Thursday, May 14, 2020
To Our District 67 Parents and Guardians:

62, 22 and 97. These three numbers are like coordinates on a map for us. It’s been 62 days since we left our buildings and moved to e-Learning , 22 days until the last day of school , and 97 days until the first day of the 2020-2021 school year . My note this week is intended to give you a better understanding of how we are thinking about and planning for each of these important milemarkers.

Tell Us About Your e-Learning Experience
We were fortunate that when we left our buildings in mid-March we had a plan in place and the technology available to support e-Learning. Thanks to each of you, we moved quickly and within days we were able to reconnect with our students and continue delivering our curriculum to them remotely. 

Since then, we have worked in real time to plan, adjust, and refine as we navigated the academic and social-emotional aspects of this unique time for our students. We want to capture what you have observed and experienced along the way and use that knowledge to evolve and improve e-Learning. With that in mind, we are asking parents and guardians to please fill out this brief e-Learning survey . We need to hear from you and our goal is 100% participation . We are also surveying District 67 students for feedback and insights about their own e-Learning experiences. The information we gather through these efforts will help inform the professional development we offer our staff this summer and guide our future e-Learning plans.

Celebrating Our 8th Graders
On May 26th at 5:00 PM, our 8th graders and their families will have an opportunity to take part in a virtual Deer Path Middle School 8th Grade Graduation ceremony on District 67’s secure YouTube channel. This link along with a few other fun surprises will be shared with all DPM 8th grade families next week. For now, I want to express my congratulations to the DPM Class of 2020 . They have shown particular resilience in recent months and worked hard with their teachers, parents, and guardians over the years to establish the foundation they need for success during high school and beyond. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this special group of students and look forward to seeing them at LFHS!

Help Us Welcome New DPM Principal Mr. Thom Herion!
You and your students are invited to join us for an online meet & greet with incoming Deer Path Middle School Principal, Mr. Thomas Herion, on Thursday, May 21st at 4:00 PM. 

Mr. Herion will be featured in conversation with Deer Path Middle School APT President Megan Engelberg followed by a lightning round of questions from members of the DPM Student Council. We are also giving parents and students the opportunity to submit their own questions by entering them on the form found here .

School in the Fall
While we work together to bring the 2019-2020 school year across the finish line in the very best way possible, we are all also thinking ahead to next fall. I hear questions on a daily basis, Will we be back in our buildings? Will we still be e-Learning? When will we know more?” The short answer is we don’t know and can’t predict. As always, we rely on the Governor and ISBE to guide our timeline and decisions. Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan provides a public health approach to reopening our state. Our plans must follow suit. What we do know right now is that we will not be returning to “business as usual” in our buildings when school resumes in August. With that in mind, our Coronavirus Task Force is actively working through potential scenarios ranging from a modified, in-person opening, a hybrid scenario of in-person and e-Learning, and a fully remote learning opening. We will share more on these plans before the end of the school year. Our guiding principles as we consider all possibilities for the fall:
  1. The health and safety of our staff and students
  2. The social-emotional well-being our our staff and students
  3. The ability to transition smoothly between in-person and e-Learning, as needed
  4. The alignment with our values

As the 2020-2021 school year begins, we are committed to meeting our students where they are in their learning journey, striving to create a grounded, connected, and engaged educational experience for all.

And Finally
We may be socially distanced, but we can still feel the momentum of May building as we anticipate the end of the academic year. Of particular note is the incredible generosity that continues to define our District. Among many examples, I’ll note:

Thank you to each of you for your support and continued partnership,

Michael V. Simeck