A Message from the D41 Board
Dear District 41 Community,
As we are experiencing the reality of how quickly the omicron variant is spreading across our local communities, I am thankful that our schools in District 41 remain open for in-person learning. Let me start by saying, I hope all who have become COVID-19 positive during this surge are recovering well and only experiencing mild symptoms. It’s a reminder to us again that we are still in this pandemic and mitigations are essential in our community and in schools.
I am extremely proud of the extensive work and planning that has occurred in our district to open schools after winter break and keep them open as we experience higher than usual absences. Superintendent Kaczkowski has sent a number of communications over the past two weeks keeping the community informed of our status and the reality we are facing. What you may not know is all of the behind the scenes work and collaboration that is happening. I want to share some of this work here and highlight the generous and multi-layered service of so many dedicated folks.
District 41 leaders have been in regular collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health, DuPage County Health Department, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Regional Office of Education, as well as the Glenbard feeder district superintendents. As a district and Board of Education, we have been actively advocating for guidelines that safely prioritize in-person learning for students.
There are many staff members who are filling in and doing work that looks different from their typical work day.
Teachers and building staff have adjusted to rapidly changing daily conditions with grace and professionalism. They continue to focus on the academic and emotional needs of students in spite of the stress that is inherent in this pandemic.
Substitute teachers, many of our own community members, have stepped up and are filling in for teachers who are out due to COVID related illness or quarantines.
We have increased the availability of our sub pool when the demand for substitutes has been extraordinary and rapidly accelerating.
Our district has hosted a number of vaccination and booster clinics that require partnerships with health organizations and extra work by Nurse Adduci after hours. Katie Adduci has served as a crucial resource to families at night and on the weekends throughout this pandemic in ways that extend far beyond her job description.
Many of the medical employees assisting with our SHIELD testing are or have been parents of district schools and live within our community.
Nurses and office staff at all of our schools are managing a heavier workload with many more phone calls and questions due to the pandemic. They are often the ones who have to make the difficult decisions and phone calls related to COVID. They are often the ones on the receiving end of angry, scared and emotional phone calls with parents.
Our district and building administrators have managed not only the pandemic but a host of other emergencies that have occurred. The level of teamwork and partnership with local first responders is always extremely impressive. Our administrators shoulder the responsibility for the safety and well being of every student, staff member and visitor in their care.
Board of Education members have been volunteering at all of the schools to assist with SHIELD saliva testing due to nursing staff absences. Behind the scenes our BOE members have stepped in to help as much as possible, whenever asked. Board leadership has also communicated and advocated regularly with state agencies and officials on behalf of our students, staff and families. This has been the case since March of 2020 and continues today.
Schools continue to be deep cleaned on an aggressive schedule to keep our learning environments as safe as possible. The buildings and grounds staff have risen to every challenge and every request.
Appreciation to the District 41 technology staff for making a major impact on the current state and future of technology in our schools. District technology is now safer and much more efficient and effective. This is especially important as we provide online educational resources and learning during the pandemic.
There are many more examples of the essential work being done to keep in-person learning happening in our district in the face of new and ever-changing challenges. The commitment of staff often comes at the expense of their own families and needs, and deserves a minute of recognition and appreciation. D41 has continued to provide educational opportunities that our community should be proud of.
Thank you to everyone working with the district, who has made a positive contribution to keeping us moving forward and in school.
I am also deeply appreciative of our families for collaborating with us to keep our schools safe and open.
Finally and most importantly, our schools are sites of joy because they reflect the abundant excitement students have for learning when they walk through our doors. Each of them deserve the admiration of the whole school community.
On behalf of the Board, I am grateful to be a part of the district-wide robust effort to navigate these challenging times with all of you.
Wishing everyone in our District 41 community the very best and a Happy New Year.
Dr. Robert Bruno
Board of Education
Glen Ellyn School District 41