Since Illinios Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on March 13 all public schools will not be in session from March 17 - 30 in an attempt to minimize the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). Local districts have been working on a plan to keep children engaged during the social isolation.

Sherrard schools implemented an E-Learning strategy for teachers to work with students to maintain the concepts taught during the year so far. Some classes will use Zoom, a live class video chat, as well as online assignments and correspondence.

"E-learning days are intended to provide access to learning on days when there are school cancellations. While these days cannot replace the face-to-face time students have with their teachers, they can provide continuous learning opportunities.

This plan is the first attempt by our school district to provide engagement in a unique and mainly digital form. Please encourage your children to complete the e-learning activities provided by the teachers as it is important to their overall achievement and well-being," said Superintendent Alan Boucher.

Sherrard High School head cook Norma Galvin said breakfast and lunch will be available on Wednesday and Friday this coming week and Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week. They plan to have two of each meal prepared for students to provide for the other days of the week. She said students do not need to be using the free or reduced lunches program to receive meals.

Meals will be available for pick-up from 11 a.m. to noon at Winola Elementary, Matherville Intermediate, Sherrard Elementary and the Coyne Center Fire Department. Also, the district's Nourish to Flourish backpack program will be sending home food items with students who normally participate.

Call the Sherrard unit office at 309-593-4075.

Mercer County Superintendent Scott Petrie released a statement on Sunday, "Mercer County is working to provide free lunch and breakfast to all students during the closure. We are also intent on keeping students engaged in learning activities throughout this time. Some resources were provided Friday in this regard and additional materials will be available Monday. We are providing additional chromebooks for student use during this shutdown."

He said "grab and go" breakfast and lunch meals will be provided, beginning on Wednesday at selected sites. Parents should contact the school their child attends for mor einformation.

For both districts all school events, including practices are cancelled during closures. Days missed are considered "Act of God" days and are not required to be made up.

To stay up to date on what's happening in the district's go to https://www.mercerschools.org and https://www.sherrard.us.

Rockridge school district has not put out a public statement at this time. Visit their website for updates at http://www.rr300.org/.