Update Center: COVID-19 Information

Sally Sover

Executive Director

November 20, 2020

Dear Cove Community,

As you know from my previous communication on 11/8, Cove has been monitoring several factors that contributed to our pivot to remote learning this week.  Unfortunately, the rising transmission rates, impact on staffing, and current recommendations from the Department of Public Health have led to our need to continue our adaptive pause through winter break.  We are deeply sorry for any hardships this may cause and remain committed to a return to in-person learning as quickly as possible.

Since the start of the school year, our teams have been developing a parallel instruction model that is extremely unique and offers significant advantages during times of transition.  Through the simultaneous remote/in-person learning platform, our students have been integrated with each other in each of their courses to provide a strong cohesive learning experience.  The integrity of the classroom community has been preserved and has established the connectedness amongst each student and staff member that is fundamental to the success of each student at the school.  

All of our students have been an important part of this process and have been directly trained, along with our staff, to seamlessly shift between one learning platform to the other. Furthermore, the intentional steps that were taken over this past week to calmly transition to a remote learning program enabled our staff and students to transition with confidence and in a manner that will increase the likelihood of a smooth return. 

We know that there are so many factors that are impacting our lives that are out of our control.  What we do with what IS in our control is what really matters now. 

As we continue to work together on providing the strongest educational program possible, we will be including time in your parent/teacher conference next week to discuss any modifications that may be necessary for your student’s learning at home.   If you do not have a conference scheduled, please feel free to reach out to your student’s case manager at any time with questions and suggestions for the team. 

Our principals, Alex Laube and Regina Aniolowski, will be following up with additional information on new schoolwide opportunities that will be available as well.  The building at Cove will remain open and our full administrative staff will be available to support any needs or concerns that may develop. 

As we reflect on all that we are grateful for this year, the positive ways in which our community has come together during these tough times for our students and families are truly remarkable and will always be an enduring reminder of our strength and never-ending determination. 

We wish all of you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. 


Stronger Together,


November 8, 2020

Dear Cove Community,

I hope you are doing well and have been able to enjoy this beautiful weekend. 

Over the weekend, I was informed that an individual in our community has tested positive for COVID and unrelated to the positive individual, another individual at the school is a probable case.  Fortunately, there are no close contacts at Cove associated with either case. Due to the last date that these individuals were in the building and when they became symptomatic, we are assured that they were not infectious when they were last at Cove. Therefore, there is no need to quarantine any pods. As always, confidentiality is of the utmost importance when dealing with the sensitive nature of these medical cases. We hope you will all respect the privacy of these individuals and just join me in wishing them a quick and complete recovery.

The amount of COVID cases statewide are increasing substantially and the positivity rates from all of our surrounding regions that contribute to our school population are reaching levels that are impacting our immediate community.  Over the past couple of weeks, the spread has caused a significant increase in the number of individuals at our school who were required to quarantine and the trajectory continues to rise. Staffing for in-person learning is being impacted.  College students are starting to return home and exposure to our own community will naturally increase as a result.

With the holidays fast approaching, we know that our families and staff are doing all that they can to plan and prepare in the safest possible way.  There are so many factors that each of us are considering as we work hard to keep our families safe.  We are hoping to avoid the need for any individual or family to isolate during Thanksgiving. Quarantining for two weeks prior to the holidays and for two weeks after is currently recommended by the IDPH for all families who may be seeing others outside of their typical daily household.

At this time, Cove is planning to pivot to remote learning for all students effective Monday, November 16th. The week of November 23rd will remain as currently planned with parent/teacher conferences scheduled remotely on the 23rd and 24th.  If the community positivity rates remain high or continue to rise as projected throughout the holiday season, we will likely remain remote for the three weeks after Thanksgiving until winter break. During this period, our administrative team will be closely monitoring the COVID metrics and the internal factors that will lead to a quick return to in- person learning as soon as possible.

Our community has been incredibly responsible and as a result we have been able to do what most schools could not.   Thank you.   It is important that we take the necessary preventative steps at this critical time to maintain our ability to provide the safest, strongest educational program for each of our students and families.  By doing so now, and in a planned, managed manner, we believe that our ability to return to in person learning will be sooner and stronger than ever.

