Dear District 58 students, staff and families,
Every Thanksgiving, I write a message to students, staff and families expressing thanks and gratitude.
In normal years, it’s a simple message because I get to regularly visit classrooms and see dynamic learning taking place across our school district. However, COVID-19 has shaken everyone’s world and the positives that are occurring in District 58 can easily be overshadowed by the unprecedented challenges we face.
With that in mind, I thought deeper about what I am thankful for this school year. What I realized is I have even more gratitude for our teachers, who have adapted to incredibly difficult circumstances, our families who altered their work schedules and supported learning inside and outside of school, our custodial and maintenance staff for keeping buildings clean and sanitized, support staff for embracing new roles, secretarial staff for always find a way to assist those in need, administrators for their strong leadership, and the Board of Education for always supporting and guiding the District. I also have an enormous amount of gratitude for our students who have demonstrated tremendous patience, flexibility, grace, understanding and resilience as they navigate new learning models through this pandemic.
This is an extremely stressful time that has impacted all of us. I truly wish there was a way I could make this all go away and return things to normal. While I cannot do that, I am anxiously awaiting the distribution of vaccines so we can once again feel safe and healthy.
At the end of the day, each of us is trying to do the best we can under incredibly difficult circumstances. It hasn’t always gone smoothly, but I believe we have learned a great deal since the first day of school that will make us more prepared and stronger for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year and beyond.
Please be safe this week and we look forward to seeing everyone return after the holiday. While this school year has not been what anyone would wish for, I hope each of you can still find gratitude and something you are thankful for this holiday season. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Dr. Kevin B. Russell
Superintendent of Schools