District Connection

A message from Superintendent Dr. James M. Gay

Welcoming students to campus; modeling kindness and respect by following IDPH guidelines

District Connection 100220

October 2, 2020

It felt so great to see more students in the buildings this week! I spoke to many students and each shared how grateful they are to be back at school. They are excited to meet their teachers and classmates in-person, to be in a classroom setting, and to feel a little more normalcy in their lives.

In my Student Advisory with Stagg students on Wednesday, those that had an opportunity to attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday were excited to share their experiences. While some expressed that they had some anxiety coming back not knowing exactly what school would be like, they shared that once they were on campus, saw their classmates and staff members abiding by facemask guidelines and maintaining physical distancing, they were relieved and happy to be at school.

Several staff members I spoke to likened this week to the movie Groundhog Day as a new group of students arrived each day to learn the new routines, meet their teachers in person, and adjust to being in school. Seeing the enthusiasm of students and staff was certainly a bright spot in my week!

I heard an eagerness to move to Stage 3 from many students, teachers, and staff members this week. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor health data from our schools and in our community through the Cook County Department of Public Health and Northwestern Medicine. We also will assess the implementation of Stage 2 protocols and the scalability to Stage 3. When the time is right we will make the transition.

Thank you to all who made the move to Stage 2 possible! The administration worked tirelessly to plan for student arrival, teachers prepared lessons for the hybrid model, PPS staff did everything they could to support students and families, support staff made sure everything was ready for students and teachers, food service staff assured those on campus and those in need were fed, and custodial and maintenance staff made sure all preparations were made to follow IDPH guidelines for safety and cleaning. It is certainly a group effort to make our schools work. The teamwork I've seen makes me D230Proud.


Dr. Jim Gay

Science-backed habits to be happier in 5 minutes

I came across this resource Simple Habits to Be Happier in 5 Minutes by author Nataly Kogan that I thought I'd share as we each are seeking ways to destress and find ways to be happier in this difficult time. I encourage you to take a look to see how these practices might fit into your daily routine.
Simple Habits to Be Happier in 5 Minutes | Nataly Kogan