 in the Wheaton Academy community.  We are very thankful for this. Moving forward, should your student get sick, we want to encourage you to follow the protocols set out by the CDC and the DuPage County Health Department.
  • We will continue our current E-learning format on April 6-7.  At this point, we do not know what steps will be taken moving forward.  We are following the directives of local, state, and national officials. As we gain more information, we will let you know about what will happen after April 6-7.
  • Many of you have been in communication with teachers, staff members, and our administrative team.  We are so grateful for your partnership and communication.  After spring break, we will be sending out a short survey to get feedback on the E-learning experience.  In the meantime, please continue to reach out if you have questions, ideas, or concerns.
  • Here is a link to our E-learning update page.  This includes our chapels, video messages, WAtv episodes, the virtual coffee house, and various looks into what is happening in classes at Wheaton Academy during this time.
  • During this season of uncertainty, we want to stay connected through prayer. On this page, you can share your prayer requests with our community. Others can see your requests and will pray for you. Let’s lift one another up in prayer!

While I don’t want to sound like a broken record, I am so thankful for the Wheaton Academy community. In hard and challenging times, character is so often revealed. During these two weeks, I have seen our students and teachers care for one another, hold each other accountable, push each other to excellence, demonstrate incredible creativity, seek God, serve others, and work so hard to continue their learning. These moments have been such an encouragement to me, and I am so thankful for how we have come together to do very hard things. I want to leave you with Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Remember, we have something far better than optimism or positive thoughts. We have a hope in Jesus Christ that is unfailing and sure.  I trust that His hope will bring you the peace and joy you need today and in the upcoming week.

Kori Hockett
Principal

 



UPDATE:  March 23, 2020 10:30am

Dear Parents and Students of Wheaton Academy,

As we embark on our second week of E-learning at Wheaton Academy, I want to provide you with some information to help you navigate this week.

  • We will continue with our current E-learning format this week. Next week, there will be no classes or instruction as we will be observing Spring Break. Following Spring Break, we will return to E-learning for April 6-7.  The situation continues to evolve, and so we are monitoring it and working with our local and state officials.  We will keep you informed of any changes to this plan should they occur.
  • As a reminder, lessons will be posted at 9:00 a.m. each day, and we will follow our regular schedule with all classes Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and block day classes on Wednesday and Thursday.  We want to encourage you to take advantage of the times teachers are on “Zoom” and “Google Hangout” to help with the instruction and learning, and to keep you connected to others at the school.
  • We will continue to broadcast WAtv and Chapel throughout the week.  Also, Wednesday evening, we are going to be hosting a virtual coffeehouse showcasing students’ work.  Follow on social media (either Wheaton Academy or The Real WAtv) to stay connected.
  • On Friday, the College Board made the announcement that AP tests would be administered online.  Here is some of the information regarding AP tests we received directly from the College Board.  We will be working through these logistics and communicating with students as we get more information.
    • The AP Program will invest heavily over the next month in the following ways:
      • For the 2019–20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. Educator-led development committees are currently selecting the exam questions that will be administered.
      • AP curricula are locally developed and we defer to local decisions on how best to help students complete coursework. To be fair to all students, some of whom have lost more instructional time than others, the exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March.
      • Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.
      • Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.
  • As we walk through these circumstances, students will have a variety of reactions, including stress, anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions.  Wheaton Academy’s Student Services team is available and continuing to reach out to and help support students.  If you need to reach one of our staff members you can email:

They are continuing to provide academic and social-emotional support.  Additionally, our college counseling will continue during this time to help juniors and seniors navigate.

Over the weekend, as I kept hearing news reports and following on social media, the phrase “be positive” continued to be shared.  In times like this, it isn’t enough to be positive. Instead, we rely on the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  We know that as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Know that we are praying for you all, and we as a community are here to support you during this time.

Blessings,

Kori Hockett
Principal

 


 

UPDATE March 17, 2020 11:30am

Dear Wheaton Academy Parents & Students,

Some of you may have heard yesterday that Governor Pritzker announced that school closures from today through March 30 would be considered “Act of God” days, meaning they wouldn’t need to be made up at the end of the school year and e-learning was not a required component of the closures.

