Remote Learning Center » District 153 Remote Learning Center

District 153 Remote Learning Center

On March 31, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois will continue its suspension of in-person instruction through April 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. A return to school date has yet to be established.All school related events, clubs and sports are canceled until further notice.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has instructed Illinois school districts to implement remote learning programs. District 153's remote learning program will begin on Monday, April 6th and continue until further notice. Remote learning can never be a worthy substitute for in-person instruction or replicate the relationships forged between staff and students. Our goal is to provide some measure of continuity of learning for our students during this crisis.
District 153' Remote Learning Philosophy: Must-do's and May-do's
With parents and other siblings all trying to work from home during the mandated stay-at-home period, District 153 took great care to devise a program that is flexible and respectful of family time and shared resources while also setting meaningful expectations of students.
Weekly learning plans will be prioritized into "must-do" work and "may-do" work. Must-do's are those core concepts our teaching staff think are crucial for your child, focusing on math and English language arts. District 153 will expect our students at all grade levels to complete the must-do's every week
The may-do's are areas for your child to explore as time and their interests permit.
General Structure
  • A week's worth of assignments will be posted on the school web pages by grade level no later than 4:00 PM every Sunday. 
  • Students, with the guidance of their adult family members, have the flexibility to complete work throughout the week.
  • Grade-level learning plans may contain digital and non-digital assignments. Assignments for James Hart students will be digital/online exclusively. Willow School will rely heavily on paper and pencil packets and educational manipulatives that will be provided by the school. Churchill School will utilize a combination of the two.
Grading During Remote Learning
Under ISBE rules, any work students complete during the mandated statewide school closure cannot be counted negatively toward student grades. Because student grades can only be improved during the remote learning period, this is great time for students who may have been struggling to gain ground.

Other Questions and Answers 

Click the arrow to see the  answer.
Due to the closure of schools for the remaining school year, Homewood School District 153 will provide refunds to our parents for field trips, school dance and other activities for which payments have been received for this school year. Refund amounts must equal at least $10.00 before they will be disbursed.
You can also request that your refund is applied to any outstanding fees or lunch account balances. Please let us know if you prefer that your refund is applied to an outstanding account balance.
We will carry balances into the next school year for trips and activities that will run next year, including White Pines. You can contact your school office secretary for information regarding refunds by accessing the contact information:
James Hart (708) 799-5544
Willow (708 )798-3720
Churchill (708) 798-3424
In addition, payments for school fees that are currently due for this school year can be deferred up to three (3) months, until August 1, 2020 to accommodate families that need to take advantage of this option to manage their cash flow. You do not have to request this option; it is automatically applied to you. School fees continue to support the purchase of supplies, technology, and other educational needs for remote learning and will not be refunded. Please contact Maria Harnisch at (708) 922-2419.
Refunds for lunch balances (8th grade only) will be made upon request to Dana Pries, Food Service Director, at (708) 922-2417 or
All refunds will be made by check and are scheduled for mailing by May 15th.

