The Illinois State Board of Education curated the following free resources to assist districts, teachers, and parents during this unprecedented time. The intent is to provide free or temporarily free learning resources for teachers and parents to support student learning while Illinois’ schools are closed. These resources do not represent an endorsement or recommendation of curriculum or eLearning systems.
Educators can consider these basic steps to continue education for students regardless of technology capabilities:
- Send books home with students and/or print out articles, poetry, and writing prompts.
- Assign a long-term research-based project aligned to multiple standards.
- Put together learning packets to review or enhance material already taught.
- Assign simple science projects that could be done at home.
- Review textbooks and print the supplemental lessons that one often does not have time to do in class.
- Use any online resources available to teachers and print assignments to do at home.
- Have students write reflection essays about a movie watched or a book read and scaffold the assignment for different age ranges.
- If your school district is providing grab-and-go meals or meal delivery, make take home packets available at the same location or through the same delivery mechanism.
If you are without access to paid sick leave or unable to work because of COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Employment Security at 1-800-244-5631 to apply for unemployment benefits. More information is available here.
To assist business owners, the State of Illinois is seeking an economic injury disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The application requires data from businesses in every county to justify the declaration from the federal government. If granted, this disaster declaration will help open up avenues of funding for small businesses in downstate Illinois that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The health and safety of our employees and customers remains our top priority. The work we do is critical to millions of people and companies around the world, and we’re committed to being there when our customers and colleagues need us most.
Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:
- Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
- Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
- No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
- Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for lowincome families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
- News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
- 24x7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.
Dear valued customer,
The safety and well-being of our customers, communities, and employees are our top priorities, particularly as we face together the COVID-19 national emergency.
We understand that the availability of reliable power has never been more important, and we have extensive plans in place to meet your energy needs. While the situation is changing rapidly, we have taken additional steps:
- Voluntarily suspending service disconnections for customers who cannot pay, and waiving new late payment charges, through at least May 1, 2020. We understand that many of our customers may experience a financial strain due to the slowdown in the economy related to the pandemic. The last thing we want our customers and communities to worry about at this stage is whether they will be without power.
- Offering our most flexible payment arrangements and energy financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. We are prepared to work with every customer on a case-by-case basis to find payment arrangements and identify the best fit out of the many energy-assistance options ComEd has available. Please visit ComEd.com or contact our Customer Care team from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., M-F, at 800-334-7661 to learn more.
- Offering the ability to conduct core transactions online. You can conduct regular business with ComEd 24/7 at ComEd.com or through the ComEd Mobile App.
- Heightening safeguards for our employees out working in the field. Our field personnel will follow social distancing recommendations from the CDC. It is possible that our field personnel may be required to wear additional protective equipment, such as masks, gloves or goggles, while performing work at homes and in communities.
- Informing you to stay on the alert for scammers during this critical time. Imposters posing as ComEd employees may exploit the coronavirus to try to steal your money or identity. For tips on spotting such scams, visit ComEd.com/ScamAlert.
For more information and updates on our pandemic preparedness and response, as well as related customer service options, please visit ComEd.com/Coronavirus.
On behalf of ComEd, thank you for being a valued customer and please stay safe.
Senior Vice President
ComEd Customer Operations & Chief Customer Officer
Learn at Home
Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!