We understand that some schools may need this sort of flexibility because they do not have the resources necessary to provide high-quality e-learning. We are blessed to have been doing e-learning since 2014, and we are thankful for the opportunities we have had over that time to understand what type of learning experience we can provide when we are not able to be on campus.

Therefore, we are going to continue to use whatever time we have away from campus as wisely and as effectively as possible. God has given us the resources, the materials, and the highly committed teachers to create great learning experiences for the days ahead.  We are also committed to ensuring that our students are well-prepared for the upcoming AP exams and other high-stakes tests like the ACT and SAT that our students will take in the near future. Thus, school at Wheaton Academy will continue in an e-learning platform even though the state of Illinois does not require it. We believe that this is the level of excellence and stewardship our community is called to at this time. Thank you all for the role that each parent and student plays in keeping schoolwork a high priority during this time.

God’s blessings to each of you as we continue to partner together.

Sincerely,
Steve Bult
Head of School

 


 

UPDATE March 16, 2020 11:00am

Dear Parents and Students of Wheaton Academy,

It is so comforting that in difficult times like the ones we are in, we are able to rest in the hope and assurance that we have in Jesus Christ. The peace and hope that is ours as children of God is so real in these days. We want to encourage our community to stay grounded in the truth during these upcoming weeks. We need to continue to support one another and stay connected, even though that looks different right now. Wheaton Academy is here to support you, as students and families during this uncertain time.

As we begin a new paradigm for our learning over the next two weeks, we wanted to provide you with some information to help you navigate what off-campus learning, which is now called “E-learning” will look like. We are grateful that Wheaton Academy has been doing off-campus learning/E-learning for many years, and our faculty are already working on creative and engaging ways to ensure that learning continues during this time:

  • Students should use their OnCampus accounts to get information and expectations for their classes each day. The requirement by the state for all E-learning is that students will engage in about five hours of instruction and activities each day. At Wheaton Academy, we have instructed teachers to provide between 45-60 minutes of learning for each class. This will look different in different classes, but your teachers have been preparing and planning to make these times meaningful for you.
  • Our schedule will remain the same, so students should plan on having each class 4 out of 5 days, and Wednesday and Thursday, the learning time will be longer than Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.
  • Lessons and learning experiences will be released one day at a time each day, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Today, Monday, March 16, will be a transition day, and while there will be a lesson, teachers are going to work with students to help them get used to a new way of learning.
  • Students will be able to engage with the content at their own pace and at the time of their choice. Teachers will be available to provide support and answer questions throughout the day. They will communicate with students on a class by class basis of what that will look like. Typically, teachers will be most available during the day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • There will still be assignments – including tests and quizzes. Teachers will work with students, set expectations and due dates as well as provide support during this time.
  • It will be critical for students to communicate with their teachers – they can use the messaging feature in OnCampus as well as other means that teachers will set up for classes, as they use many resources to help students learn in this different format.
  • Remember, one of our goals is to prepare students with the College and Life readiness traits they will need, and social intelligence and self-advocacy are an important part of that. Please encourage your student to be proactive, ask questions, tell their teachers when they need help – and let them do the communicating. This time will be a great opportunity to develop that skill.
  • Wheaton Academy will continue to release chapels. Our goal is to provide a virtual chapel experience during the week. You and your student can watch this together. This week, our first chapel will be released on Tuesday, March 17.
  • Students with a study lab or other tutoring experience can continue that in an E-learning way. Their teachers will be in contact with them, as well.
  • One way for us to live out God’s call of loving our neighbor is to honor the idea that this time is for social distancing. You have no doubt seen many articles on what this means, and we want to do our part in this community effort. We have communicated with teachers and staff that we will not be meeting with students in person. Any communication with a teacher should take place virtually.
  • Driver’s Ed through Excel driving school will not meet on campus. Please contact Excel directly for information on how they will proceed moving ahead.
  • Because this situation is rapidly changing, we will be in communication with the College Board and the ACT to find out information about what will happen with upcoming testing this spring.

