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Ruthie Stalcup prepares an apple pie during the Rock County Christian School Pie Day fundraiser on Friday.

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Public health official urge safety for kids trick-or-treating

Kids in the Stateline Area soon will be roaming neighborhoods seeking treats on Halloween, and public health officials want families to take precautions to ensure everyone has a safe spooky day.

”We still have a high level of COVID-19 circulating in our community, so it is important to take precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy this Halloween,” said Rock County Public Health Department Health Officer Katrina Harwood.

Here are some tips and suggestions to celebrate Halloween safely this year in Rock County:

  • Incorporate a cloth mask into your costume. Don’t use a traditional Halloween mask as an alternative to a cloth mask.
  • Trick or treat outdoors in small groups and avoid approaching crowded doorsteps.
  • Minimize contact by setting a bowl of candy out for trick or treaters and admiring costumes from a distance.
  • Wash your hands before eating candy.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities instead of indoor parties or gatherings.
  • Stay home and don’t hand out candy if you feel sick.
  • Get the COVID-19 and flu vaccines before Halloween to reduce the spread of illness.
  • Watch for traffic.
  • Trick or treat when it is light, carry a flashlight, and wear reflective clothing.
  • Make sure costumes don’t present a tripping or fire hazard.

In Illinois, masks are required at all indoor public locations in the state, but guidelines offered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are virtually the same as guidance offered by Wisconsin public health officials.

Trick-or-treating outdoors in small groups is best, but if outdoors is not an option, there are steps people can take to make indoor trick-or-treating safer. Those handing out treats indoors should open doors and windows as much as possible to promote increased ventilation and wear a mask. It is also important for everyone handing out or receiving treats to wash their hands.

“Although we’re still in the pandemic, this Halloween and Fall festivities season will look a little different than last year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “However, we must still take precautions as not everyone is vaccinated and a vaccine for children younger than 12 year is not yet available. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and family, and your community, but it’s also important to use a layered approach by wearing a mask indoors and limiting/avoiding settings where physical distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of the virus.”

Alternatives to door-to-door trick-or-treating can include setting up tables in a parking lot or other safe outdoor area where individually wrapped treats can be set out or holding an outdoor costume parade for kids along with a parent/guardian.

Oct. 30 Trick-or-treat hours:

Roscoe:4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 31 Trick-or-treat hours:

Beloit: 5—7 p.m.

Town of Beloit: 5—7 p.m.

Orfordville: 4—7 p.m.

Janesville: 5:30—7:30 p.m.

Rockton: 5—7 p.m.

South Beloit: 4—7 p.m.

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Pumpkins in the Park scavenger hunt provides Halloween fun

BELOIT—Children races around Horace White Park Sunday, searching for clues in the Pumpkins in the Park Scavenger Hunt.

The event was sponsored by the City of Beloit Parks and Recreation Department to give families a little bit of early Halloween fun.

Nicole Yost, Beloit Recreation Coordinator, greeted the children and parents and explained the rules of the hunt as they arrived. There were seven pumpkins places throughout the park. The pumpkins contained riddles, pictures of characters and letters. The object of the game was to unscramble words and clues to win prizes.

Yost said about 20 children had registered before the event Sunday. Although the day was overcast, the rain held off and allowed the hunt to do on without raindrops spoiling the fun.

Some children came in costumes while others simply wanted to dive right into the clue gathering. And prizes awaited all who came to the event.

Rock County Christian enrollment leveling off, but more space needed at Janesville campus

BELOIT—Overall, enrollment has leveled off at Rock County Christian School, (RCCS) although the elementary campus in Janesville has a modular unit placed outside to accommodate the growing enrollment.

This year there are a total of 272 students, which is unchanged from last year’s enrollment. The enrollment accounts for students at RCCS’s Beloit campus for sixth through twelfth graders at 916 Bushnell St. and at its Janesville campus at 5122 S. Driftwood Drive, for K5 through fifth graders. Of those total students, about 90% are choice students, said Head of School John Kaminski.

There are 10 less voucher students attending. When asked if the students in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program are opting to go to the Lincoln Academy in Beloit, Kaminski said some could be attending there as some kids at RCCS have siblings who attend the Lincoln Academy. However, RCCS students leave for a variety of reasons and go to a variety of districts.

There are 147 students enrolled at the Beloit campus and 125 students at the Janesville campus.

The Janesville campus library is used for intervention, and the gym is used not only space for physical education, but for art classes as well, resulting in a space issue.

Kaminski said the board has been brainstorming about ways to address the space issue.

The numbers of students at RCCS are from the following districts: 200 students from Beloit; one from Clinton; three from Edgerton; four from Evansville; 38 from Janesville; 36 from Orfordville; two from Rockton; five from Roscoe; six from South Beloit; and one from Rockford. Those from Illinois either pay for tuition or get financial aid from the school.

Kaminski said the enrollment numbers are still good and steady. He said many families are seeking a Christ-centered school. Christian values, he said, are incorporated into the curriculum.

“If we talk about science we will talk about the creation story or history may include a Biblical perspective. Classes will incorporate Biblical scripture into what they do,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski said RCCS also offers the advantages of a small school.

“There is a close-knit community here. People know each other. We can do a lot of mentoring,” he said.

Test scores at RCCS were down a bit in 2021 from 2019. The tests were not taken due to the school shutdowns in 2020. Kaminski said the pandemic posed challenges and staff is working to determine where students are deficient and are working to address those gaps.

Scores for students in grade three through 10 taking the Wisconsin Forward exams were as follows: English language arts, 27% scoring advanced or proficient; math, 20.1%; social studies, 48%; and science, 43%.