D92 September Newsletter

Monthly Newsletter from Tim Arnold, Superintendent

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D92 September 2020 Newsletter

Superintendent Message

People can be at their best in the most challenging of times. The collective feeling nowadays can be negative. I wonder what would happen if our society focused more on what we have in common and less on our differences. I wonder what would happen if we strip away all of the political discourse and consider our basic needs - needs that we ALL have in common. We all want to provide a safe home for our families. We want our children to have the healthy food they need. We want our children to learn - and our children want to learn. We want to love and be loved. The current pandemic has threatened these basic needs for so many people and we need to work together to lift each other up.


I believe that during this pandemic, now more than ever, we need to look for the good in others and assume positive intent. I can't help but wonder how much better it would be if we saw the good in each other, more than the bad. Listening to the news can give a very jaded view of the world. But how many people do we come across in our daily lives, folks in Lockport and Homer Glen, who are there to lend a hand and do the right thing? We see them every day if we focus on them! People who smile and hold a door at the grocery store. People who are more than happy to let you go first in the drive-thru at McDonald's. People who would gladly lend you a hand and not expect anything in return - because that's just what neighbors do.


The past six months have been difficult for everyone - especially for some folks more than others. I do not know what the 2020-21 school year holds for each of us. What I do know is that we will get through it better if we do it together. I commit to supporting our D92 learning community by focusing on what's best for students, looking for the good in each other, and assuming positive intent. I hope you will join me. We all need each other now more than ever.


Sincerely,


Tim Arnold, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Remote Learning Start for the 2020-21 School Year

We would like to recognize the tremendous efforts of our teachers, students, parents, staff, and administrators to implement a new and improved remote learning structure at the beginning of the new school year. Remote learning in September looks very different than it did last spring.


We have had our share of successes and a few setbacks so far, but overall it has been a smooth start to the school year. We will continue to make adjustments to our plans as necessary in order to make remote learning positive and engaging for our students.


Improvements to Remote Learning: This year we have created remote learning schedules that "mirror" the in-person learning schedules. This was done intentionally so we could provide students with consistency and structure throughout the school year, regardless of whether they are learning remotely or in-person.


Increased engagement: Prior to the start of the school year, all D92 teachers received professional development on making remote learning more engaging for our students. This year, grades matter. This year, following a schedule matters. We are more focused on the social-emotional needs of our students. Teachers are purposefully using synchronous and asynchronous learning to keep students engaged. We anticipate students benefitting significantly from these improvements during remote learning, as compared to last spring.


Next steps: As you know, when the Board of Education approved a remote learning start for the school year in August, it was decided that the soonest we would return to in-person learning would be October 5, 2020. When the Board decided that, they also planned to reevaluate our remote status at the September 15 board meeting. We will know more about what Oct. 5 will look like after the Sept. 15 board meeting.

Board of Education Meeting - September 15, 2020

The District 92 Board of Education will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be virtual and details will be available at least 48 hours prior to the meeting on the Board of Education page of the D92 website.
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Lunch Changes

D92 is excited to announce two changes to our remote school lunch program - free lunches for all students and an extended pick-up time!


Free lunches: This past week the USDA has authorized an extension of the Summer Food Service Program which had expired on the first day of school. This extended waiver allows schools to offer lunches free to all children 18 years old and under this fall in order to minimize the challenges families are facing to feed their children. Parents/guardians will need to go to www.d92.org to view menu options and the pre-order form. All lunches need to be pre-ordered by the end of day Friday for the following week. We are pleased to be able to offer on a daily basis nutritious hot lunches to all children in the community.


Pick-up time extended: Lunches may be picked up daily between 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. We have extended this time to accommodate families who have students in multiple schools, following multiple schedules.


Lunch pick-up procedures: Pick-up will be at Oak Prairie Junior High, 15161 S Gougar Rd., Homer Glen, IL 60491. When you arrive, pull into the Oak Prairie circle drive and have your child’s name displayed where it is visible. Please remain in your car as you proceed through the drive-thru. Student lunches will be handed to you by our food service staff.


If you have any questions please call Michelle McGuire (815) 838-8031 ext. 1131 or by email mmcguire@d92.org.

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Parent University Follow-up

D92 hosted our first Parent University on Aug. 26 with two topics - Remote Learning and Technology. Thank you to all who were able to attend and provide us with feedback. We will use that information to plan future parent events.


If you were not able to attend the sessions, the information is provided below.


Topic: Remote Learning Instruction presented by Jamie McCluskey, Director of Curriculum


Topic: Remote Learning Technology presented by Greg Bolek, Director of Technology

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Health and Immunization forms due Oct. 15

The Illinois State Board of Education has not waived the requirements for students, which means that students must provide the required immunization forms before Oct. 15. We understand that some families may have concerns about visiting their doctor, so we encourage them to contact their family physician to discuss their safety measures in place. Click here to view the required health forms on the D92 website.
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COVID Testing Labor Day Weekend

The IDPH will be sending their Mobile COVID Testing Units to Will County this weekend. They will be at Bolingbrook High School on Saturday and Joliet Junior College on Sunday from 9:00-5:00. All testing will be free.

COVID Update from Will County Health Department

Will County is currently under mitigation restrictions due to a resurgence of COVID cases. This is concerning as we head into Labor Day weekend.


Please see take a moment to read this letter from Susan Olenek, Executive Director of the Will County Health Department and Community Health Center.


District 92 encourages the entire community to adhere to the safety guidance provided by the CDC and IDPH, which includes the following


  • Wearing a mask
  • Maintaining six-foot distancing
  • Increased hand washing and hygiene measures



The following charts and additional information on how our region is doing may be found on the IDPH website.


We are ALL in this TOGETHER!

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