We appreciate your time and support as we prepare for our first parent-teacher conferences of the 2022-23 school year. It has been a busy and joyful first quarter. Our students have been so involved and hands-on this year with collaborative learning, school initiatives and activities; it’s hard to believe that we have only been together for a couple of months. I think this is a telling sign of a truly remarkable year of growth ahead. Below are a couple of important updates for the remainder of the year.
State Update on Remote Instruction
Last month, the Illinois State Board of Education updated its in-person learning declaration. The update emphasizes the importance of in-person instruction and states that remote instruction is only required for students whose entire classroom or entire school is placed on an adaptive pause, in conjunction with the local public health department. In reviewing this update, District 27 has made the decision to suspend future livestream instruction for students who are isolating due to COVID, effective immediately. Any students who are already participating in livestream instruction will be allowed to finish up their livestream learning plan in its entirety. The decision to suspend livestream instruction is two-fold. We believe strongly in the value of in-person instruction. We also recognize that our usage has been minimal this year, with less than 2% of our student population requiring livestreaming. As always, the District will continue to evaluate the need for livestreaming as the school year progresses.
We have approached the time of year where we review our plans for inclement weather and snow days. District 27 has set aside five full emergency days (or snow days) to use before needing to move into remote instruction for inclement weather. If an emergency day is used, that day will be made up at the end of the school year. Again, we believe strongly in the value of in-person instruction and know that while a “snow day” results in a day being added to the school year, this in-person day later in the year will be most beneficial for our students. In addition, we believe in the magic of simply “letting kids be kids” on snow days and the nostalgia that comes with that. We realize there is no one-size-fits-all solution for District families and staff when it comes to snow days. While remote instruction may be conducive for our older students, it becomes very difficult to implement universally across all grade levels. The District will consider remote instruction in outlying circumstances, such as a multi-day stretch of extreme weather.
During periods of inclement weather or emergencies, our first priority is the safety and welfare of our students and staff. At the same time, the closing of school buildings can be burdensome to families due to child care and work schedules. We consider canceling school to be an exception and we place a strong emphasis on keeping our schools open.
Emergency Notification System
The District sends out emergency notification via email, phone call and SMS (text message). Please text “Y” or “Yes” to 67587 to opt into District text messages. This is the same emergency notification system that we use for inclement weather announcements.
Thank you for your partnership.
John Deiter, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools