General Information for IMSA Students & Parents – Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

General Information for IMSA Students & Parents

COVID-19 Closure Spring 2020

Updated March 26, 2020

Message for SIR Students

Subject Line: Important information from the SIR Team regarding contacting potential mentors

Dear Students and Parents,

This email is for sophomores and juniors who are seeking an off-campus SIR project for next year.

We understand the COVID-19 situation poses many questions and challenges for our families. Your continued support, patience and cooperation is much needed. We are asking that students do not contact potential mentors for the next academic year. We have received feedback from mentors indicating that their institutions are shut down temporarily to non-essential personnel and they cannot consider taking on SIR students at this time. When the time becomes appropriate to do so, we will notify you and allow you to continue with your SIR mentor search.

This only applies to reaching out to find a new mentor. If you are currently working remotely with your mentor from this year, you may continue to do so.

Please let us know if you have questions. We hope you and your families are well.

The SIR Team


  • What is virtual instruction?
    • Virtual instruction will allow for instruction to be given live by the faculty.  In short, class instruction will be delivered to the students but not in the physical classroom space.  This type of instruction is referred to as synchronous instruction.Synchronous instruction involves instructors meeting live at a scheduled time via computer.  Students are present online at the same time as the instructor.  IMSA uses the software Zoom and Google Classroom for this purpose.  Other materials such as homework and instructions for projects will be made available on Moodle, Google Classroom, or email.Asynchronous instruction involves instructors providing material online but not meeting at a particular time live.  Instructors might upload PowerPoints, video-recorded lectures, assignments, etc. Students then access the material and complete work as required by a schedule provided by the instructor.  Exams may sometimes be taken during a particular time window.Some teachers may use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.  However, all teachers will touch base with their students (individually, in small groups or as an entire class) at least once per week.
  • What are the expectations during virtual classes?
    • We are still an academic community and will continue to support each other and behave with integrity. All academic integrity policies are still in effect. Remember that the expectations for how you behave in virtual classes are the same as for our residential classes. All policies in the Student Handbook or on the class syllabus, such as appropriate dress or behavior, still must be followed.  It is important to remember that your camera displays images and sounds of your home in the background. You are able to display an image as your background so no one is able to see your home. (click here for instructions on Zoom) Please find a place for your computer that only captures images and sounds that you are willing to share.
  • What will the weekly schedule be?
    • If your class is meeting synchronously, virtual classes will begin on Thursday, March 26th at 8 am.  The day will follow a normal C-Day schedule. Friday, March 27, will be a D-Day.  If your class regularly meets at 10 am – 10:55 am, then that is when you will meet. The following week (March 30th – April 3rd) will follow the regular planned schedule (A-B-I-C-D).
  • Will there be office hours?
    • Yes.  Your instructor will hold office hours as well as be available for questions via email or ZOOM.  Your instructor will let you know more about how best to ask questions and schedule meetings with them.
  • How will we take quizzes and tests?
    • Your instructor will let you know the plan for taking quizzes and tests.  All academic integrity policies   and expectations remain in place (see pages 11-13, IMSA 2019-2020 Student Parent Handbook)
  • Will labs meet virtually?
    • Your instructor will provide you with further instructions about labs.
  • Will quarter grades and comments still be happening?
    • Yes, 3rd quarter ended on March 13, 2020.  Grades and comments will be entered into Powerschool for viewing by April 1, 2020.
  • Will SIR and Independent Study still meet?
    • SIR – there will be no more on-site meetings for the remainder of the school year.  Please follow the directions of the SIR Management Team as it relates to finishing the school year.  For on-site SIR courses, please follow instructions from your on-campus mentor.Independent Study – continue to work on your Independent Study with your instructor.
  • Why do our grades count during the remote learning period when K-12 school remote learning days have been declared “Act of God” days and grades/attendance is not recorded?
    • The declaration by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is in effect for K-12 schools under the oversight of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  IMSA is under the oversight of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Colleges and universities are in this group and in accordance with IBHE guidance, IMSA students will be assigned grades for remote learning and attendance will be mandatory. IMSA is the only high school included under their guidance.


