News from CCSD15

September 25, 2020

First Day of In Person Learning, 2020-21 School Year

A Message From Superintendent Laurie Heinz

Dear Parents and Guardians,

What a week it has been! Thank you to everyone for your support in reopening our schools for in-person learning after six long months without students in them! We have enjoyed seeing our kindergarten and many of our special education students back in the classrooms again as part of our rolling reentry plan. The transition from virtual to in-person learning went smoothly - with students visibly excited to “meet” their teacher and classmates. A huge thank you for working with us to make the return to in-person learning a reality.


We are excited to welcome grades 1 and 2 back to school as our rolling reentry continues on Monday, September 28. All students enrolled in a virtual classroom will remain virtual during the re-entry period. Please make sure to sign your child’s self-certification lanyard each morning. Staff will be outside to meet buses, walkers and students being driven to school. We are looking forward to seeing more students on Monday morning.


We continue to carefully monitor COVID-19 metrics to make informed decisions moving forward. As I have stated previously, decisions will not be made using any only one data point. We will look at community metrics paired with our own staffing numbers and status of the virus within our schools.

Since in-person learning resumed, we have not had a staffing issue or an outbreak of cases within one building. Our ability to safely open without significant viral transmission and our ability to ensure we can staff our classrooms are our two lead indicators.


We are experiencing a staffing issue with parents making last minute changes to their enrollment decision from in-person to virtual learning classrooms. Although the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires districts to accommodate parent requests to change to virtual learning settings at any time during the COVID-19 pandemic, it causes significant disruption to class sizes and staffing.

For example, we had parents of 15 kindergarten students request a last minute change from in-person to virtual learning, leaving an in person class at six students. We simply cannot run classrooms with six students. Therefore, we are being forced to combine and/or close sections, which doesn’t feel good for anyone involved -- not administration making the need-based decision, for our students that are having their classrooms changed or for teachers that are either gaining or losing students or even having their teaching assignment adjusted to accommodate these fluctuations.

I am asking for your help. As we continue with our rolling reentry plan, if you signed up for in- person instruction, please let Deputy Superintendent Dr. Claire Kowalcyzk know immediately if you intend to request a change to a virtual learning classroom. This will allow us time to plan, communicate and prepare for any changes.


If your child is returning to school in person, please remember to sign the self-certification card daily, verifying that your child is COVID-19 symptom-free. Students without certification signatures will have delayed entrance into the building which will take away from valuable instructional time. Please integrate this symptom check and signature into your daily morning routine. I know I speak for staff at our schools when I say just how important your partnership on this daily expectation is. Thank you.

Once again, thank you for your partnership throughout this process. We are delighted to see students back at school again and will continue to communicate with you at the school and district level on a regular basis.

Your partner in education,

Dr. Laurie Heinz

Superintendent of Schools

Bus safety during COVID-19


Our instructional technology team is pleased to bring you another Parent University! This edition focuses on Digital Citizenship. What does it mean to be a digital citizen as a student? As a teacher? As a parent? Learn more about talking to your student and access resources to support digital citizenship at school and at home.


The Early Intervention team at Conyers Learning Academy is having a free virtual screening on October 7 for District 15 children under the age of 3. Please review the online flyer for more information on how to register.


District 15 continues to package and deliver free meals to children each school day. As rolling reentry continues, some modifications have been made to the delivery schedule. Please review the most recent schedule on our website. Menus and reheating instructions are available online as well.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, breakfast will no longer be served on-site to students attending school in-person. Insead, students will be given a breakfast bag to take home with them at the conclusion of each school day, to be eaten the next morning. All meals are free through the end of 2020.