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School Year Planning, Upcoming Board of Education Meeting, Vaccination Record Request, ESSER III Survey, School Supply Lists, SEL Info, Strategic Planning, Summer Hours, and Upcoming Events

July 13, 2021

Dear District 31 Community,

As we reach the midpoint of summer, eyes are shifting to the start of the 2021 - 2022 school year. The District is planning for full, daily in person programming for ALL students. Last Friday afternoon, IDPH and ISBE released updated guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year. These updates are aligned to the newly released guidelines for schools shared by the CDC last week. Additional clarifications and information are expected over the next few weeks, which will allow our district team to update the school opening plan for Field and Winkelman. We anticipate having a plan ready to communicate by the first week of August. Stay tuned for the updates, as well as a Town Hall opportunity to ask questions (dates coming soon!).  

Over the last school year, our community and students have shown resilience and a collective commitment to supporting the academic, emotional and physical safety of all of our students and staff. As we move into the 2021-2022 school year, that resilience and commitment are still key as we adapt and evolve our programming to best support all students and staff in the months ahead. We look forward to having all of our students back in our buildings!

Sincerely,
Dr. Erin K. Murphy
Superintendent

Board of Education Meeting
The Board of Education will be meeting this week during their scheduled time.  However, there is no business related to the new IDPH and ISBE guidance or to the 2021-2022 school year. Rather, the Board will move into an intensive Board self-evaluation training with the Illinois Association of School Boards. This training is scheduled to take three hours and will be conducted in closed session, which is permitted in Open Meetings Act Exception 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16). You can view the agenda here. If needed , the Board of Education will schedule an open special meeting and communicate the date and time to our families.

Planning for the 2021 - 2022 School Year
If you have not already, remember to register for the 2021 - 2022 school year as soon as possible. Registration fees can be paid at a later date if needed. Bus registrations that were received by July 1 are currently being routed for the fall with our transportation partner North Shore Transit. Any additional bus registrations requests will be considered based on capacity (current health guidelines require no more than 50 students on a bus) and route availability on a first come basis. 

Learn more at www.district31.net/registration.

Student COVID-19 Vaccination Records
As students receive their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, we ask parents to voluntarily send a picture of the front of the vaccine card to the Field school nurse at tgastelum@district31.net or mail a copy to Field School, 2055 Landwehr Road. We appreciate your help in participating in this voluntary statement of status and helping us keepour records up to date so we can better ensure the health and safety of our community.

ESSER III Stakeholder Input Survey
District 31 is seeking feedback from all district and community stakeholders to help determine how the district should best utilize Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) to address unfinished learning, ongoing COVID-19 recovery, and Federal Program grant funds. Please take time to let us know your opinion by completing the brief survey here.

ESSER funds are designated for one-time or short-term expenditures to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Click here to visit the District 31 ESSER website for more information.

School Supply Lists
School supply lists are available here.

SEL Return to School Message
Help your child prepare for the new school year, by following some tips from the Community Action Together for Children’s Health (CATCH) Conversation “Helping our Kids Re-enter Life Post COVID-19”.

  • Focus on how kids are doing socially and emotionally. Pay attention to how your kids are feeling, and try to help them feel safe about going back to school. Try not to worry about their academics. Students need to be emotionally available to learn; academics will catch up.
  • Try not to project your own fears about the future onto your child. Try to stay in the present by focusing on what is going well right now. 
  • Try to help your child start to feel comfortable about reintegrating now, Start with small group interactions and gradual exposure to groups.
  • Open up dialog about emotional experiences. Talk about the things that have been going well, as well as the things that have been more difficult. Model this by talking about your own experiences.
  • Practice self-compassion about decisions that were made during the pandemic. There was no right or wrong way to handle the situation.
  • Seek help if you are struggling.

Strategic Planning
In the spring of 2021, District 31 began the strategic planning process. The District now needs your feedback to continue forward. Please join us for the second online strategic planning focus group July 20 via Zoom to provide feedback on the strategic planning team’s work thus far. A voluntary session for District 31 staff will take place at 3 p.m. and a session for district families and community members at 7 p.m. A zoom link is provided on the District website at www.district31.net/strategicplan.

2021 District 31 Summer Hours
Through August 6: Monday - Thursday - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Closed Friday

Important Dates and Upcoming Events
Board of Education Meeting
Thursday, July 15

Strategic Planning Focus Group
Tuesday, July 20
More Information

North Shore Transit Movie Night
Friday, July 23
More Information

Teacher Institute Days
August 16- 18

Winkelman Meet the Teacher Event
Wednesday, August 18
More Information to Follow Next Week!

First Day of School
Thursday, August 19

Little Wildcats Preschool Meet and Greet
August 19 and 20

Little Wildcats First Day of School
Monday, August 23

Board of Education Meeting
Thursday, August 26