I hope you are doing well and keeping safe. Thank you to everyone for recognizing the hard work of District 58 during Staff Appreciation Week. We are proud of our staff and grateful for all that they do for our students, families and community members. We are also very proud of our families for all of the hard work taking place at homes throughout the District during remote learning. We are all a team and will get through this together.
The end of the school year is approximately three and a half weeks away. District 58 will continue to distribute report cards during the last week of school. However, reporting practices will be adjusted for the third trimester due to remote learning and the guidance provided by the Illinois State Board of Education as well as the District’s Report Card Committee. We have also clearly identified “essential standards” as our instructional focal points at each grade level during remote learning. Click here for information on report cards and essential standards.
Students will have the opportunity to pick up and drop off materials prior to the conclusion of this school year. Per the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, this will be done as a curbside process and social distancing guidelines must be followed. This process will take place during the first week of June; building principals will follow up with families over the next two weeks with specific details.
You may also be aware that Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently released “Restore Illinois,” a five-phased plan to reopen Illinois. This is an initial framework based upon regional health care availability, and it recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of our state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. The DCHD will direct District 58 as to how and when we will return to normal operations.
Therefore, the DCHD has clearly communicated to all schools that there are to be no large in-person school-organized gatherings for the entire summer. Unfortunately, this means that summer school programs cannot take place on-site and must be offered remotely. Additionally, this also means that eighth grade promotion ceremonies and sixth grade “clap-outs” cannot be pushed back to later this summer. We are disappointed for our students and families who were looking forward to these milestone events. We will continue to move forward with our virtual plans for honoring and celebrating our students in a meaningful way. Consistent with our practices during on-site learning, we plan to host virtual wrap-up events and celebrations during the last few days of school (June 1-3). We know these can never replace in-person events, but we will do our best to honor our students.
Moving forward, the DCHD will communicate how and when we will return to normal operations. According to the state plan and the DCHD, we are currently in Phase 2. Schools may start to open at Phase 4 with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, and we likely will need to be in Phase 5 to fully reopen schools. No final decisions have been made about the fall. The District will continue to keep staff and families apprised of any and all developments/news.
District 58 values feedback from all stakeholders so we can continue to make remote learning as successful as possible. Below is a link to a survey that will be open through Friday, May 15. We encourage all families to take the survey as it greatly assists the District in the planning process. Please note the Family Survey includes questions about potential summer school options, and we thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts. If you have multiple children, you are encouraged to fill out a survey response for each child. Additionally, we will be surveying all teachers and our students in grades 3-8 regarding their remote learning experiences.
These are difficult and disappointing times for all of us. We are all experiencing a sense of loss and confusion about the future. We will continue to do our best to manage the coming weeks and months to ensure that students receive the care and support they need to continue their learning.
Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools