Dear District 30 Family,
As I write the Board Brief, I am grateful for all that has been done to prepare District 30 to begin our school year with teachers returning on August 17 and students beginning in-person or in our full-remote option on August 19 and August 20. This week, we held our first in-person Board of Education Meeting since March 23, and it was refreshing to meet in the same room, even while honoring masks and physical distancing.
Our Board Meeting included the following relevant items:
Instructional Assistants Deborah Blumenfeld, Kim Bass, and Candice Samuels resigned their respective positions for the 2020-21 School Year. We wish them well and thank Mrs. Samuels for serving as a Kindergarten teacher this school year. The Board also approved four leaves.
The Board of Education approved Sue Weingarten’s retirement. We thank her for her service to District 30 and wish her well.
The Board also approved Margie Erickson (1st Grade at WS), Cynthia Brown (3rd Grade at WB), Jenna Cardaras (Spanish at WB), Gladys Erdmannsdoerfer (IA at WB), Courtney Erickson (Kindergarten at WB), Martina Jambrusic (4th Grade at WS), Amber Kim (IA at WB), Eileen Mulroe (1st Grade at WB), Nikki Rohn (3rd Grade at WS), Megan Roberts (Kindergarten at WB), Candace Samuels (Kindergarten at WB), Nathan Scheck (2nd Grade at WS), Angela Thomas (3rd Grade at WS), Michelle Tuchman (1st Grade at WS), Becca Urban (IA at WB), Kelly Walsh (School Nurse at WS), and Sarah Weiland (2nd Grade at WB). Thank you to all of these individuals for stepping up to join this amazing profession and our organization at this time. Please join me in congratulating them and welcoming them to the District 30 Family.
Board of Education Tour of Schools & Phased Operations Update
The Board of Education toured Wescott, Willowbrook, and Maple Schools to review mitigation protocols that have been put in place that align with guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The Board shared their gratitude for our entire District 30 Family's incredible efforts to put together our Phased Operations Plan to educate all of our students through this time.
During public comments, our Association President, on behalf of the Association Executive Board, reflected on the passion, creativity, wisdom, and expertise that our talented teachers bring to the classroom as she assured the Board that six feet of distance and a mask could not and will not lessen their drive and desire to provide the absolute best they can for our students. She also expressed that the association would be remiss if it did not share the genuine concern and deep anxiety many of our teachers feel about the return to school in the fall. She shared a wise plea for every member of the District 30 Family to keep each other safe by wearing masks at school, and anytime we leave our houses, and to stay home if anyone in our household exhibits symptoms. She ended her comments with, “While we enter this school year with a different kind of nerves, we are confident that as a family, we will be successful in making this school year nothing short of amazing. We will do this. Together, we can do this.”
The Board and I reflected on and shared our genuine gratitude for the collaborative efforts that have generated our plans that meet and exceed the health and safety guidance we have received. We also acknowledged everyone’s anxiousness, and we reflected on how fortunate we are to serve in a community with the resources to execute the plans we have created. Our Board also shared that they hear our teachers and are incredibly grateful that our teachers are collectively stepping up with dedication to serve our community and students at this time. They also emphasized that we will continue to remain flexible as we partner to make this year all that it can be, knowing that plans may change at any time.
2020-21 Strategic Plan Approved
The Board approved our 2020-21 Strategic Plan with an ambitious set of action plans for each of our five Strategic Pillars. Our primary focus this year will be safely and effectively educating our students as we navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our Board Goals continue as our other significant areas of focus for the year.
Goal 1: Increase District 30’s capacity to systemically collaborate within grade-level teams to execute the cycle of continuous instructional improvement.
Goal 2: Ensure District 30 facilities possess the capacity to support our evolving and emerging programs and contribute to optimal educational experiences.
The Board approved a tentative budget for public display at the District Office and a public hearing set for its September 24, 2020 meeting. The budget includes an additional $1M (that is likely to grow to $1.5M) within our contingency fund to support our efforts to safely and effectively educate our students through the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Elementary Capacity Funding Plan Approved
At last night’s Board of Education meeting, the District began the authorization process to issue $14M of bonds for capital improvements to Wescott and Willowbrook, as previously discussed and approved by the Board at its July 16 meeting. The notice of intent to issue bonds will be published in the local newspapers on August 20, and the notice of public hearing will be published on August 27. A public hearing on the bond issue will be held on September 24.
Emergency Adoption of New & Revised Board Policies
The following new and revised Board Policies were reviewed and adopted to align our practice and policies during this pandemic:
In addition, I reviewed the expectations for remote learners that have been added to our District Handbook that prohibits screenshots, photos, audio/video recordings and distribution of any virtual educational experiences by unauthorized individuals.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Our next Board Meeting will be at Maple School on September 24, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome!
Dr. Brian K. Wegley