Dear Raider students and families, While this school year has not been what anyone would wish for, I hope each of you can find gratitude and something you are thankful for this holiday season. My mom had a Thanksgiving tradition that may be especially important this year. Before we could eat our Thanksgiving meal she asked everyone to go around and say one thing they were thankful for. You may consider trying that this year with your family. I know I am personally thankful for the support of my family, our teachers and support staff, who have adapted to incredibly difficult circumstances, our bus drivers, who have gone the extra mile for our students, our parents, who have altered their work schedules, our custodial staff, who have kept our buildings clean and sanitized, our cafeteria workers who have prepared meals, and our principals who have provided their leadership. Mostly, I have gratitude for our students who have demonstrated tremendous patience and understanding as they navigate new learning models through this pandemic. At the end of the day, each of us are trying to do the best we can under incredibly difficult circumstances. It hasn’t always gone smoothly, but I believe we have learned a lot since the first day of school that will make us more prepared and stronger for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year and beyond. Our Thanksgiving break will begin today and students will return Monday, November 30th to in-person learning. We will continue to be vigilant in monitoring all student and staff health. Our current plan is to only close grade levels or buildings as necessary. As of today, our plan does not include a district-wide shut down. I hope to continue to be able to say that after Thanksgiving break. It’s been a challenging year, but we will continue to get through this together. Please be safe this holiday season and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Sincerely, Dr. Todd Hellrigel
Raider Nation Proud! Alum, Taggart VanEtten recently made national news for an amazing accomplishment. Check out this article: "Morton runner doesn't waste much time making quick name for himself in 100-mile race." https://www.pjstar.com/story/sports/2020/11/21/taggart-vanetten-runs-second-fastest-time-american-history-tunnel-hill-100/6353110002/
Hello Parents, If your in-person or remote learning student(s) need additional teacher support, please keep in mind that our teachers are available every weekday from 2:00 - 3:00 PM for all students. Your student(s) are welcome to stay after school and get in-person learning support. This is especially helpful if they’ve been absent from a quarantine. Please take advantage of this time by having you or your student arrange with a teacher or teachers to stay after school. We’re also running courtesy bus routes at 3:00 PM to take these students home. Dr. Hellrigel
Congratulations to Kenyon Jodlowski for being awarded a PNC grant for $985. The grant will be used for a new laptop computer for our CNC wood router as well as some other accessories for the router, such as noise suppressant earmuffs and clamps. Great work Mr. Jodlowski! AND... A big congratulations to Alex Frank for receiving a PNC grant for $508 to purchase social thinking curriculum! Way to go Mrs. Frank!!
JOIN OUR TEAM – We currently have 2 Part-time Primary School Paraprofessional openings. The positions will each be 29 hours per week; $11.00 per hour to help with the additional duties related to COVID. These positions will be hired through a grant with Career Link and are 12 month positions. The successful applicants will be working directly at Midwest Central Primary School helping supervise students in a variety of settings. For more information or to apply please call Maria Resource Room Technician/Clerical Staff Support at 309.807.1386.
This is a reminder that we have Parent/Teacher Conferences from 3:00 - 7:00 PM tomorrow (Thursday) and 8:00 - 11:00 AM (Friday). Although the calendar shows a 1 hour early dismissal for Thursday, this was under the assumption we were running a normal schedule. Since we're currently running a 1 hour early dismissal everyday, Thursday's dismissal will be at 1:45 for the Middle School, 1:50 for the High School, and 2:00 for the Primary School. I'm sorry for any confusion the calendar may have created for you. Students have no school on Friday. Also, a reminder that next Tuesday has also been declared a state holiday this year and we were unable to waive that day, so students will also be out next Tuesday, November 3rd. Please reach out to our teaching staff to schedule an in-person or remote conference. They're eager to hear from you. Sincerely, Dr. Todd Hellrigel
Hello Raiders, We've had our numbers of positive COVID cases and students required to quarantine rise at the high school over the weekend. Because of the large number of students that will be excluded we're moving to remote learning at the high school only until November 9th. High school students with IEPs will continue to attend school in-person unless they're required to quarantine. Both the primary school and middle school will continue with in-person learning as normal. High school students are expected to complete their remote work and grades will be taken on assignments. Teachers will be available to help students virtually between 8:00 AM -3:00 PM each day. It's important to understand that we're doing this as a precautionary measure to mitigate the threat of further spread at the high school. We've also been able to confirm that we've not had any COVID cases thus far that can be attributed to in-person learning. Breakfast and lunch will be available via delivery and students have been asked to sign up for delivery. Parent/Teacher conferences at the high school will still be available via phone or technology. Please reach out to your student's teachers to schedule a conference. The primary and middle school conferences will continue as planned. Our remote instruction will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) and students will return to in-person learning Monday, November 9th. Sincerely, Dr. Todd Hellrigel
Hello Raiders, Midwest Central will again be offering a flu shot clinic this fall. For your convenience, Primary School students will have the necessary papers sent home to fill out. Middle School students can pick up the packet at the nurses office and High School students can pick up the packet at the main office counter. If you have questions, please contact our nurses at either the Primary School or High School, and they'll be happy to assist you. Very Best, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Hello Raiders, This is a reminder that we need to have health records for all students (remote and in-person) by October 15th. As of today we will have to exclude students from school beginning October 16th if we do not have the appropriate records. This is a state law we have to comply with. If you have questions or need to speak with someone, please call your student's school and ask to speak to the nurse. Primary School 309.968.6464 Middle School 309.352.2300 High School 309.968.6766 Best Regards, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
On this night 19 years ago 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights. 2,606 people went to sleep in preparation for work in the morning. 343 firefighters went to sleep in preparation for their morning shift. 60 police officers went to sleep in preparation for morning patrol. 8 paramedics went to sleep in preparation for the morning shift of saving lives. None of them saw past 9:40 AM Sept 11, 2001. In one single moment life may never be the same. Consider taking a moment of silence today to remember and honor the lives we lost 19 years ago.
Hello Raiders, I just wanted to pass along this information provided by CassComm. Currently, there are free open WiFi access points at the locations listed below on the link. There are 2 in Manito, 2 in Forest City, 1 in Goofy Ridge and 1 at Spring Lake. Please use the link below to find the spot closest to you. Normally these are only available to CassComm customers, but they have generously opened them up for anyone to access the internet during this time of pandemic. We'd like to thank CassComm for their generous donation to our communities. https://home.casscomm.com/wifi-hotspots/ Thank you, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Good Morning Raiders, I've been contacted by the Census Bureau to get the word out about taking the Census. Currently, our district completion numbers are pretty low compared with other areas. I know these types of things are a pain, but the future funding of the district will be greatly impacted by our responses. Please take a couple of minutes to complete this, so we can continue to provide the many great programs we have for our students. Oh, and tell your family, friends, and neighbors to do the same! https://my2020census.gov/ Thank you, Dr. Todd Hellrigel
I can't thank our parents and students enough for their kind cooperation. We're all on edge right now, and the cooperation and kindness shown this morning makes me proud to be a Raider!! I realize our rules are strict on students coming to school presenting any symptoms. Below you will find a link to yesterday's IDPH guidance on how we must treat students and their siblings if they come to school with COVID-like symptoms. Please keep in mind this has changed at least 2 times this week and we expect further changes. Again, it's exciting to have our students back. We've heard from many of you about how happy you are about school being mostly in-person. Our community survey reported 93% of respondents wanted in-person instruction and we're listening. From the Board of Education, Administration, Teachers, and Staff we can't thank you enough for all you do to support our efforts. We'll keep working hard to give our community the best possible experience while trying our best to follow IDPH and CDC guidance. Raider STRONG! Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D. https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/875475/IDPH-School-FAQs.pdf
Hello Raiders, I know you've been flooded with communication, and I thank you for taking the time to read through all of the information we send. This is just a reminder that our future funding will be tied to the data collected from Census 2020. If you haven't taken the time to fill out your Census, please do so. Here is a link with more information. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/programs-surveys/sis/resources/2020/sis-take-home-flyer-english.pdf Sincerely, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Hello Raiders, Since we've moved to an online registration format there have been some questions about how parents will be informed of bus routes and times. Once registration is complete we'll sort through all the relevant information and determine routes and times. All bus riders will get a phone call, email or text before school starts with their bus route information. Very Best, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Hello, This is just a reminder that online registration is open. The payment portion is now working as well. We've waived all fees for paying online, and we encourage you to do so if possible. If you've already registered and still need to pay fees you can now do so. Thank you, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Hello Raiders, We've had a huge response to online registration. That's Awesome! Currently our provider is experiencing online payment difficulty. We've shut that feature off for now. You're still able to register, but you'll need to go back in later to pay your fees. We'll get back to you once we know online payments are working again. Sincerely, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Softball tryouts will be TOMORROW, 8/4 from 9:00-11:00 AM at the Green Valley Park. Students interested in participating must have a sports physical and filled out the sports registration at the link below. https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=CUMWOcaOy0KxKBgbihjfBXNqZPhcbx1GgitYJByQ8nFUN1k
Here is a link Mason County Health Department shared with us. We thought our Raider community might find it useful. Stay healthy Raiders! https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites
Hello Raiders, Midwest Central is exploring interest in offering a before and after school daycare program. Parents, if you have not already done so, please complete the following survey to help us better understand the need and interest. It's 2 quick questions. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfg_bUJQS-doKziqg2SLEsTdPRUQQeadEvob11RGDRasogN3g/viewform Very best, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
IESA has cancelled the 2020 Softball, Baseball, and Cross Country seasons due to COVID-19. Please read their statement at the link below: https://www.iesa.org/?fbclid=IwAR2UXx2T-POe8tYkb7NnGSVECJv6wpm4xE156RHpaBivTBQKQdB0wHKWsoU
