Dear IASA Member,

Over the past several weeks, the work that Illinois school districts have performed under the strangest of conditions has been nothing less than heroic. The agility and effort have been monumental, and I’m proud to be associated with a group of educators that have shown such extraordinary ingenuity. As we have somewhat worked out the basic details of remote learning and realize that any summer school will also be remote, we are all rightfully looking toward the fall semester and what that will look like.

Recently in published reports, the Illinois State Board of Education has mentioned having three tracks of plans ready to go for the beginning of the next school year and many are discussing what that might look like. The ISBE itself is working on a transition document that we believe will be sent to districts in the very near future. Additionally, the IASA COVID-19 Swat Team has also started working on some materials that will serve as ideas to consider in your planning and would be supplemental to the ISBE transition documents.

Another matter that has been under discussion is that of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and students as we enter the fall semester. We have been in talks with two of our major supply chain partners mentioned below. They are feverishly working to secure a supply chain to meet a need that, at the moment, is not calculable. I would encourage every district to be thinking about procurement for these items. IASA partners to consider would be BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative and the Schools of Illinois Purchasing Consortium (SIPC).    You can also reach out to Dave Ricketts on his cell phone at 913-424-5758 or OR Kay Dosier on her cell at 618-713-4444 or . At this point, our inquiry through the supply chains is ahead of other states, but it’s not going to be long before others start to catch up. My best advice is to get in line now given the global demand on these products.

It doesn’t have to be mentioned, but the last two months have been pure stress. I strongly encourage each leader to build in some time for personal relaxation and regeneration. You can’t lead an organization if you are weakened or distracted. Please take care of yourself as so many others are depending on your leadership going forward.

Until we meet again IN PERSON,

Take care.
Brent Clark