Remote learning day

Dear Students and Families:

As part of our Return to Learning Plan, Creston Elementary School will be conducting REMOTE LEARNING FOR ALL days on Wednesday, September 2 and 16.  On these days all students will attend school remotely in order to practice remote learning in case we need to go fully remote in the future.

Remote learning looks different this year than it did last spring.  Teachers are currently providing instruction for both in-person and remote students.  It is expected that instruction on the REMOTE LEARNING FOR ALL will follow the same schedule that is currently being followed in the classroom.  Students will need to be logged in at 8 AM for class and can be expected to attend class until around 12:30 PM.  Students will also be expected to complete any special assignments in the afternoon, as they are doing now.  

In the next week, teachers will share additional information with students and their families on what to expect the REMOTE LEARNING FOR ALL day to look like, resources that will be needed, and technology that will be used.  This will give students and teachers both the opportunity to participate in remote learning activities.  


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your teacher or the school at (815)384-3920.

Welcome Back!!

August 18, 2020


Dear Creston Community,


I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2020 to take a positive turn.  Together, I think we can do just that.  Let’s get our school year started on the right foot!  

Welcome back to another exciting year of learning at Creston School. This year will definitely provide everyone with some type of unique learning opportunities whether you are attending school in person or  through remote learning. Please know that we are all working hard to deal with the challenges, accept what we cannot control or change yet still do the absolute best for all of our students.

Last year the theme for our school was “Win the Day.” This year, we will continue with this same theme, Win the Day! With so  many new and unexpected things happening around us on a daily basis, this theme will be even more important this year. We plan to make sure that every day we make every minute count, that we always strive to learn new things and we keep safety first and foremost.  In a nutshell, We want to win the day by providing safe learning!

I know I am speaking for everyone at school when I say we are extremely excited to have the students back tomorrow..  We’ve been away from one another for too long!

Please remember when we start Wednesday, we need to make sure that we are winning each and every day.  Together, we will support one another, persevere and continue to grow and learn.

As always, please feel free to contact me at 563-210-4948 if you have any questions.  I know you’ve heard it a thousand times but we truly are all in this together.

Yours in Education,

Curt Rheingans

Return to School

Back to School Information


In-Person Instruction

  • First attendance day for students is Wednesday, August 19th
  • Doors open at 7:45 AM
  • Students must have a mask to enter the building and wear it throughout the entire day
  • Masks will be provided or parents may send students with their own masks
  • Students will be checked in and immediately sent to their home room
  • Official Start time 8:00 AM, this is a change from previous years- please note
  • Dismissal time 12:30 PM
  • Grab and Go lunches will be offered- students will order in the morning and lunches will be delivered to classrooms prior to dismissal
  • Frequent Mask Breaks will be given to students
  • Mid-morning snack break will be provided (healthy snack provided or students may bring their own)
  • Please bring a filled water bottle- water fountains will be off


Remote Learning

  • First attendance day for students is Wednesday, August 19
  • Remote learning Chromebook and textbook pick-up day will be on Tuesday, Aug. 18th from 2:30 PM-3:30 PM if you cannot make it during these times, please contact the school to schedule an appointment, students will need these materials at 8 AM, Wednesday, Aug. 19th to log in to their classes. Teachers will include information for logging in and setting up accounts in the pick up materials.
  • Assignments posted by 8 AM in their google classroom each day
  • Teachers will provide instructions on how to access google classroom and passwords (if any) needed
  • Students must be logged into class at 8AM and attend all meetings as assigned
  • Same requirements as In-Person instruction for attendance, participation, and grading
  • Live stream lessons will be streamed from classroom, students are expected to attend all lessons
  • Teachers will respond to emails after 12:30 dismissal
  • Emails sent before 3 PM will be answered that day, anything after 3 PM will be answered the following day


All Students

  • Registration paperwork that is not complete will be sent home by the office, registration fees may be sent with students, along with any paperwork
  • Attendance will be taken daily
  • Grading returns to traditional grading (not pass/incomplete)
  • Must call office to report any absences
  • No visitors in school building, please call office (815)384-3920 and we will make arrangements to accommodate your needs
  • First day photo opportunities will be available at the Creston School sign in front of the building.  The sign will be ready for photos by 8/14/20.  