Hello Raiders, I'd like to start by thanking you all for your patience and understanding as we continue to develop our fall plans to return to school. I know you have questions and concerns on many levels. The Board of Education and Administration have been discussing the situation all summer and we continue to be focused on returning 5 days a week to in person instruction. We have the safety of all our students and employees in mind as we look at various options. Naturally, in person learning will look different than it has in the past. We will have to navigate social distancing, face masks, and illness. I learned this morning that the State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health will be holding a meeting this Friday to discuss the return of students to in person learning. We expect further guidance to come from that meeting next week. Our intention is to provide families a plan towards the end of next week. I realize many area districts are already announcing their plans; however, I feel many of these are premature and will ultimately need to be altered. I appreciate all those that completed our survey and we're using that information to develop our plans. Please look for our plan to be published towards the end of next week. It will be emailed to all parents and posted on our website www.midwestcentral.org Thank you again for your support of our district. Very Best Regards, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
June 30, 2020 Hello Raider Parents, As my previous email stated we do plan to start school in person this fall. This is the time of year that we would normally inform you of school registration details. To that end, we’d like to provide you with registration information so you can mark dates on your calendars. This year we’re transitioning to an online registration format. Midwest Central will roll out the online registration format on August 3rd in the afternoon. For those individuals that have poor internet access or have other technical issues we will hold an in person registration on August 11th at Midwest Central Primary School. During the August 11th registration we will have you use one of the school computers to complete the online registration for your student. We will have onsite help available from 7am to 7pm that day. If you are able to complete the online registration in advance of the 11th you will not need to attend the in person registration. If you choose to attend the in person registration, we ask that only one person per household attend in order to limit the number of people. Please do not bring your children to the in person registration. Although registration is being completed online we will still need to have physical copies of your student’s health documents. Attached to the email is a list of the documents that are needed for individual grade levels. You can drop off necessary documents at any school in the district for your student and they will be routed to the appropriate building. Health records may be dropped off between 8am and 3pm August 3rd through August 11th. Also, if you prefer paying for registration by cash or check, you will be able to drop a check or cash by any building to pay for registration costs. Finally, in order to prepare for the online registration format I have attached a couple guidance documents with some helpful tips of items that can be done in advance of registration. Please take a moment and review the documents attached. We will send out additional registration instructions August 3rd. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate the ever changing state mandates. Our goal is to give you and your students the best possible experience we can this fall. Sincerely, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
June 30, 2020 Dear Raiders, Last week the Illinois State Board of Education released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year. This 63-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the 2020-21 school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process. Several area schools have already released statements about what the 2020-21 school year will look like; however, we believe this may be premature and anticipate changes between now and the time school starts. Right now we don’t have all the answers to provide you, but we’d like to communicate to you what we know now. We plan to return to school this fall for in person instruction 5 days a week following our current published calendar. There will be a couple of calendar changes coming out later this month and we’ll be sure to communicate those changes. Naturally, our instruction days may look different and we’ll most likely have several safety guidelines in place for students, faculty, and staff. Midwest Central is aware of the urgent need to communicate to families about what to expect next school year and anticipate sharing a more detailed plan later this summer. We plan to release our full transition plan the week of July 27th. We will be releasing a survey later this week to collect some information to help us plan for this coming year. It will be short and sweet, and we would appreciate your participation. I’m confident our district can put forth a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students while maintaining a dynamic learning environment. Sincerely, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Forman Valley Library is now taking sign-ups for their Summer Reading Program from now to June 5, 2020. It is for ages preschool to adults and starts June 10 - July 8, 2020. Please call the library (10 am -3 pm) for more information at 309-968-6093 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're just started our high school graduation ceremony! Feel free to watch live here: https://youtu.be/wbO3bsgvFSM
Midwest Central High School will hold a modified graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 17th, between 11 AM and 5 PM. We worked with local health officials to determine a method that would meet social distancing guidelines while providing an opportunity to recognize this great accomplishment. Participating seniors will be assigned a time slot where they'll be able to walk the stage and receive their diploma, in the presence of up to 6 family members of the same household. We will also live stream the event on YouTube (details to follow). Details can be read in the pictures below. It will also be distributed by email and mail. Seniors expecting to participate should contact the school to confirm attendance.
Hello Raiders, We have received the following correspondence from the State Board of Education that they are releasing additional food benefits for all Midwest Central families. Since Midwest Central is a Community Eligible school every student enrolled in Midwest Central is eligible for this benefit whether they qualify for free lunches or not. In order to receive the additional benefit you must apply (information is below) unless you are currently a SNAP recipient. We have been asked to communicate this to our parents. I have also attached a flyer for more assistance. Thank you, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D. Pandemic EBT Application Available The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched the Pandemic EBT application for families on May 1 at https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/. P-EBT is a new special benefit that can help families buy food for their school age children who would normally receive National School Lunch Program (NSLP) free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session. All families with school age children who attend schools approved for Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are eligible for the benefits as they receive NSLP meals at no charge. Families that currently receive SNAP benefits do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits. These additional P-EBT benefits will be loaded into Illinois LINK EBT accounts along with regular SNAP benefits. Families who do not currently receive SNAP benefits but do have children who receive NSLP free or reduced-priced meals will need to apply directly with IDHS. The fastest way for families to receive benefits is to complete the application for P-EBT available online (Click “Apply for Benefits” at the link.) A paper application in English and Spanish is also available and can be submitted by email to DHS.FCS.PEBT@illinois.gov. IDHS created a flyer to help families with the application process. We are asking NSLP sponsors to share this flyer with their families. ISBE is working in partnership with IDHS to ensure that this validation is available for all NSLP sponsors, both public and non-public. Thank you to all the schools that participate in the NSLP for submitting data by the April 17 deadline. We are asking that you please continue to verify that count, so that all families who are eligible can access the additional financial support provided by P-EBT. Instructions for this crucial verification can be found online. If NSLP sponsors need assistance with the data submission/update, please email the ISBE Nutrition Department at email@example.com. If families need technical assistance with the application, please direct them to email IDHS at DHS.FCS.PEBT@illinois.gov. Nutrition Department, Illinois State Board of Education 100 N. First St., Springfield, IL 62777 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.isbe.net/nutrition
Hello Raider Parents, We have been diligently working on high school graduation and 8th grade transition plans for the past couple of weeks. We were trying to develop alternate plans while also staying in the guidelines of social distancing. We received approval yesterday from the Mason County Health Department to move forward with our plans, and we had planned to email out tomorrow what those plans were going to be. However, as of last night the State Board has banned any kind of graduation ceremony except virtual (online). They have banned any in person type of ceremony including drive up or drive by ceremonies. This is incredibly disheartening for Midwest Central, our seniors, and our 8th grade students. We do not feel a virtual ceremony is appropriate to commemorate these events. We've had this happen to us multiple times already where we've made plans only to have them taken out of our control by the State Board of Education or the Governor. Midwest Central has the desire to do something special for our seniors and 8th grade students; therefore, we're again putting high school graduation and 8th grade transition on hold until we have some better guidance. Our hope is that by waiting we'll be able to do something in June or July although we can't anticipate to what extent at this point. We realize none of this is ideal, and we're also frustrated with the Chicago machine dictating downstate plans. Unfortunately our hands are legally tied right now. As we receive more information, rest assured we'll update you on how we can honor our senior and 8th grade students. I've attached the State Board's email for your information. I'm sorry I have to keep sending you unfortunate news. This will eventually pass, and we'll eventually go back to normal. Sunny days are ahead. Sincerely, Todd Hellrigel, Ed.D.
Happy Administrative Professional's Day! MC is lucky to have an amazing group ladies in this category! Thank you all for your hard work, allowing the students to have a better educational experience and making the day to day operations of the the District run as smoothly as possible. You are truly the best! Raider Nation - If you get a chance, make sure to thank an Administrative Professional today.
