Update #6 -- Email from Dr. Filippi sent July 16, 2020
July 16, 2020
Good afternoon, 109 Families:
The days are quickly flying by until school begins on August 19, and I wanted to update you on the Reopening Committee’s work. We are finalizing three scenarios that we will present to the Board of Education: a full in-person educational model, a hybrid model blending in-person and remote instruction, and a full remote educational model. Each of these approaches has advantages and disadvantages, and each has received the careful consideration of members of the committee. As we laid out in our timeline established in June, these recommendations will be presented to the Board of Education on July 27.
In order to gather community perception on each approach to a return to school, we will ask that you indicate your preferred approach in a short survey next week. We also plan on holding another community update shortly after the plan is released, and we will share that date with you when it is determined.
These are difficult times; new information and developments come each day, and we recognize that many of you are anxious about the start of school. Please know that we are monitoring any changes related to the pandemic, and we are adjusting accordingly.
If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reach out to you to answer as best we can.
Stay safe and have a great weekend.
Update #5 -- Email sent from Dr. Filippi on July 6, 2020
July 6, 2020
Dear District 109 Families,
I hope you had a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.
As laid out in guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), schools across the state are strongly encouraged to plan for students to attend school in-person for the 2020-2021 academic year with appropriate safety measures in place. DPS 109 is working diligently to prepare for the upcoming school year, and we need information from you.
Here is a short survey of just three questions that will assist us in our planning for the upcoming year. If you could please complete this by Friday, July 10th at noon we would appreciate it. And remember, you can always email questions, thoughts, and concerns to email@example.com.
Update #4 -- Email sent from Dr. Filippi on June 23, 2020
June 23, 2020
District 109 Families, Staff & Community:
Today, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released Part 3 guidance detailing recommendations for resuming instruction in the fall. This guidance is serving as a cornerstone of the school reopening planning currently being undertaken by the district’s Reopening Committee. The state is recommending every effort be made to resume in-person instruction this upcoming school year. It is District 109’s intent to open schools, as long as we can do so safely by meeting the guidelines published by ISBE/IDPH. Here is a link to the state's complete document available for review now.
This guidance was released to the public and to districts at the same time, so our committee members are reviewing every measure needed to ensure a safe learning environment for our students. We don’t have answers to every question you may have right now, but we will be sure to communicate with you further as the plan is developed.
There are two outlets for you to let us know what you think. We have an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) where you can communicate your thoughts and questions regarding a return to school in 2020-21. Also, tomorrow (Wednesday 6/24), there will be a virtual community meeting at 7 p.m. to update you on our work. You can find a link to that Zoom meeting here.
We are working hard to do what’s best for our students and our community, and appreciate you working with us to make a possible return to the classroom the safest it can be for our students.
Update #3 - Email Sent From Dr. Filippi on June 18, 2020
Dear 109 Families:
I want to invite you to a Zoom meeting to update you on the work of the Reopening Committee. At 7 PM on Wednesday, June 24, I will summarize the work completed thus far, and offer an opportunity for families to share their thoughts and ask questions. You can find the link to the meeting on the district calendar here.
Stay safe and be well!
Update #2 - Email Sent From Dr. Filippi on June 15, 2020
Dear District 109 Parents:
As Dr. McConnell shared in his email last week, he has asked me to lead a committee focused on what a return to school will look like in the fall. We have created a landing page on the district website that describes this committee in detail. Last week Monday, we had our initial meeting where we discussed the purpose and timeline of the committee's work. Our goal is to put in place plans to open school on time on August 19, while also developing contingency plans for remote learning should we need to close schools to student attendance at any point during the 2020-21 school year.
In collaboration with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will guide schools on how to open to students in the fall. On June 4, ISBE and IDPH released guidance for summer school. We have been told that guidance for a return in the fall is forthcoming and will look very similar--albeit with an increase in the number of individuals allowed to gather in one space.
While we have been careful to include administrators, teachers, staff and parents on the committee, we understand all families have thoughts, questions, and concerns regarding reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. We have established a dedicated email address, email@example.com, for you to reach out to the committee. Any thoughts you share at this address will be directed to the applicable subcommittee for consideration in their planning. Should you have a question or concern unique to your child, please contact your child’s principal and they will reply to you directly.
Finally, we want to do all we can to keep you in the loop on planning as it progresses. All updates will be posted to the committee webpage. The Board of Education will be discussing reopening at a Committee of the Whole meeting on June 22 at 7 p.m., and I also invite you to attend a Zoom meeting open to all members of our community on June 24 at 7 p.m. to update you on our progress. We will provide meeting access details as the dates approach.
Stay safe and be well!
Update #1 - Email Sent From Dr. McConnell on June 3, 2020
Dear District 109 Families:
As we prepare to wind down what has been an unprecedented school year, we are looking forward to a return to school in August.
I have asked Dr. John Filippi to lead a committee to determine what a return to school will look like for District 109. John is entering his 10th year as an administrator in District 109. He served as assistant principal at Caruso and principal at Shepard before moving into his current district-level administrator position in the Business Office. Before joining District 109 as an administrator, John was a teacher for six years. He will effectively lead this work as I transfer leadership of the district to the new interim superintendents, Dr. Jane Westerhold and Mr. Ed Rafferty, on July 1.
The committee includes teachers, support staff, parents, students, administrators, and other local experts. Together, they will work to analyze guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education, and the Governor’s Office. The committee will develop local plans in alignment with guidance to ensure the safety of students and staff and the continuity of learning.
The committee will draft a document detailing the district’s planning in seven domains, including:
- In-Person Learning
- Social/ Emotional Well-being
- Physical Health & Safety
- Building Infrastructure & Custodial
For a detailed overview of the committee structure and membership, along with an anticipated timeline of the committee’s work, please see this document on our dedicated COVID-19 landing page. We will continue to update this page as pertinent information becomes available.