An IL-EMPOWER approved learning partner  
Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti
Regional Superintendent
DuPage County Schools
November 3, 2020
Tuesday Thoughts from Dr. Ruscitti

As we continue to live in this uncertain and unnerving time, I recall a conversation with a friend discussing how her then young son made it difficult to go to church because he sometimes acted out (as all toddlers do!). Thankfully, my friend's church had a soundproof room in the back where parents with squirmy, noisy children were allowed. My friend said the first week there she noticed a sign that was hung prominently at the front of the room. The sign read, “Crying is Permitted.” At first my friend laughed. But week after week, as she contemplated that sign, she thought about what a gift it was. She said she wished that sign—or at least the message—was conveyed in more areas of life.

We are facing a challenging time as a community, and I want you to know you have permission to be human. You need to put on your own proverbial oxygen mask—and that might look like going for a run, taking a nap, talking to a therapist or clergyman, getting lost in a good book, or having a good cry.

But after you take time to oxygenate yourself, you do the next thing you know to do. As educators, we can rely on two things:

First, we must remember why we went into this field—because we love children. So we love them. We take care of their hearts by helping them to heal from the hurts and disappointments this year has brought to their lives. We listen. We empathize. We let them process.

Second, we rely on our training and our experience. When our own hearts are broken, or we’re not sure what to do next, we go back to what we’ve been taught or know (as a parent, educator, etc.). We teach. We prepare. We do. We get stuff done.

This season won’t last forever. Even as we watch autumn fall into winter, so, too, this season of COVID-19, elections, and general unrest will pass. But while we are in it, I want to encourage you to not waste it. We can come out of this season wiser, stronger, and more empathetic – or we can become bitter, skeptical, judgmental, and fearful. And if I’m honest, it’s easier to choose the latter. We think thoughts like…
  • Why did this happen to us?
  • Nobody tells the truth! I can’t trust anyone.
  • Of course that person got sick—look at the choices he or she made!
  • That family is being crazy overprotective. They need to relax and quit telling everyone to wear masks!
  • How could he vote for *that* candidate?!

It’s harder to choose life-giving self-talk...
  • This is hard, but I’ve been through hard times before, and I always make it through.
  • It’s OK for others to think differently than me. I can still respect them even if we disagree.
  • I’ll do the research and make the best choices I can for me and my loved ones.
  • I will look for the vulnerable in my sphere of influence and do my best to protect and care for them.

Friends, choose the positive. We can’t change the situation we currently face, but we can control our attitudes. We can do this. 
Administrator Academies
The DuPage ROE is now offering a number of Administrator Academies virtually via the Zoom platform. Please see the attached flyer for dates and course offerings.

Here are some AAs that we'd like to highlight:

November 10, 2020

November 12, 2020

November 17, 2020

The Spring Semester offerings of TIDE will be available at the end of November.

Short-Term Sub Training
Our next short-term substitute teacher training will take place on December 10 via Zoom. Click here for more information.
Join district leaders as they discuss what they’ve learned in 2020 and how leaders today can successfully 
navigate the remainder of a school year.

In this webinar, district leaders will hear from their peers about:
  • Juggling the logistics of in-person and online schooling while keeping pedagogy and educator preparation top of mind
  • Getting buy-in from teachers, students, and parents during a time of change
  • Making good decisions based on evolving information and lessons learned on the fly

If you’re unable to attend, don’t worry! Register here and we’ll be happy to send you the recording.

November 6: Curriculum Directors

November 10: PreK-3rd Grade*

November 12: EdTech

November 19: Equity and Excellence

December 2: Early Childhood*

*Please note that these dates have been updated.
We are pleased to announce the second annual Early Childhood Country Wide Institute Day on February 26, 2021 from 8:30 am1:30 pm for leaders, teachers, and support staff. Topics will include diversity, self regulation through play, ESL support, scaffolded writing, KIDS assessment, using the SeeSaw program, using Google docs and slides, extending children’s thinking through Big Questions, working with selective mutes, authentic assessment (virtual and face to face), Pyramid behavior model, collaborating on adult and student needs, equity in EC, teletherapy, yoga for staff and students, and more! We hope you'll save the date and plan to attend!
Regardless of what your school year looks like--hybrid, in person, or remote, all educators and administrators have a responsibility to their students as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect. The Illinois DCFS now offers online reporting for cases that are not life-threatening. Please click here for more information.

November 5 at 7 pm: "Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Tools For Your Mental Health" presented by Dr. Michael Maslar, Director of Mindfulness and Behavior Therapies Program at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.

November 17 at 7 pm: "Navigating the Landscape of Teen Sexuality and Relationships" presented by Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls and Sex: Navigating The Complicated New Landscape and Boys and Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Consent

Check out these great resources for processing the election results with your students. There are also ideas for commemorating Veteran's Day.

Check out the latest news, course offerings, and information from the Learning Technology Center of Illinois.
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