Dear District 102 Parents and Guardians,
I do hope you have been able to find some time to relax over the weekend. Juggling work life, family life, and trying to help your children with their schoolwork over the last five weeks has provided new challenges for all. We want to remind everyone that we recognize the unique and unprecedented challenges and struggles that have been affecting our families, communities, state, and country. Everyone has been impacted. We also realize that the impact is felt differently based on the circumstances of each family. We are doing our best to align our resources to assist in the ways that we can.
On Friday, April 17, Governor Pritzker announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. While the news is not surprising, this decision allows us to plan and be more future-thinking, building on the work that we have already done. Over the weekend, the principals, central office administrators, and I met to outline some of the questions that we will be working on answering over the next couple of weeks. As I have said before, we will not have all the answers, and it is possible that the answers previously given will now need to be modified. The one thing I do know is that we will get through this the D102 way--with empathy to others’ situations, forward-thinking problem solving, and a focus on continuous improvement with excellence.
Later this week we will be sending an email that outlines some of the questions that we are working to answer and, where possible, we will provide the answers when we can. We are working on questions such as:
Will there be a graduation ceremony for Park Junior High 8th Graders?
How do all students clean out their lockers/desks and pick up yearbooks, etc.?
How will students return textbooks, library books, computers, etc.?
What will report cards look like at the end of the year?
What happens if I already paid for graduation fees, field trips, transportation, etc.?
Will students be promoted to the next grade level?
Will the schedule/calendar for the next school year change due to all that is happening?
What will Summer School and ESY look like this year?
This is a shortlist of all the questions that we are working to resolve as we also plan for an unknown future.
I refuse to believe the narrative that says our children could suffer academically for many years due to these months of remote learning. Our children are resilient, our teachers are excellent in their craft, and our parents only want the best for their children. More than ever, we embrace the importance of working as a collaborative team. Meeting students where they are has taken on a different meaning. But we can do this; we will rise to this new challenge.
I hope you had a great weekend. Hopefully, the snow is behind us and warmer days are ahead. Take care of your families and take care of yourself!