Thank you for your understanding.  We appreciate you and your partnership with us as we continue to move forward in these challenging times.


Stronger Together,


August Update

Dear Cove Community,

I hope all of you are doing well and are staying healthy.

Thank you for completing the survey that was sent last week.  The information you provided has been so helpful in our planning and is incredibly important to us as we continue with our plans for in person learning this August. If you have not yet completed the survey, please do so by tomorrow.  

Based on the survey results from staff and parents, we will begin daily in person instruction on Wednesday, August 19th for all students.  Due to all of the critical student/family information that is needed for a strong start, time will be reserved on August 17-18 for case managers to meet individually with families.  Additionally, our social workers and Patti Lubin, our school nurse, will be available to meet with those who have any specific medical and/or mental health needs.  

We know that each family is unique and understand that each is responding to the pandemic in different ways.  We also understand that this situation is ever changing and impacts our lives differently each day.  Students will have the option to learn remotely or to learn in person. 

Over the past couple of months, our admin team has been working diligently to prepare for a new way of teaching/learning at the Cove School.  Some of the changes you will notice include:

  • new individual desks designed for mobile use and adaptable for sitting or standing
  • yoga mats for our students to use for outdoor learning
  • plexi-glass dividers
  • temperature checks upon entering the building
  • extensive PPEs including face shields, masks with clear faces, gloves, hand sanitizer in every room and stationed throughout the building
  • water fountain adapters  (water bottle fillers)
  • staggered arrival and departures
  • new bathrooms
  • padcasters in the classrooms
  • 6 foot markers in the common areas

In the first phase of our reopening, we will begin with an essential schedule that has been developed to accommodate both in person and remote learning.  Elementary and JH will be dismissed at 2:00; CPS students will be dismissed at 2:15, HS students will be dismissed at 2:30.  No after school activities will occur in the first phase. 

Students will be assigned to smaller cohorts within their units to limit the risk of exposure. 

Details on all of the plans are continuing to develop as our admin team continues to assess and discuss implementation with staff.  We know that our plans must be fluid and can change quickly if the situation in our state worsens. Communication will be ongoing throughout the next few weeks.  Survey results indicated that email was the preferred option but please know that a variety of methods will be used and frequency of communication will be increased as we move through these critical preparations.   

The health and well being of our students, families, and staff is extremely important to us.  We know these are unprecedented times and can't thank you enough for all you are doing to support our school.  


Be safe, stay well, and stay connected,



April 17, 2020 

Dear Cove Community,

I am thinking of all of you and am hoping that you and your families are safe and well.   The time that has passed has made me keenly aware of the extraordinary community we share, and I am deeply appreciative for the endless acts of kindness, the compassion you have extended toward others, and the thoughtful ways you have shown your gratitude to our staff and school. Thank you.

As most of you likely know, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that remote learning in Illinois will be extended through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Although we all miss learning together at 350 Lee Rd, the commitment we have to our students’ education and overall well being far exceeds the limits of our walls.  The partnership we share with you has made our remote learning program strong and our staff remains committed to doing whatever it takes to support you and your child’s academic and emotional needs. 

Like you, we are saddened by the reality that our school community will not be able to reconvene in person for quite some time.  However, the celebrations we share at this time of year are incredibly important for all of us and will continue to the greatest extent possible.  Grandparents and Special Friends’ Day will be recognized, the HS Play will go on, and our Cove School One Step at a Time 5K will be virtual as well!  While most of our events will be transformed into a virtual/digital format, there is no substitute for the heartfelt graduation ceremonies that have long been awaited for by our graduates and their families.  Graduates will conclude their course requirements by June 4, but ceremonies will be rescheduled at a date when all can once again come together to honor the amazing accomplishments of our 6th graders, JH and HS graduates. 

