School of Thought
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Teacher Appreciation Week
Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day—their immense work and impact moves us beyond words, so we need emojis to say how we feel. And with the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers have done even more to continue education with virtual classrooms and learning at home lessons. All to ensure every student has the tools they need to reach their full potential.

So, let’s all shower teachers in appreciation and share how we love (❤️) like (👍), celebrate (🎉) and care for (😍) our teachers!
It's in these challenging times that we truly recognize and appreciate how our nation’s educators play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives—inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.

We give a special thank shout out to the nominees for this year's Educator of the Year:
Kelly Winkelbauer Hesselbaum
Terri Helfers
Jordan Zimberoff
Veronica Hancock
Kim Johnson
Andrew Kolba
Megan Gow
Renee Reynolds
Kristy Harrier
Cathy Fuller
Tammy Thompson
Susan Jones
Mary Miller
Jeni Moe
Gabrielle Haugen
Brooke Heinsohn
Carolyn Komel
Jill Maras
Scott Parola
Magdalena Williams
Allison Cable
Liliana Ramirez
Victoria Haier
Rebecca Wilding
Shawnna Strausberger
Kelly Gavin
Kendall Lawson
Lauren Cook
Heidi Ochsenschlager
Mary Sterr
Michelle Jones
Julie Larson
Kyle Pollastrini
Laura Brennan
Armando Rodriguez
Adam Campos
David Hintz III
Holly Fitzgerald
Trisha Shrode
Maggie Schroeder
Jamie Erazo
Jessica Mina
Jenni Frenette
Shelley Nacke
Patricia Levinson
We would also like to give recognition to the JJC educators for their hard work in educating and supporting the students during the pandemic. They have gone above and beyond to provide consistency and structure to the JJC.
Kane County ROE Youth Outreach Staff Assisting Students During Pandemic
With the school buildings closed, it does not mean that our educational system is shut down. Our students are expected to attend school via remote learning on a regular basis. This has been a new challenge for our youth outreach staff at the Kane County Regional Office of Education. We have a total of seven youth outreach staff that work diligently to support students. Five youth outreach staff are dedicated to truancy services, one is a coordinator of alternative programs, and one that is a Liaison that supports McKinney-Vento/homeless unaccompanied youth.   
Our youth outreach staff are working remotely to make personal contacts with students on their caseload and the school buildings that they are assigned to. Through phone calls, text messages, and emails the youth outreach truancy staff have made over 800 contacts with families in Kane County since March 30, 2020. They are ensuring that students have the resources that they need to be successful, that students are participating in remote learning, and completing assignments. The overarching goal is to ensure that there are no barriers to student success. Reliable internet access and interacting exclusively in an online educational environment are some of the challenges that our students have experienced. The youth outreach team is meeting on a bi-weekly basis to go over any changes and current happenings from ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) regarding remote learning and how their programs are being affected. These meetings allow for collaboration of our staff members to share how they’ve dealt with their troubles and how they have overcome them.  

One of the primary tasks is making sure that the students have basic needs such as food and shelter. The youth outreach staff are knowledgeable of the meal programs offered by the schools and in the community and share that information with the families. With the loss of income, some of our students are struggling with maintaining a stable home in which to live because of affordable housing issues. Patricia Dal Santo, Regional Superintendent of Schools stated that “we are promoting the usage of 2-1-1 to our caseload students and families during this difficult time as we are concerned about the mental and physical safety of the students”.

One of our youth outreach staff, Kari, was in contact with a family at the Hesed House , the second largest homeless shelter in the State of Illinois, and the largest shelter outside of the city of Chicago, that had concerns about meals and how money would be made available to the shelter. Kari worked with the Director of the Hesed House in getting information from the state and reiterated to the family that they would be taken care of. These stories are just one of the many that our staff work with on a daily basis. We thank them for their work day in and day out!
The Progress Report: The Growth Mindset in Reality
This week's post in  The Progress Report , is all about about growth mindset in both the classroom and in Katie's personal experience. Best of all, there is a course offered through Illinois Online Academy, Growth Mindset, that can be taken 100% online!

The Progress Report  is a collaborative discussion space for professional learning. If there are any topics that you would like to see a post on or guest write yourself,  please contact Katie Algrim .

Phishing Emails And How To Protect Yourself
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many companies are being targeted through Phishing emails to gain access into your account and databases. As you can see, the education field is one of the largest risks in all industries. Here are some tips you can use to prevent a Phishing attack:

At a minimum, use this checklist to help mitigate the threat:
  • Always use strong passwords
  • Encrypt or lock sensitive data
  • Don’t bypass built-in security, use multi-factor authentication options like fingerprint or facial recognition
  • Enable remote tracking
  • Enable your device to erase remotely
  • Never leave your device in a public place or anywhere it can be easily stolen
  • Only use apps available in your device’s app store - NEVER download them from a browser

Where Can I Find Information Regarding COVID-19 In Illinois?
ISBE is working in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure we are providing the most current resources and guidance to support Illinois education communities regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Illinois Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline and email address provides consistent information, answer questions, share facts about symptoms, and provides up-to-date information from the CDC. Call 1-800-889-3931 anytime or email

News and information updates from all around Kane County.

Upcoming & Ongoing Workshops
Illinois Online Academy:
Growth Mindset
Dates: 100% Online
PD Credits: 5
Cost: $40
Illinois Online Academy:
Social Emotional Learning
Dates: 100% Online
PD Credits: 2
Cost: $40