Glen Ellyn School District 41
Message from the Superintendent
Clarifying the End of the Year Changes
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify some of the end of the year information as there seems to be some level of confusion/frustration.
As you know, we had very direct and transparent conversations during Board meetings about the degree of change that would be necessary if we were to roll out a fully open model this school year. Our hybrid/blended (AM/PM) model allowed us to smoothly pivot between in person hybrid and the full remote model. We did this intentionally knowing that there would very likely be the need to pivot to full remote during the 2020-2021 school year due to the pandemic. A full reopening was not in the plans for this school year until the unexpected changes came allowing schools to open using 3 feet as the social distancing requirement. For those of you who were watching our meetings, we were very, very transparent about the tremendous shifting that this would cause. We were also extremely transparent in stating that we knew some would be happy and some would not with the decision and the changes that come with fully opening.
Let me tackle some of the common questions/misunderstandings that I am aware of.
Concurrent Teaching. Having all teachers teach the in person students and remote students simultaneously has never been the foundation of our models this year. There have been situations where this was needed (in specialized programs such as AEC, Dual language, and gifted) and our Memo of Understanding with GEEA afforded the flexibility to do this. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Katie McCluskey has talked throughout this year about concerns that have arisen in other districts with the implementation of concurrent teaching. While it may be working well in some places, there are many instances where it has been extremely difficult for students and for staff. Most recently, the New York Times and Washington Post published a piece on this topic
We were very clear during our overview of the full reopening details at the March 22, 2021 Board meeting that we would not be moving in person students, who were required to quarantine, into the full remote classes as the foundation of our model for the last weeks of school. Families who opted for full remote have expressed concern about the level of disruption that this has caused. While the opportunity to be fully in person is important to many families, it cannot come at the expense of families who are maintaining their status as a full remote student in our district.
Last Day of School. I would like to assure everyone that we are fulfilling the required number of instructional days for public schools in the State of Illinois. We are also compliant with our number of School Improvement Days, Institute Days and Remote Learning Days. Every year, districts have the ability to adjust the last day of school based on Emergency Closing Days (typically weather related). When the decision was made to launch a fully open model this year, it was necessary to figure out how to fit in all of the work that has to happen to pull this off but also allow us to be ready for next year. 4/16/21 is a Remote Planning Day that is needed so that teams and teachers can prepare their classrooms, resources and instruction for full in person instruction to begin on 4/19/21. While the logistics around transportation, lunch, classroom changes, increased instructional periods, etc., may not seem herculean, I would like to assure you that it is. I am extremely proud of all of our staff members for rolling up their sleeves and making this happen. Planning time is essential in education. Every child has unique needs and meeting those needs can only happen when robust planning and collaboration is afforded to staff. 5/26/21 will be the last day of student attendance. It will be a full day of school following the model that will begin on 4/19/21. 5/27/21 will be a .5 School Improvement and .5 Remote Planning Day staff work day where staff and administration will continue the work on the articulation process for advancing students to the next grade level and meeting their needs.
Finally, I would like to ask our community to spend time on our website. Between the Board meeting videos, posted documents, Board summaries, District Digest, and topic specific tabs, there is a tremendous amount of information shared. Our communications often provide summary level information with links to the more detailed information. Some want the details while others do not so we provide it both ways. We can make the information available but unfortunately, we cannot control whether people choose to read it. This is why our website is so important. It is the one place where you can find the information that has been made available.
Click Here for D41.org
Click Here for Communications Sent Related to Pandemic and Learning Models
Click Here for Board Agendas, Documents and Minutes
Click Here for Board Meeting Summary Communications with Video Links
Click Here for General Communications Archives
Dr. Melissa Kaczkowski
April 16 is a Remote Planning Day that is needed so that teams and teachers can prepare their classrooms, resources and instruction for full in person instruction to begin on 4/19/21 and beyond. While the logistics around transportation, lunch, classroom changes, increased instructional periods,articulation, etc., may not seem herculean, I would like to assure you that it is. We are working to open a brand new year on 4/19 as well as begin the process of opening a brand new year for 2021-2022. I am extremely proud of all of our staff members for rolling up their sleeves and making this happen. Planning time is essential in education. Every child has unique needs and meeting those needs can only happen when robust planning and collaboration is afforded to staff. 5/26/21 will be the last day of student attendance. It will be a full day of school following the model that will begin on 4/19/21. 5/27/21 will be a .5 School Improvement and .5 Remote Planning Day staff work day where staff and administration will continue to work on the articulation process for advancing students to the next grade level and meeting their needs for the 2021-2022 school year.