Over the next couple of weeks, our staff will be planning for the end of the year and will be informing you of the multiple new ways in which we will continue to evolve with end of year assessments and activities.  Monday, April 27th will now be a Teacher Remote Learning Planning Day.  Other calendar changes are expected and will be communicated to you as soon as possible. 

If you have not already done so, I encourage all of you to register for our ESY program!  Decisions regarding school building closures for summer programs have not yet been determined.  Whether on-site or online, keeping our students engaged with structured, meaningful educational experiences will be more important than ever! 

As we all work together to do our part in these challenging times, I find comfort in knowing that our students are in such great hands and care. Please continue to reach out and let us know if there is anything we can do for you and your families.  Cove Courage carries on . . . . .




April 3, 2020

Dear Cove Community,

As we end our third week of learning at home, I hope that your families are healthy and that you are continuing to find joy in every day.  I am filled with gratitude for the ways in which our staff, students, and parents/guardians have come together to support each other.  The acts of kindness, the ongoing outreach, and the gentle hellos from afar keep us reminded of the importance we have in each other’s lives and of the extraordinary community we share through the Cove School.

As you know, our state has mandated that schools remain closed through April 30th.  Our staff has been working diligently to continuously expand and improve the services we provide through our remote learning plans.   The interactive experiences we increased last week enhanced the learning opportunities and provided our students with greater connectedness to their teachers, clinicians, and peers.  The broad smiles shared when students saw each other and their teachers on Zoom were priceless! 

Cove School is deeply committed to assuring the strongest education possible and will continue to modify our remote plans as life continues to change within each of your homes.   Case managers will be reaching out to each of you individually to check in on how you and your family are doing, to discuss your child’s learning plan, and to problem solve on what we can do to better support the needs of your student.  Each family’s situation is unique and as conditions evolve, partnering closely with you couldn’t be more important. 

Our Cove administrators remain available to you in any ways you may need as well.  There is no better way to start your day than with our welcoming, humorous Morning Announcements!  Our tech team has been incredible through this transition and we are deeply grateful for their continuous support and guidance.  The building is accessible, upon appointment, and our full team is doing whatever it takes to be present for our staff and families.

As we look at the school calendar ahead, Friday, April 10th will remain a non-instructional day for students.  On Monday, April 13th, our teachers and staff will participate in a Remote Learning Planning Day.  Scheduled IEPs will continue as planned, but student courses and clinical services will not be directly provided.  More details regarding the daily schedules at the school will be provided by Ms. A and Mr. Laube.

Thank you for the extraordinary sacrifices you are making to partner with us.  The hardships we all are confronting can be overwhelming, but the ways in which you are supporting your children is inspiring to all of us.   We are deeply grateful for YOU.

Be well, stay safe,



April 1, 2020

Dear Cove Community,

Per the Illinois State Mandate, Cove School will continue Remote Learning Instruction through April 30, 2020.




March 27, 2020

Dear Cove Community,

As we end our Spring Break, I hope that your families are healthy and that each of you was able to find joy in every single day.  During this past week, I have continued to be in awe of the amazing ways in which our staff, parents, and students have come together to support each other during this difficult time.  We’re a strong community that is deeply committed to each other, and I am confident that nothing can keep us from staying connected.

As you know, our state has mandated that schools remain closed through April 7th.  Our school supports all that is needed to keep our families and staff safe.  Our staff has been working hard to prepare for our next phase of remote learning and is excited to begin extended interactive services with your student beginning Monday, March 30th. 

Over the next two weeks, our school building will be locked but we will be operating remotely.  Phone calls will be received and transferred to the appropriate personnel, mail will be accepted and disbursed, access may be provided for critical needs on an individual basis.  Our administrative team remains fully functional and is committed to supporting you.  We know that each of you is experiencing a variety of challenges that impacts your child’s learning at home.  Please know that we are here for you in whatever ways you may need – no ask is too small or too big. 

Regina Aniolowski and Alex Laube will be reaching out to you soon to provide more details about your child’s instructional days ahead.  The input you provided to them was very helpful in the preparations for this next phase; please continue to provide us with your feedback so that we can continue to individualize for your child and for your unique situation. 

