Weekly Communique

10/23/2020

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Thoughts from Dr. Pacatte

A few weeks back, I discussed the need for our students to turn on their cameras and be present for their classes. I shared how teaching is a reciprocal process and the teachers need the energy and feedback from their students as much as the students need the energy and feedback from their teachers. This week I had the opportunity to watch two video submissions of first graders reading in their Super Kids books and see samples of student work that were great. It is not an exaggeration to say that this was the highlight of my week!


To listen to some of our youngest learners reading with inflection and excitement about the adventures of Golly the dog, allowed me to stop worrying about COVID-19 and the rising metrics for just a few moments and remember what we are trying to do. For many years as a school principal, and sometimes as superintendent, I’d take the opportunity to walk down to a kindergarten classroom and just sit on the floor with kids and their blocks. Watching them make choices, communicate, and negotiate with one another always re-centered my focus and reminded me of our purpose. We educate students. We try our very best, no matter the circumstances, to find a way to connect with students and move them forward in their learning.


I write this fully aware of the frustrations that exist. There are families frustrated with us because the schools aren’t open. There are parents frustrated because, if we open, they will have to tell their kids they aren’t going back because they don’t feel it is safe yet. There are teachers frustrated because they aren’t with their students and teachers frustrated because they don’t want to come back because they don’t feel safe. I don’t have an answer that will make everyone happy, but will keep trying.


In the meantime, there are moments of success and promise that we need to recognize and celebrate. This pandemic is dragging out and dragging many of us down. We cannot allow COVID-19 to stop us from seeing the positives. We can’t ignore the challenges, but we can stop and allow ourselves to be recharged by the feedback and successes that are taking place. Look for them, share them, and celebrate them.


Please stay safe, social distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands so we can move the metrics down.

FYI

This week, we began posting our local metrics on the home page of our district website. When you go to www.d56.org there will be a pop up with the most recent data regarding the Incidence and Positivity Rates. This pop up will be updated once the new data is provided by the county. This appears to take place every two or three days.

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Tweet of the Week

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#d56achieves

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Virtual Field Trip

5th-grade students from Prairie Trail took a virtual field trip to the Lake County Forest Preserves. We would like to thank Jen Berlinghof and other Environmental Educators for this great opportunity and experience for our D56 students.

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Special Visitor

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Students from River Trail in grades 4-6 had a special visitor this week from Lorelei Savaryn, author of The Circus of Stolen Dreams. She shared all about writing and what it’s like to be an author!

Happy Halloween from D56 Bookmobile

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Leaf Creations by D56 Preschoolers!

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River Trail Scholastic Book Fair

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Warren-Newport Public Library

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CDC Information