Sent to all D99 Staff, Students and Families on July 2, 2020
Dear District 99 Community:
I hope you are doing well and enjoying the summer.
We continue to create our plan and procedures for how we will open the 2020-21 school year, based on the guidance from both the Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The District 99 Return to School Strategic Task Force, which includes students, parents, teachers and staff, will begin to meet next week. This group of volunteers is charged with reviewing and vetting the comprehensive plan being developed by our administrative team to transition back to in-person teaching and learning. The Strategic Task Force will also be reviewing guidance from ISBE and the IDPH as well as other national organizations in order to critique and evaluate our plans. We intend to have an outline of our plan released to the public the week of July 20 so that students, families, and staff can begin to familiarize themselves with the possibilities for next school year.
The Strategic Task Force will also be reviewing feedback that you provided to us in regards to Remote Learning last spring. At the end of May, we issued surveys to our students, families, teachers and staff members to collect information about their experience with Remote Learning. The purpose of asking for feedback was to learn what went well, and what needed to be improved upon for the future.
Thank you to the 1,578 people who responded and shared their thoughts. Each group identified a variety of benefits and challenges with Remote Learning. You are invited to read the data results of the survey. Many of you also spent a great deal of time offering insightful direction, and provided specific ideas for how best to move forward. Please know that we are carefully reviewing all of your suggestions.
The survey results from every group are clear: We all want to be with one another, in-person, at the start of our school year on August 14. Nothing replaces face-to-face interaction with one another, and online learning has its share of challenges. We will make every effort to maximize our in-person teaching and learning, while adhering to the reality that many restrictions must be in place to protect our health and safety.
Thank you for your time. I will continue to update you as we finalize plans.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
Dr. Hank Thiele
District 99 Superintendent