Message from the Superintendent

Dr. K Provides an Update about Plans Moving Forward

Dear District 41 Families, (clic para español)

As we get ready to call the 2019-2020 school year to a close, I wanted to provide you with an update in terms of the work that is happening relative to this coming Fall.

Before going any further, I must take a minute to say thank you and I am sorry. I am thankful that you have worked so hard to hold things together for your children during, what will forever be known as, “Remote Learning.” I know that this has been incredibly stressful, challenging and at times, infuriating. All of us have experienced those same emotions as we have navigated this new and very foreign territory for education. I also feel that I need to apologize. None of us saw this coming nor knew how to do this. As much as we have made many people happy, we have disappointed others. As much as we have tried to be flexible and responsive, there are some families who wanted far less and some who wanted far more. There was no perfect solution as each family has different needs, different challenges and different expectations. What I can say is that we truly never stopped trying to improve, respond and regroup. The emotions that came through during phone calls and emails with parents were mirrored in the emotions that came through during calls and emails with staff. We all had moments where we felt extremely proud of the fact that we were tackling every hurdle that came up and moments where we felt that we could not find a perfect answer nor a perfect solution for everyone. I can assure you that it was not due to lack of trying nor lack of commitment.

I know that all of you want to know what school will look like in the Fall. As of today, we do not have an answer. Each week we are sifting through volumes of information that is coming out regarding reopening schools. The Illinois State Board of Education has issued guidance. The Center for Disease Control has as well. Across DuPage County, all school districts are working closely with the DuPage Regional Office of Education and the DuPage County Health Department to examine the guidance, the data and all of the sources of information that are being shared internationally, across our nation and from local resources. We are engaged in work groups to develop various scenarios that can be implemented depending on where we are at in the Restore Illinois phases. It is the most enormous and important work that superintendents have ever been involved in. There is no playbook for this and all of us know that our families are counting on us to get it right. I feel safe in saying that none of us have had a peaceful night of sleep since this started and likely will not for a very long time. I tell you this not because I want a pat on the back. I tell you this because I want you to know that every single one of us takes this extremely seriously.

None of us aspire to be superintendents so that we can do anything less than our very best for kids, staff and families. Across DuPage County, we are committed to providing as much consistency as possible whatever school may look like in the Fall. While we are all very unique districts we all fully recognize how interconnected we are. We share communities and our staff members live in and have children who attend other districts. Whatever school will look like in the Fall, it is important that we find solutions as a county because what each one of us does impacts everyone. I can assure you that we are meeting multiple times a week to stay on top of the information and push for answers to our questions so that we can move forward.

We will continue frequent communications throughout the summer so that all families feel as well informed as possible. I encourage all of you to continue to check email and please watch for District Digests and other sources of communication. This would be a good time to mention, please keep your phone numbers and email addresses current and don’t ignore a robocall from D41. It may be our way of sharing any urgent information. This will be a summer where communication is crucial and we are going to need your help.

Thank you,

Dr. K

Dr. Melissa Kaczkowski