April 17, 2020
School Closure Update
Dear Parents and Staff:
As you may have heard, today Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker extended the mandatory school closure through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Given the ongoing state of the COVID-19 virus in Illinois and across the nation, I know this decision did not come as a surprise to anyone and is one we fully support to safeguard the health and well-being of our students, staff and the larger community.
Although this decision was largely anticipated, the reality that schools will be closed through the end of the school year is still emotionally difficult for all of us. We deeply value the face-to-face connection that school provides and miss our students and staff immensely.
As an earlier letter this week confirmed, we continue to refine our distance learning methods each day, and are making adjustments based upon teacher, student and parent feedback. Our teachers will continue to develop and post assignments for students, and layer in the use of virtual meetings and recorded video lessons to connect with their students for the remainder of the school year. We are committed to providing meaningful and equitable educational opportunities for students, and will continue to work together both to educate and support the social emotional well being of our students. It is the District 15 way.
I know there will be many questions about what this means for end-of-year events, such as sixth grade send-offs, junior high promotion, locker clean out, instrument and Chromebook collection, retirement celebrations and more. We have already begun working through scenarios and will communicate with you again with a plan for what’s to come. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we thoughtfully think through each unique event and decide the best way to handle them individually.
As always, please do not hesitate to connect with your school principal if your child is in need of additional support from a school social worker or psychologist, especially in light of today’s announcement.
While this isn’t the news I had hoped to deliver as you prepare to start the weekend, I hope you are able to find some encouragement, connection and joy as we continue on this journey together. Enjoy the photos below sharing some educational highlights from the last few weeks of distance learning.
Your partner in education,
Superintendent of Schools