Personal Reflections | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Personal Reflections

February 2, 2018

Dear IMSA Family,

School Year 2017-2018 is becoming a year of significant milestones. We welcomed one of the largest classes, the Class of 2020 with 250 students, and held convocation on the day of the 2017 Solar Eclipse. We are in the midst of planning the International Student Science Fair (ISSF) scheduled for June 2018, the first time this fair will be hosted in the United States ( And last week, we had our first ever school closure due to the flu. Some have called it IMSA’s “flu-cation” others the IMSA “plague-cation.”

I want to take the time now to thank each of you: parents, students, faculty and all IMSA staff for your support during this closure. The numbers leading us to make the decision to close are compelling: 25 absences due to flu-like symptoms on Friday, which jumped to 30+ on Saturday, 60+ on Sunday and 80+ on Monday. With the additional numbers of faculty and resident counselors who were suffering from flu-like symptoms and the recommendations from health professionals, as you know, we decided to close the campus allowing everyone to go home and heal. Then, we turned our focus on doing some deep cleaning at IMSA. An update on numbers from the clean up as of Friday: 553 staff hours, 110 gallons of disinfectant and 24 concentrated units of peroxide cleaner.

The results of the closure have been very positive, not only in the media, but also in our attendance. On Monday, we had five students absent due to illness. The rest of the week and as of today, we had just three additional students reportedly absent because of illness. We’re getting back to normal!

I’d like to end by announcing that this closure will not affect IMSA’s calendar for the rest of the year. IMSA, like many schools across the state, plans its calendar to include some flexibility. As a result of this flexibility and after careful consideration including conversations with faculty and other staff, we believe we can accommodate the recent closure days within the current academic calendar without any changes. Should we experience any further emergency closure days, we will review the calendar again and determine if changes are necessary and communicate these to you.

Let me end by urging each of you to continue to remain well.


José M. Torres, PhD
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