  • What computer applications will regularly be used?
    • Each instructor will communicate to you what platform they will be using in your specific class for specific purposes. We will use Zoom or Google Classroom for synchronous classroom meetings.  Your instructor will communicate with you on the use of Moodle and/or Google for posting announcements, making class material available, and for uploads from the student to the instructor.  We will continue to use the official IMSA email accounts.  Instructors may have other specific requirements, so please check your email regularly.
  • What should I do if I experience issues with technology?
    • If you experience any technological or internet access issues, please call the IMSA HelpDesk at 630-907-5995 or submit a HelpDesk request to
  • What should I do if I experience internet connectivity issues that impact my academic work?
    • If you experience connectivity issues, please call the Student Life Office at 630-907-5009 and leave a voicemail. A member of the Student Affairs team will follow up with you via phone or email.
  • How will students log into a virtual classroom?
    • Each teacher will send students the web link for their specific virtual classroom.



  • How will class attendance be taken during the closure?
    • We will not be taking attendance through Powerschool.  We will be expecting all students to be actively engaged in their remote learning with their instructors.  You are required to make weekly contact with each of your instructors. If you are unable to participate in remote learning for any reason, including illness, please have your parent/guardian contact the Attendance Office via phone at 630-907-5029 or via email at
  • How do I notify IMSA if I am sick?
    • If you are sick, please have your parent/guardian email both and on a daily basis to notify the school that you are sick and will not be participating in classes remotely. Please share your symptoms and any diagnosis. When you are well enough to return to remote learning, please have your parent/guardian email and so IMSA faculty and staff can work with you on any classwork missed during your  illness.
  • What should I do if my family is experiencing hardships during the closure?
    • Please call the Student Life Office at 630-907-5009 and leave a voicemail. A member of the Student Affairs team will follow up with you via phone or email. Additionally, if you’re experiencing a food shortage, please know that Dr. Carmen Ayala, State Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education, assured us that IMSA students, age 18 and under, can pick up meals/food at their local neighborhood schools.


  • Will the Resident Counselors (RCs) be available for student support?
    • Yes, beginning Thursday, March 26, RCs will be available from 3:00-9:00pm Monday through Friday and 12:00-6:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Please call your residence hall office with questions, concerns or just to talk to the RC on duty. Additionally, your RC will be reaching out to you and your wing mates during the closure to support you and coordinate virtual wing programs.
  • Will School Counselors be available during the closure?
  • Will academic support and tutoring be available?
    • Ms. Amy Keck ( will be sending information out to students regarding academic supports that will be available. Ms. Erin Micklo ( sent an email dated March 13, 2020, to all students concerning the Writing Center.  If you have further questions, please email Ms. Micklo.
  • What happens with my Educational Plan?
    • Ms. Keck ( will contact you to provide additional assistance. For immediate assistance, please contact Ms. Keck.
  • Will College Academic Counselors (CAC) still be available to guide students and families through the college search and application process?
    • Yes, the College Counselors will be available via email and zoom.


  • I am a Senior. When should I contact my CAC about college admission decisions?
    • Seniors! Still CACs’ favorite students!Welcome to the last quarter of your high school career, which will be more memorable than you have ever envisioned it to be!While IMSA is not “live”, we, your wonderful CACs are very much alive and eager to help you finish your school year and transition to college.Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind for now:First, please wait to receive all of your admission decisions before contacting your CAC.Second, starting the week of April 6, please contact your respective CAC to let us know of the outcomes of your admissions process. We will update your Naviance portals and help you follow up with school(s) that waitlisted you.

      Third, between April 1 and May 1, please utilize your CAC’s knowledge and expertise to finalize your college decision.

      Fourth, pay attention to the emails from the schools that admitted you because a number of schools have already extended their college notification due date from May 1 to June 1.

      Fifth, and most important, email your CAC for any reason, big, or small, or no reason whatsoever!  We still are your biggest (after your parents) college fans!

      Love,Your CACs


  • What is happening with SAT, ACT and AP testing?
    • SAT: Currently, the March 29 and May 2 exams have been canceled. College Board will share additional information and details directly with registered students and test centers. A webpage with regularly posted information on the SAT can be found here.
    • ACT: The April 4 test date has been rescheduled to June 13.  More information can be found here
    • AP: College Board will be providing updates through their website here.
  • Will service learning hours be updated in PowerSchool?
    • Service learning hours will continue to be validated and entered into PowerSchool during the Academy closure. You can participate in virtual service learning opportunities during the closure period. Please remember to submit your service learning hours through Helper Helper.
  • Will I be able to retrieve anything from my room during the closure?
    • All Academy buildings are currently closed. You will not be able to retrieve items from your room at this time.
  • Will I be able to retrieve any packages that have been sent to IMSA?
    • Since all Academy buildings are currently closed, you will not be able to pick up any mail or packages. Please contact the sender for any known deliveries to either delay shipment during this time and/or have items sent to an alternative location.