Bus Students

  • New route times will be provided by Monday, August 17.
  • Assigned seating will be used
  • Families will be seated together
  • Masks must be worn on bus at all times


We look forward to seeing everyone!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school at (815)384-3920 or call Mr. Rheingans at (563)210-4948.

Creston return to school.

June 23, 2020


Dear Creston Community,


I would like to thank everyone for the feedback we received from the survey sent out last week.  We have carefully reviewed your responses and have taken all of that information into consideration.  The number one concern was for us to have a plan ready for the students when they return in August.  I agree with you and that is my main focus as well.

Please know that we have been working very hard and we believe that we have three very solid plans for how we might return to school this fall. There is new information and guidance being released on a daily basis from the state, as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We hope to have a specific plan available to all parents by the end of July so that everyone has time to plan accordingly.  I know all of you are feeling the stress, dealing with the constant news, and I appreciate your efforts and diligence.  We have all heard it a dozen times but this is absolutely uncharted territory.

As we look through the surveys it is very evident that we have many viewpoints on how the return should look.  I have come to accept that no matter what the plan is, there will be unrest and there is no possible way we can keep everyone happy.  However, please rest assured that whatever the plan might look like, the main focus will be for the safety of the staff and students as they return to school.

I respect your decision on how to best keep your child safe.  I am respectfully asking you to work with us as we move forward and make decisions based on what we feel is the safest choice for all students and staff.

Please do not hesitate to call me at any time if you have any questions.  I am always a phone call or a text away.  Thank you for working together as we move forward in these most unusual times.  We are all in this together, truly.


Most sincerely,


Curt Rheingans



May 19, 2020


Dear Families and Students,


As we approach the end of this very interesting year in education, I want to take a few minutes to personally thank everyone for their hard work with Distance Learning. Without the dedication of the students and the support from their families, this experience would not have been as successful as it was.

A big congratulations goes out to our students as we have had over 90% of our students finish their e-learning. As for assessment, grading for those students will not be the traditional letter grades. This term the students that completed their work will receive a “P” on their report card, representing a passing grade. Once again, I am so very impressed by our students’ efforts.

If you are in the relatively small percentage of students that did not finish the work, you will receive an I; the “I” represents an incomplete.  Based on the guidance we have received from the state, all grades of incomplete will be made up at the beginning of the next school year. If you are not sure what work is missing, please contact your teacher as we are sincerely hoping you will want to make it up yet this summer.

In my 25+ years in education, we have never dealt with such unusual circumstances.  We have all missed our students, as well as the sense of normalcy and routine.  Regardless, I am so proud of our students and staff, as we navigated this uncharted territory.  Please stay safe and please do not hesitate to contact me, or other staff members if you have any questions.  I will do my best to keep you apprised of any new announcements impacting the start of school in August.


Curt Rheingans 563-210-4948

May update

April 26, 2020


Dear Creston Families,


I would like to start with a huge shout out to everyone for working so hard during this unique period in education. Without the support of the parents, online learning would not be going as well as it is. Also a big thanks to your child as they have followed through by doing their daily work. And one last big thanks to all the teachers and Mrs. Zellmer for working tirelessly to make this successful. None of this would be possible without all of you going above and beyond to make Creston School the best place to learn, now online, as well as the best place to learn face to face. 

As we look into May, we are planning to have a promotion ceremony  in July if everything clears up and we can gather together safely. We will have some type of locker clean up and chromebook turn in at the end of May, once the school year is over.


Once again THANK YOU for all the support you have been providing you child and the school during this tough time in education.


As always if you need anything please call or text,


Curt 563-210-4948

School Update


Dear Students and Families:

On behalf of our teachers and staff, I would like to thank you for your continued support. Let’s keep the momentum rolling as we do our best to provide your children with meaningful learning activities as we move forward. Our teachers and staff have made preparations for the next few weeks as we are officially out of school until April 30. We all know that this may go longer, but for now we are planning our work through the end of the month. Once we get official word about any extension of the mandatory shutdown, we will communicate this to parents and Distance Learning will continue as long as necessary including through the end of the planned school year.

