Dear District 97 Community,
I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. This afternoon, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year. This 60-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the upcoming school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process.
Right now, we don’t have all the answers to those questions as this document was released to school districts at the same time it was released to the public. We appreciate your patience as our staff thoroughly reviews this detailed guidance and implements the suggestions into our district’s own transition plan. We understand the urgent need to communicate to staff and families about what to expect next school year and anticipate sharing our own recommendations during our July 14 board of education meeting.
Please know that we are committed to doing everything we can to return to on-site learning to the extent that is safe and feasible under the state’s health guidelines. As you may know, our district formed transition teams that have been meeting weekly since the beginning of May (2020-21 Planning and Updates), and we have been working closely with our community partners and our counterparts in Districts 200 and 90. The state guidance will accelerate those conversations, and I’m confident our district can put forth a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, staff and families, while maintaining a dynamic and equitable learning environment.
District 97 recognizes the importance of stakeholder voice in this planning process. We are planning additional outreach over the next few weeks, which will help our team refine and improve our plans for the fall. We will continue to keep our community informed through our weekly emails, newsletters, website and social media channels.
Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation together. I will be in touch soon. In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy your summer.
Dr. Carol Kelley