A Message from Superintendent Dr. Shawn Olson ~ 8/27/2021
And we are off! Where did summer go?!
Over the last few days, I have been at schools welcoming students and their families and touching base with our teachers, principals, and support staff. It’s been wonderful to actually see and speak with everyone in person. I could not be more excited about this year!
I wanted to share three quick updates with you as we get ready to move into week two of the school year.
Please know that I am very appreciative of your patience and support with the transportation issues that occurred at some schools this week. Although our transportation department has done an incredible job, we are still faced with a shortage of drivers, longer bus routes for our students, and increased pick-up/drop-off traffic at our schools. We will continue to monitor, adjust, and improve this situation as the year progresses. We are so very grateful to our transportation staff, and most especially, our incredibly hard-working bus drivers. Thank you!
Our D140 COVID-19 Dashboard was updated earlier today to provide families with the COVID-19 metrics within our school community. These metrics will guide mitigations throughout the year with the goal of maintaining our school calendar, programs, and attendance. The topic of masks is beyond debate under the Governor's current Executive Order, but refining social distancing, testing, and other protocols will be responsive to these numbers. Mitigation measures are important to maintaining a normal, uninterrupted school experience for our students and staff.
Coming soon! Kirby School District 140 will be implementing the SHIELD Illinois test free of charge to students and staff. The SHIELD Illinois test is easy to administer, non-invasive, saliva-based PCR test designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19. Parents/guardians who do not want their students tested will be given the opportunity to opt-out. Before each sample collection, nurses will obtain and document verbal consent from a student’s parent/guardian. Detailed information will be shared with families in the next few weeks.
Our consistent and continuous aim is safety, learning, and communication. We’re proud to be open, full day and full time and fully in person. Thank you for your support and understanding and thank you for allowing us to lead and serve the educational needs of each child, every day!
Dr. Shawn M. Olson