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June 25 Board of Education Meeting Overview

June 26, 2020

Dear District 31 Community,

I am thrilled to announce that Shaton Wolverton has been named the new principal of Winkelman School.  Ms. Wolverton’s experience as an elementary school principal, her collaborative spirit, and her love of students will make a wonderful addition to the District 31 community.  You can learn more about Ms. Wolverton here

In addition to approving a new principal for Winkelman, there were several other noteworthy topics at the Board of Education. The Board of Education will continue to live stream meetings to allow for greater participation when in-person meetings are permitted to resume; nearly 80 community members participated in the meeting via the live-stream. A summary of the Board meeting can be found on the Board Brief.  Included on the Board Brief are links to presentations and information referenced during the meeting, as well as the link to watch the Board of Education meeting.

At the meeting, the administrative team presented draft frameworks for the start of school in the fall based on the guidance released by the Illinois State Board of Education.   As masks will be required for all staff and students in the building, we encourage parents to read the FAQ provided by ISBE.  Right now we are planning for in-person instruction for all students, with a concurrent remote learning option for students whose parents choose not to send them to school for in-person instruction.  In addition, we are planning a more robust e-Learning program for all students if conditions warrant a return to remote learning. As you can imagine, there are many details to plan and the administrative team is working to get all the information and plans developed.  After the 4th of July weekend, we will hold several virtual Town Hall meetings to review the frameworks and answer questions.  Stay tuned for dates, which will be released next week. After those meetings, we will ask parents to “re-register” and select an in-person or remote option for their child.

In addition to talking about programming for the fall, the Board of Education also approved an updated calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.  You can find that calendar here.  Here are some changes you will find to the previously adopted calendar.

  • The first day of school for students is now Monday, August 24, 2020  The last day of school (if we do not need emergency days) is Friday, June 4 2021.
  • Built in emergency days were moved to the end of the school year.
  • The state has authorized specific additional professional development for teachers to plan for all the changes in-person learning and e-Learning will bring for the new year.  In order to have teachers participate in that professional development, there will be no student attendance on Friday, September 25, Monday, October 19, and Tuesday, November 24.
  • Recently passed legislation requires no student or staff attendance on Election Day (November 3, 2020).
  • In addition, in order to honor the diversity of our community, the Board approved a more inclusive calendar that recognizes additional religious holidays celebrated by our families.  Orthodox Good Friday (April 30) and Eid al-Fitr (May 12) are now non-attendance days for all students and staff.  The intent was also to recognize Diwali.  However, it is on a Saturday for the upcoming school year.  Non-attendance days for holidays already in the calendar will continue to be observed. 

Thank you for your partnership as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Dr. Erin K. Murphy

Superintendent