Thank you, again, for your partnership.  We don’t know all that is ahead, but we do know that we are all better and stronger when we face it together.




March 23, 2020 

Dear Cove Families,

Our E-Learning will resume on March 30 and continue until April 7. 

Sally Sover, Executive Director

Regina Aniolowski, Elementary & Junior High Principal

Alex Laube, High School Principal


March 13, 2020 

Dear Cove Families,

Thank you for your patience and partnership as Cove makes plans to continue our students’ education amid the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, we are following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health agencies and understand our important role in supporting the health of our community as well as the safety and well-being of our students.

At this time, there are no reports of COVID-19 illness at Cove; however, due to the extensive challenges that the current conditions present and the precautionary measures we want to support, Cove will be closed March 16th - 27th.  During this time, to ensure the greatest continuity of programming for our students, we will be initiating an E-Learning plan.  

Our schedule will be as follows:

March 16 - 19:  E-Learning Days

March 20 - Parent/Teacher Conferences are canceled; no E-Learning required

March 23-27 - Spring Break - no E-Learning required

If you have a scheduled IEP meeting during that time, Dr. Jan Morgan and Mr. Mark Ditthardt are currently collaborating with districts to provide remote IEP meetings.  They will inform you of those options as they become available.    

E-Learning plans

All Cove teachers have created plans to continue instruction through remote learning.  We are confident that they will deliver outstanding instruction to our students online using our e-Learning strategies.  All teachers and clinicians are now active on Google Classroom. You can find the eLearning plan and expectations attached to this email and on Cove’s website: https://www.coveschool.org/updates/school-policy-information.

Students and staff have taken home their chromebooks or laptops in preparation for E-Learning. Your students have also taken home additional materials to support home learning.  If your student was absent today and/or in the event that a chromebook, other device, or any personal items have been left at Cove, Cove School will still be accessible with limited staff availability next week from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Monday-Thursday. If possible, please contact the school ahead of time should you have a need to visit. 

Communication with Families

The decision to close school is not one that we are making lightly.  We know of the hardships this presents. We appreciate the patience and flexibility of our families, staff, and students as we all adapt to this unprecedented situation. We will continue to communicate regularly with families about our plans. For the latest information, please visit our web page: www.coveschool.org 

We know that some districts have already made decisions to close for a lengthier period of time.  We will be monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis and will inform you of other steps that may be necessary as soon as possible.  Our website will continue to provide updates throughout our closure as well.  

Please let us know if you have any questions.  We wish you only the best of good health and well being.

Sally Sover, Executive Director

Regina Aniolowski, Elementary & Junior High Principal

Alex Laube, High School Principal


March 12, 2020

Dear Cove Families,

Many of you may be experiencing your local schools announcing closures that begin either tomorrow or on Monday.  Cove School will be open on Friday and will continue to evaluate the ongoing issues that are compounding the decisions to close schools at this time.  We will be in discussion with districts and the State Board of Education on Friday.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you for your partnership.     




March 12, 2020

Please review the E-Learning Day information by clicking here - E-Learning Days


March 10, 2020

Dear Cove Community,

Cove has been monitoring the status of the coronavirus in Illinois and has been receiving regular updates by the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the CDC.  Information from the Illinois State Department of Education is on their website with links to the following travel guidelines from the CDC:


Please be sure to read through the travel guidelines in the link above.  We believe it is important that any family who has or is planning travel to a Level 3 country follow the recommendations provided.  

Presently, one of our staff members has decided to self-quarantine due to a family member's recent trip to a Level 2 country.  Although no symptoms have developed by anyone in the family, the staff member is being abundantly cautious.  

ISBE has also recommended that all schools develop e-learning plans and other methods to support learning in the event of a closure.  Cove's team has been working on extending the possibilities for home learning and will be providing you with more details should the need arise.  Please let us know if you do not have access to the internet in your home so that we can work with you on an alternative plan.  

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of all.  We wish you all good health. Thank you for your cooperation.  




Concern or question?

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

Ask here

Additional resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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