Participation, Grading and Incompletes

Creston CCSD #161 has taken the position that grades through Distance Learning can only help student performance and grades at school. Therefore, this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of this time. Unfortunately, this could also be mistaken to mean that doing nothing is acceptable. Doing nothing would be the wrong choice because we will insist that the missing work is eventually completed. Our intention is not to fail a child who was passing, but to ensure that the continuity of learning continues.

Quality student work will be rewarded! If work is not completed, students will receive an incomplete and will be expected to finish the required learning activities. Student participation in our Distance Learning activities is a clear expectation. Teachers and administrators will be contacting students and parents when we do not see a reasonable degree of active participation and activity completion. Please take advantage of this time and check with your student’s teacher for missing assignments, not just the overall grades. If you need any assistance, please contact your child’s teacher.

The vast majority of our students and families have done a tremendous job with Distance Learning. We are very proud of the time, energy and effort that has gone into Distance Learning from our students. Keep up the great work! If you have not kept up, just contact your teachers or email an administrator. We are all here to help!

Closure Updates and Rescheduling of Events

We will continue to update you with any continued closures or rescheduled events including 8th grade promotion, but it would be premature to do so at this time. I anticipate that we will know by around April 27 if there is a chance of students physically returning to school. The final official day of the school year for students will remain as Friday, May 22.​​​​​​​

We will continue to update you as we go forward. Please contact your child’s teacher or an administrator if you need anything at all. Again, thank you for your support and effort as we work to support your child and family during this time. We are here for you.


Curt Rheingans, 563-210-4948



In Cooperation with DARE Week and the 1st week of online school, each classroom will participate in the following theme days. Which classroom has the most spirit!

March 30 – April 4
Builders Club is sponsoring:
Monday – Wear Hats “Hats off to being drug-free!”
Tuesday – Tie-dye Tuesday “Drug-free is a colorful way to live!”
Wednesday – Wacky Wednesday “My life, my choice!”
Thursday – Jersey Day “Sports rule, drugs drool!”
Friday – Pajama Day “ Relax! You are drug-free!”
Join the fun!

No School

Creston School will begin implementing e-Learning days for the week of March 16-20. Spring Break will stay as previously scheduled for March 23-27. School will tentatively resume March 31. E-learning plans may be viewed on the school website under the parent/student tab under E-learning. Thank you. Any questions please email your child’s teacher.

Coronavirus to parents

March 12, 2020


Dear Creston Parents/Guardians,

The Creston School District continues to monitor the spread of Coronavirus and its possible impact on our community and schools. We remain in close contact with the Ogle County Health Department and are following the cleaning guidelines set by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IPDH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC).

This letter is notification that Creston School, based on recommendations from health authorities, may enact temporary procedural changes, which could include restrictions on visitors to school buildings, possible cancellation or rescheduling of large gatherings or events, and even temporarily closing school buildings.

Social distancing is an important step in reducing the potential for exposure of the virus. The decision to close schools is made by the district, acting in accordance with guidance from IDPH and our local health department.

At this time, IDPH is not recommending closing schools as there are no positive results in our community, but the situation remains fluid. The Illinois State Board of Education has made it clear that schools should have policies in place that allow for students to continue to learn and practice their skills during the event of a prolonged school shutdown. We are doing just that.

It is important to note that we understand that all students do not have access to the internet or tech devices. If schools were to close due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the districts would implement alternative days by sending school work home with students prior to closures. If schools were to close, we would communicate using our all call/text system, social media, district websites, and local media outlets.

We understand that the possible closing of schools would create a disruption to our typical daily routines. We encourage parents to begin thinking about how they will handle school closings. This includes considerations on childcare and access to food and health care.

My intention is not to create hysteria for the community. Rather, I want you to know what has been communicated to school districts and how we are responding as the situation evolves. Our hope is that this advanced warning allows you and your family to plan for the possibility of temporary school closures during this public health crisis.

Curt Rheingans