Dear Raider Parents and Community Members: I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. Friday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced that remote learning in Illinois will be extended through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Although in-person learning has been suspended for the remainder of the year, at Midwest Central, 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. 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 today’s announcement may feel like a step back. I wanted to update you with the current plans for the remainder of the year: 1. We will provide a 3rd learning packet to students next week. We will have a pick up on Wednesday, April 29th from 6am - noon and Thursday from noon - 6pm. These will be due May 13th. We’d ask you to drop off your 2nd learning packet April 29th. 2. We will be using a pass/incomplete grade for the 2nd semester grades. We again ask that you work with your student to do the best they can in completing these packets. I have asked our building principals and teachers to work with those students that were failing 3rd quarter as this is an opportunity for them to bring up their grades. 3. Lockers will be cleaned out by the custodial staff and student items will be bagged for a pick up on the 13th of May. Student items in classrooms will also be bagged up for a pick up on the 13th of May. 4. We ask that you bring both class texts and library books to return when you pick up your packet on the 29th or 30th or when you drop off your packets on May 13th. These are expensive items so we ask that you work hard to get them returned to us. 5. High School Graduation and Middle School Transition are currently on hold. As we get further guidance on social distancing our hope is we can perhaps hold some sort of recognition for these in May. (thinking positive). Unfortunately, we’re at the mercy of our Governor on this. We are committed to trying to do something to recognize the hard work of both our 8th grade students and our seniors who have been robbed of these special moments. 6. We will continue to serve meals through the 22nd of May. Don’t forget to pick up meals M, W, and F if you’re not on a delivery route. 7. Last official day for seniors is May 8th and for all other students it will be May 15th. Sincerely, Dr. Todd Hellrigel
Hello Raiders, I hope you're all staying home and staying safe. These are certainly strange times, and I'm sure cabin fever is getting old at this point. We appreciate all you're doing to help your students. We had a great packet pick up turn out and I wanted to thank you all for your efforts. We've also been asked to share with you food bank locations. Here is a link to area food bank locations. https://tazewellcounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Nearby/index.html?appid=bcaaa73edb8043febd79c83b70c94c26 Thank you for your support in these troubling times. Keep smiling! Dr. Todd Hellrigel
To improve access to technology at home and assist remote learning, Midwest Central will be selling our older Chromebooks (with soft case) to district families for $15 each. These Chromebooks were purchased by the district approximately 5-6 years ago and are no longer supported by Google; however, they all have been reset to factory settings and work very well. Students will need to use their gmail account to log into them. We will be organizing the sale based on demand and need. Midwest Central will not providing service or support for devices after sale. INTERESTED? Please fill out this form OR call your school between 8-2 on Wednesday. https://forms.gle/d8ToRbtasTxzMadW8
April 3, 2020 Parents and Students, On March 27th, the Illinois State Board of Education communicated information to all school districts pertaining to the development of Remote Learning plans. Midwest Central values all students as learners. After reviewing the details of this document, please contact your child’s principal if you have any questions. Remote Learning Rationale Remote Learning is designed to: • Maximize student learning in a challenging situation. • Promote instruction focused on Core Content • Communicate a commitment to our high educational standards through regular and meaningful contact with each student and/or family. • Promote independence and responsibility for our students as learners. • Promote flexible learning in a family-friendly manner. • Model technology use in the digital age. Core Content For the purposes of this document, Core Content refers to the standards that are most significant for student success in subsequent years. Core Content must be aligned to state standards. Teachers will work in collaboration to determine Core Content. Family-Friendly Instruction For the purposes of this document, Family-Friendly Instruction means: • Flexible due dates. • Flexible ways for students to work on mastering and demonstrating mastery of Core Content . • Clear, consistent and reliable ways for students and parents to receive support from teachers. Process Starting April 13 and continuing through the end of the remote learning period, Midwest Central weekly schedule will be: • Every two weeks students will be provided learning packets to complete. The first packet pick up will be Monday, April 13th. • Packets will need to be picked up at your student’s respective school. • Packets will be available for pick up from 6am – Noon Monday, April 13th and Noon – 6pm on Tuesday, April 14th. • Please return the 1st packet with completed work when you pick up the 2nd packet. • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday meals will continue to be provided either by pick up or delivery by bus. Student Attendance No formal reporting of attendance is required during this time, but teachers will keep track of which students are engaged in the process and how often each student is involved, based on student responses. Grading Teachers will continue to grade student work that is turned in and will assign grades to work as normal. Regards, Dr. Todd Hellrigel