Friday, April 16
NO SCHOOL for Teacher Planning
Monday, April 19
Return to Full In-Person Schedule and Full Remote Schedule
Friday, April 30
Wednesday, May 26
Last Day of Student Attendance
Thursday, May 27
Remote Planning Day AM/SIP Day PM - No student attendance
Accessing Teacher Assignments, Schedules and Bus Information
Schedules, teacher assignments, and bus information for the full in-person schedule will be available in Skyward Family Access on Saturday, April 17 at 8 a.m. This is for both elementary and Hadley. Please note that changes in teacher assignments were already communicated to individual families by school principals.
Saliva Collection Schedule for the Week of April 19
All students who are attending the full in-person school schedule starting next week will be required to submit a saliva sample for a COVID-19 screening each week.
All in-person students should bring their saliva sample to school with them on Monday, April 19. If your child forgets or there is an issue with the collection, the schools will also be collecting samples on Tuesday and Wednesday. If your child does not submit a sample, the school will be calling home to follow up.
If your child is new to saliva screening, please click here for more information on how to collect and submit the sample. If your child experiences difficulty in producing a saliva sample, please contact Katie Adduci to participate in BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing as an alternative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Masks While on School Property
School Meals Distribution Information
School meals are distributed in a curbside drive thru format at the front of Hadley Junior High. Meals are distributed EVERY WEDNESDAY from 6:30 -7:45 a.m. OR 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Hadley, 240 Hawthorne Blvd, Glen Ellyn.
Meal packs contain BREAKFAST and LUNCH for 5 days. Breakfast and lunches will be individually packed so students can easily take them wherever they are learning.
Meals will be provided to children 18 and younger, FREE of charge. There is NO pre-order required and no student ID required.
Click here for more information.
ACCESS Testing for English Learner Students
All Illinois school districts are required to administer the annual ACCESS for ELLs assessment to all students who qualify for English Learner (EL) instruction. This assessment measures English language proficiency levels and helps teachers determine the most appropriate instruction and program placement for their students. EL students who attend school in person will take the test during their regular school day. Families of students who receive full remote instruction will be contacted to schedule testing times at their children’s schools.
All District 41 schools will begin ACCESS testing in the next few weeks. Please visit our BPAC webpage to view the Illinois ACCESS Test Letter for Parents. The letter is available in multiple languages.
Extended School Year Program (ESY)
The Cooperative Association for Special Education (CASE) provides Extended School Year (ESY) to students who meet eligibility criteria. District 41 has been working hand-in-hand with CASE to prepare for ESY for students who are eligible. We are thrilled to report that ESY will be held at Churchill Elementary School this summer. Your student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team has/will consider whether your student is eligible at his/her annual review or a subsequent IEP meeting.
Where: Churchill Elementary 240 Geneva Rd. Glen Ellyn
When: June 8, 2021 - July 15, 2021
Days: Monday - Thursday, (excluding Monday July 5th in observance of July 4th holiday)
- Early Childhood: 8:15 - 10:15 a.m.
- Kindergarten - 8th Grade: 8:30 - 11:00 a.m. OR 12:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Given the circumstances of the COVID 19 Pandemic, we are expanding the length of ESY this school year from 14 to 22 days and offering two sessions (either a morning or afternoon session). This structure allows us to maximize available summer dates for students to hone in on skill work. CLICK HERE for more information
Mobile Blood Drive at Hadley
Partnering with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois, Hadley Junior High hosted a mobile blood drive. Twenty-four District 41 staff members donated 23 units to the center. According to Versiti, the donations will save up to 69 lives. Way to go D41 staff! Visit versiti.org for more info.
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