As of today, we anticipate the adult services program will remain closed through June 30, 2020, and the Elim school program will continue with remote learning through the Extended School Year (summer school) period.
Elim’s leadership teams are actively planning for re-entry. Fashioned after the Illinois governor’s five-phase re-opening plan for Illinois, Elim has developed the following phased plan:
As I have mentioned in my previous communication, Elim is transitioning into Phase 3: the “Necessary” phase where programming is done remotely, and staff deemed “necessary” are given scheduled, conditional access to workspaces.
While initially small numbers of staff determined “necessary” by their supervisors begin to return to campus, we are also actively considering how to adjust and/or enhance Elim’s service provisions in light of our regulations, the programming needs of those we serve, and the safety of our staff and participants.
Proactively, Elim leadership is developing Phase 4, with gradual program re-entry plans with input from third party re-entry specialists. We ask you to pray for us as we develop what are the most difficult components of our re-entry plan.
I want you to know that the safety of our staff and participants, as well as regulatory considerations, will guide our program specific re-entry plans. This is not always easy, but it is necessary and important, and I so appreciate the careful and responsible attention that our Coronavirus Task Force is paying to these special needs as we seek to protect and care for people with disabilities in a way that best engages them but also keeps them safe and healthy.
My prayer is that the Elim family will continue to be known by our love and unity expressed in the biblical passages below as we journey together through re-entry.
DON’T MISS UPDATES: To ensure you do not miss these important notifications, please connect with either Jill Brokop in Children’s Services (Jill.Brokop@elimcs.org), or Anne Wierenga in Adult Services (Anne.Wierenga@elimcs.org) to let them know your contact information. Please also note that you will be receiving notification phone calls from a different phone number than with previous phone calls. Please add his new number to your address book to ensure you do not miss future notifications.
I am, like you, deeply troubled by the events of this past week. At a time when COVID-related shutdowns were beginning to loosen, the grip of prejudice and inequality have resurfaced in disturbing ways that call all of us to reflect and be introspective about our cultural awareness and bias.
Elim has a diverse employee, student, and client population for which we give thanks to God. Each of us has our own lived experience, and for people of color, particularly African-Americans, that lived experience is disproportionately affected by injustices in our society. In light of this I humbly invite us into a time of reflection and prayer for those in our Elim family who carry an especially heavy load in these trying times.
As a beautiful, diverse, well-intentioned, and admittedly imperfect community, Elim aspires to a core value that everyone has value and purpose – because we are all created in the image of God. It is an identity that all of humanity shares equally.
In light of that, as we continue to pray for our country, let’s also double down on what it will take to make that aspiration a reality.
Elim friends and family, in the midst of these challenging and troubling times, let’s continue to be #ElimStrong by making the choice to confront the brokenness we see with the repentant spirit that David modelled for us in Psalm 51:10:
”Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
For accurate and complete information regarding Covid-19 infections in the state of Illinois, we recommend that you refer to the infection information provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC. The following articles include stories that connect to or directly impact the Elim community. Please be in prayer for our friends and ministry partners living at or working in adult residential settings.
Adapted from Northwestern University
Once we do return to our campuses, standard precautions for Elim clients, students, staff, and families will apply. It is important to reiterate that the best way to protect ourselves is to continue to employ the standard precautions that we employ everyday:
In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19 the Elim community has taken the following additional precautions through at least April 30, 2020:
Elim is committed to fostering an environment that empowers people to come forward and report if they are ill. Stigmatizing COVID-19 will only make us more anxious and ensure community spread. In that spirit, we provide you with the following additional information:
We appreciate your partnership as we take every precaution to keep our community safe.
Dr. Bill Lodewyk
on behalf of the Elim Coronavirus Task Force and the Elim Leadership Team