Dr. John A. Gibson
Chief School Business Official
Homewood School District 153
Office: 708-799-8721, ext. 2506
You can reach District 153 tech support though this hotline: 708-647-2277. Or you can submit this form.
Unfortunately, District 153 does not have enough devices for every student. However, we can provide one device to families who need one. Please email your child's teacher to request a device for your student(s).
Teachers are available via email M-F, 9:00-11:00 AM and 12:30-1:30 PM.
Yes. Sack lunches are available to any District 153 student who needs it.
HF Sports Complex
11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Mondays (pick up two lunches)
Wednesdays (pick up three lunches)
Remote learning will be an adjustment for ALL family members. Below you will find some proactive steps you can take as a parent to ensure the needs of all family members are met!
Create a Written Schedule
Children do best when they know what to expect, so creating an age appropriate written schedule will reassure your child along with helping you as an adult fit in your work/household duties. You might consider building in outside “recess” time with a menu of choices, free play time, and designate specific time for free screen time. Depending on your family, you could even create a schedule for each family member so it’s clear when a parent or guardian needs to work and take care of household duties. Overviewing the schedule at the beginning of each morning and giving children choices can be an extra powerful move. 
Co-Create To-Do Lists 
Sticking with the clear expectation theme, co-creating a personalized to-do list using the teacher task board can be helpful. Walk through each to-do with your child so you are both clear on what is expected. Give your child voice and choice about order and you’ll get more buy-in. You might consider creating multiple to-do lists for short amounts of time and scheduling in breaks. Some children might need something to work forward towards, like a set amount of freetime, when they finish a part of the to-do list. Crossing off completed tasks can be very motivating for some children, so break big tasks apart if needed!
Work in Movement & Fun
The younger the child, the more movement breaks they will need. As you create your schedule, make sure to keep this in mind. You might consider playing a go-noodle dance video (for younger kids), asking your child to play outside in your yard, going for a walk with your child, or using some of the ideas sent home by your child’s specials teachers. Board games and dance parties are also great options.
Make a Free Time Activity Jar
Sit down with your child(ren) and lots of small strips of paper. Write down ideas together; Google can be helpful for age-appropriate ideas. When free time comes up in your schedule (or you hear the dreaded, “I’m bored”), your child can choose from the jar. Perhaps even sneak in some learning activities like writing a card to Grandma.
Designate a Place for E-learning
Find a place in your home where you can set up your student with the books, paper, and device that they need for learning. Ensure the space is quiet and separated from distractions. Consider setting your student up with headphones to listen to music, or simply block out noise, if focus is a concern.
Build Stamina During Work Time
Try using a timer during work time (visual timers work great for young students). Start with an amount of time that is achievable and when the time is up take a quick movement break. Slowly, over days, build the amount of time spent focused on a task before taking a break. Then after 4 work periods take a longer break. (This is a variation on the Pomodoro technique many adults use for productivity.)
Make a Game Out of Following Expectations
If following expectations becomes a concern, consider creating a T-chart with the parent/caretaker on one side and your child’s name on the other. When kids are “caught” following expectations they get a tally point. When unexpected behavior occurs, parents get a point. If your child ends up with more points at the end of the day they might earn a small reward. Or better yet, stick to the positive and try just rewarding following expectations you and your child set together with tally marks. Once your child gets a particular number they earn a small reward.
Here are a couple more good resources for you:
For students who do not have internet access at home, Comcast is offering new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service. Learn more here: or call 1-855-846-8376 (English) or 1-855-765-6995 (Spanish).
District 153 will use virtual formats to provide services and accommodations to students who have an IEP or 504 plan, to the greatest extent possible. Contact your child's case manager if you have questions.
In accordance with ISBE guidelines, District 153 students should be engaged in remote learning activities no longer than these maximum daily limits:
  • PreK: 60 minutes
  • Kindergarten: 90 minutes
  • Grades 1 & 2: 90 minutes
  • Grades 3-5: 120 minutes
  • Grades 6-8: 180 minutes
While some teachers may utilize video conferencing for some activities or to check-in with a student, video conferencing will not be a mainstay of our remote learning program. We feel that requiring a student's attendance on a video conference scheduled for a specific day and time does not provide families adequate flexibility to schedule their day. We recognize that our students may have a parent or sibling with work-at-home obligations at the same time as a scheduled video conference.
Our goal is for 100% of our students to engage in remote learning. Student engagement and connections with families will reviewed and monitored through teacher-student interactions. There will be no formal daily attendance taken.
FINDHELP.ORG  Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic


Contact Information (address, phone, website) 

Types of Service/ details  




Respond Now (food pantry) 

(708) 755-4357 

1439 Emerald Avenue, Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411, United States 

food pantry, rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, foreclosure prevention, SNAP Outreach, Medicaid Expansion assistance, prescription medication vouchers, temporary lodging, transportation, clothing, Community Garden, books for children, Holiday Giveaway and Back-To-School backpacks and supplies. 




Suburban Cook Homelessness Prevention Hotline 

877. 426.6515 






Discounted internet during Covid 19 


Access program for limited income families  

Mental Health / Community Based Programs/ Reporting   



South Surburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance abuse 

708.647. 3333 


Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) 

800-25-ABUSE (22873) 



Cares Crisis Line 1-800-345-9049 (Voice),  

Screening, Assessment, and Support Services (SASS) for Children and Adolescents 

Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS), is a crisis mental health service program for children and adolescents, who are experiencing a psychiatric emergency. SASS agencies provide intensive mental health services for eligible children and youth who may need hospitalization, or community based mental health care. SASS services are available by calling the CARES line. 

What Is CARES and When Should CARES Be Called? 

CARES stands for Crisis and Referral Entry Services. CARES is a telephone response service that handles mental health crisis calls for children and youth in Illinois. A parent/guardian may check to see if their child can receive SASS services, by calling the CARES 

Crisis Line: 

1-800-345-9049 (Voice), 

You should call CARES when a child is at risk to himself or others and any time you or others think a child is having a mental health crisis. If a child has mental health problems, but is NOT a risk to self or others and is not experiencing a crisis, contact your local community mental health services provider on the IDHS website at: or call our Child and Adolescent Client Assistance Line at: 

312-793-1361, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (excluding Holidays). 

South Suburban Family Shelter 

708-335-3028 24-Hour Hotline08-794- 

Office number 708-794-2140 

Office in Homewood  

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) provides caring and confidential help to victims of domestic violence. Our professional counselors and advocates understand the dynamics of domestic violence and help clients identify and choose options in their life situations. 

All services are free of charge for victims and are available in English and Spanish. 


Domestic Abuse Hotline  

1800-799-SAFE (7233) 


Suicide Hotline  

1800 273 8255 

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 

Crisis Hotline (text)  

Text 71741 

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment. 

Click Your Child's School Below for Weekly Assignments and Other School-Specific Information

Weekly assignments will be posted to school pages on Sunday afternoons by 4:00 PM.
James Hart logo
Churchill School logo
Willow School logo