Superintendents' Corner 😎 🖥 😎

Avoca School District 37 - December 5, 2021

In this issue...

  • COVID Vigilance and Care
  • Have Your Voice Heard: Last Chance to Complete the Second Survey on Strategic Planning
  • Winter Holidays in Our Diverse Community

COVID Vigilance & Care

Local and regional COVID incidences and positivity rates are increasing after Thanksgiving and could rise more as we head into Winter Break. Some important COVID related issues to remember for your student:

  • If symptomatic (vaccinated or not), keep them at home and get them tested.
  • If a close contact to a positive case - vaccinated students can come to school if they have no symptoms, unvaccinated students should get tested and stay home for 10 days.
  • If they are 5 years or older, get them vaccinated.
  • If you are already vaccinated, and you are eligible for a booster, get a booster.

Vaccinations and boosters help prevent infection, transmission and minimize effects of infection.

Some ask: What if case rates indicate their is in school transmission at high rates?

First, we always consult with the Cook County Department of Public Health and follow any guidance or directives they issue. Second, we have contingencies that prioritize holding in-person instruction safely, but it is possible that a classroom or grade could be put on remote learning for a limited duration of time to make students at school and the community safer.

In addition to vaccination, please remember steps you can take to minimize out of school contacts - avoid large gatherings, wear masks indoors whenever possible, get tested if you might have been exposed or are symptomatic, etc.

Have Your Voice Heard: Last Chance to Complete the Second Survey on Strategic Planning

Surely by now, you have read numerous messages we need to hear your voice in shaping the future of the District. To the left is a picture and link to the Town Hall 2 Video Presentation, which focuses on Facilities, Learning Spaces, and District Finances. Although it is lengthy, watching it will help inform you and help you inform the District about what you think should be future priorities.

At the end of the video is a link to the survey that closes on Wednesday, December 8. You will need to type the URL of the link into your browser to access the survey.

This survey data will directly impact decisions made by the Strategic Planning Committee and the Board of Education related to future decisions about finances, facilities, and learning in Avoca.

Holiday Observances in a Diverse Community

It's doubly tough to conduct ourselves safely during the holiday season with COVID. From the beginning of November through early January are a host of important religious and cultural holidays that many of our Avoca community members celebrate. Rather than attempt to post each time another holiday arises, I have here shared a brief spotlight for those that take place between the beginning of November through the new calendar year. Below is just a snapshot for those and links to where you can find more. (Please know that nothing here or above is intended to be an endorsement of any one holiday or any one perspective on a given holiday.)

Diwali - November 3 - an annual Hindu festival, holiday is over four days and is a celebratory holiday that emphasizes light and renewal, among other spiritual principles. You may find out more by clicking here.

Thanksgiving - November 25 - while there are communal and generous aspects of the American holiday of Thanksgiving - first declared a holiday by Abraham Lincoln, this holiday has more than one perspective that informs it. A 'traditional' Eurocetnric view can be found by clicking here but includes some notes about the controversy. An outline of the more troubling aspects of Thanksgiving history can be found by clicking here.

Hannukah - November 28 - December 6 - sharing with Diwali the alternative name "festival of lights" Hannukah is based on an ancient Jewish story of courage, resistance, and miracles. The gift giving of Hannukah might have come later but you can learn more by clicking here.

Christmas - December 25 - this Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus, who came to be accepted as the son of God in Christian religion. Its original dates and its roots and evolution involve any number of other symbols and practices not originally part of Christianity but solidly in place nonetheless. (For Orthodox Christians, Christmas is observed January 7, 2022.) Learn more by clicking here.

Kwanzaa - December 26 - January 1 - is a weeklong celebration of seven basic values of African culture: unity, self-determination, collective work, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. You can learn more by clicking on this article.