If you have individual questions about a specific class, please contact your student’s teacher. We will also be happy to provide answers to questions and support as well. Each of our departments will be considering how to continue to help families during this time, so keep watch for updates and communication on what that will look like. We are continually monitoring the developments of what is happening and will consider upcoming April events as we get more information.

We know that this is an uncertain time, and in those times, we all want answers. We all desire to know what is coming next. And yet, right now, we don’t have those answers. But we do have a God who does know, and He is faithful in all things and at all times. We want to leave you with Psalm 91:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.

We are so thankful for the Wheaton Academy community. The students, teachers, and families have risen up and responded so well to these unprecedented times, and that is a blessing.

Gratefully,
Kori Hockett
Principal, Wheaton Academy


 

UPDATE March 13, 2020 2:15pm

Dear Parents of the Wheaton Academy Community,

In light of the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 and recommendations from public health officials, Wheaton Academy is closing the building to students beginning today, March 13, 2020 at 3 pm until Sunday, April 5.  All after school practices and activities today will be cancelled.  As of today, we don’t have any cases of COVID-19 in the Wheaton Academy community. However, we believe this action is prudent and responsible.

We will be moving to an E-learning situation for the weeks of March 16-20 and March 23-27.  Wheaton Academy has had our E-learning plan submitted to and approved by the Regional Office of Education.  We will use our learning management system to provide for the continuity of instruction.  Students will be receiving specific instructions on Monday, March 16.  During this time, we will not have any on-campus activities, including co-curricular, athletics, or any other events.

We will begin the implementation of E-learning on Monday, March 16.  We are thankful that we have been doing E-learning in a variety of forms for years, and our students are used to this process.  Our teachers are also well prepared to ensure that learning can continue during this time.

We will continue to work with local health officials to monitor any changes or additional time that we may remain closed.  At this time, we hold on to the fact that we serve a God who is not surprised or overwhelmed by these circumstances; instead, He is Sovereign and in control. We understand this situation is challenging, and we appreciate your understanding and support during this time.

Blessings,

Steve Bult
Head of School

Kori Hockett
Principal

Steve Karlson
COO/CFO


 

UPDATE March 12, 2020

As we consider the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are committed to staying informed and keeping our community safe.  We are committed to acting in an abundance of caution, and we will make decisions in the best interest of all in our community.  Today, we participated in a call with the DuPage County Department of Health, the DuPage County Regional Office of Education and other school districts in the county.  Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in DuPage county or with any Wheaton Academy student.  However, with the number of cases across the state and region increasing, and in light of the communication we have had with the DuPage Country Health Department, we are taking the following measures to reduce the spread of illness throughout our community:

  • The senior trip scheduled for next week will be postponed if we can find a later date. We are working with Joshua Expeditions to try to reschedule the this trip if possible later this spring.
  • The spring break trip for international students is cancelled.
  • All field trips are cancelled.
  • Athletic practices and competitions may continue as planned
  • We will continue to have chapel and community time, but these events may take an alternative form, including watching from classroom locations.
  • We are cancelling all rentals and activities from outside groups.
  • Willow Creek church will continue to rent our Fine Arts Center space only and will do a cleaning after using the space. After tomorrow’s chapel, Wheaton Academy will not use the auditorium until after Spring Break.  Classes will continue in the basement of the Fine Arts Center.

We are also continuing to prepare for the possibility for E-learning and have had our E-learning plan certified by the Regional Office of Education.  Additionally, if your student or family has concerns about attending school due to being part of a vulnerable population, we will work with you to provide continuing education.

In addition, we are reminding all students, staff and faculty, that if traveling to any area listed on the CDC Travel Advisories with a Level 2 or above Travel Notice that those individuals are asked to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days following their return.

If we do have a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Wheaton Academy, we will close school for a minimum of 24 hours.  At that point, the DCHD would help to assist the situation, evaluate our cleaning and disinfection practices, and reduce the risk and vulnerability to students.  We would then work on a plan to move forward.  As for now, school will remain open and we will continue our cleaning and disinfection practices as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We will revisit these protocols as necessary.  As we receive new information, we will send it to you as soon as we can.

While these are unprecedented times, we know God is sovereign.  We trust His goodness in this uncertain time.  We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation together.