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SHIELD Testing, COVID-19 Update, Strategic Planning, Caring Corner, Curriculum Update, Suicide Prevention Week, Employment Opportunities, and Upcoming Events

September 10, 2021

Dear District 31 Families,

I can hardly believe that we are approaching mid-September already!  We continue to be grateful every day for the opportunity to have our staff and students learning in our building and we are so appreciative of the partnership of our parents.  Even though we continue to spotlight the health and safety of our students and staff, when you walk through the buildings at Field and Winkelman, you see students learning and engaging.  Our fall assessment window is winding down and students are settled into the routine of school.

We are now finishing our second week of SHIELD testing and are beginning to fall into the cadence of how testing fits into the school day. We are thrilled that our testing on Wednesday produced a 100% negativity rate. Our students continue to demonstrate resilience as they have adapted to this new aspect of school.  Although test results should be back within 11-24 hours, we are finding that with the volume of schools testing across the state, results are taking 24-48 hours. Earlier this week we sent out information on how to access your child’s SHIELD accounts. While many were able to successfully set up accounts, others received an error message. The Shield portal is also being overloaded so we encourage you to come back later if you aren’t able to set up right away. If your child tests positive, District 31 staff will reach out. If you don’t hear from us, assume no news is good news!

COVID-19 Update
District 31 has launched a new, dedicated COVID-19 section on our website with the latest news and information related to COVID-19, as well as links to a variety of resources and contact information. View the latest District 31 COVID-19 information here.  In addition, by Monday of every week we will be updating our health and safety dashboard.

Strategic Planning Spotlight
Over the last several weeks we have shared with you the mission and vision of District 31’s strategic plan.  This week we are highlighting our values as a school community .  Values reflect what we believe as a community and these values are an integral part of implementing our new strategic plan.  It is also an important reflection of what is important to us as a community and will help prospective employees and families better learn about the District 31 community and what we stand for.  Our values are:

  • High Expectations - Fostering a growth mindset with students and setting ambitious and individual growth targets to access higher-level thinking.  
  • Diversity and Inclusivity - Brining each student’s unique background and life experience into the learning environment and demonstrating cultural responsiveness.
  • Continuous Improvement and Data Informed Decisions - Practicing data informed decisions to monitor progress, ensure continuous improvement, and accountability in the stewardship of resources.
  • Future Ready Learning - Focusing on communication, collaboration, creativity/innovation, critical thinking/problem solving, community/citizenship, and compassions/character.
  • Student Engagement Through Agency - Students owning their learning through student voice and choice.
  • Collaboration - Utilizing the systematic process in which we work together interdependently to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve individual and collective results.
  • Shared Leadership and Accountability - Staff, parents and administration working collaboratively to solve problems and share the accountability for monitoring and setting direction for improvement. 

District 31 Caring Corner
District 31 is pleased to officially  launch the “Caring Corner.” The “Caring Corner” is in the District Office (3131 Techny) outer lobby and it is stocked with items to support our District 31 families who may need some additional assistance. Over the summer (during our trial run), the “Caring Corner” was stocked with bags of groceries, personal hygiene items, new backpacks/school supplies, and new winter backpacks. While items will change depending on the time of the year or time of the month, we invite any of our District 31 families who need support to stop by the “Caring Corner” between the hours of 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. during the week and take items that they need. No need to check in with the office. We also have a suggestion box and invite families to write a need (such as a specific size of winter boots) and District 31 staff will do what they can to discreetly fulfill the need. If you are a District 31 family that would like to support the Caring Corner financially, donations will be accepted in the District Office.
View Flyer

Curriculum and Instruction Update
An overview of the District's Curriculum is available at www.district31.net/curriculum. The curriculum website page contains information regarding learning outcomes and units of study in the areas of English language arts, math, science, and social studies for grades K-8. Information about co-curriculars and social emotional learning will be added in the future.

National Suicide Prevention Week
From Elyssa’s Mission
It is vital that we all learn the warning signs for depression and suicide and remember to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) if we are worried about a loved one. The best way to prevent suicide is to know what to look for and understand how to help someone who may be at-risk. Learn more here.

District 31 Employment Opportunities
Substitute Teachers and Monitors
District 31 needs Regular Subs, Permanent Subs, Semi-Permanent Subs, and Monitors. Both stable and flexible roles are available. Parents are also encouraged to apply! Substitute salary begins at $130/Day. Visit www.district31.net/BecomeASub or Contact Tina Nielsen at tnielsen@district31.net or 847-313-4417 to start your application process.

Instructional Assistants
District 31 is searching for energetic, caring, and professional Instructional Assistants to assist in creating a high-quality educational environment for students with and without disabilities. View the job description overview below or full job description here. Please share this wonderful opportunity with anyone who would like to join our District 31 family!

Important Dates and Upcoming Events
Education Foundation Meeting
Monday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Zoom Link - https://shorturl.at/jGJOQ

PTO Fundraiser at Chipotle (3846 Willow Rd.)
Tuesday, September 14 from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
When ordering online, with the app, use the code Z7NLP6B to ensure D31 gets the credit.  (Pick-up only, not valid with delivery.)

No School - Recognition of Yom Kippur
Thursday, September 16

PTO Meeting
Tuesday, September 21 at 7 p.m. at Winkelman
Followed by Volunteer Training and Room Parent Orientation

Parents Night Out
Friday, September 24
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Board of Education Meeting 
Thursday, September 30 at 7 p.m.

Community News and  Events
CATCH Presents Parenting & Pivoting in a Pandemic
Monday, September 20
7 p.m.
Register here.

Northbrook Public Library Update
Prize Drawing: September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! Everyone who signs up for their first library card in September will be automatically entered into a prize drawing. www.northbrook.info/library-card-signup

Food Drive: The library is collecting donations of non-perishable food throughout the month of September. A donation bin will be available in the lobby, and all donations will be brought to the Northbrook Township Food Pantry. www.northbrook.info/food-drive

Used Book Sale: Find great bargains on books and media at the Friends of the Library's outdoor sidewalk sale on September 10 & 11 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. www.northbrook.info/friends

Have a wonderful weekend!  Please remember that there is no school on Thursday in recognition of Yom Kippur.

Sincerely,


Dr. Erin K. Murphy 
Superintendent of Schools