Dr. Russell's Community Update: Dec. 7, 2020

Dr. Russell's Community Update: Dec. 7, 2020

Dear District 58 Staff and Families,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thank you for your support over these past several months. As you are aware, the District’s logistical pause concluded last week, and the hybrid onsite learning with a full remote option is once again taking place. The adaptive pause allowed impacted students and staff to complete their quarantine requirements, and we are grateful for everyone’s patience and flexibility. 

As previously planned, District 58 will continue to offer in-person instruction via our hybrid model for the remainder of December. Due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic, District 58 cannot yet confirm whether we will resume our hybrid model immediately after winter break. We will continue to update staff and families every two weeks at a minimum; the next communication will be sent out prior to winter break. Our goal is to keep students in a hybrid in-person learning environment (with a full remote option) so long as it is feasible.

This week, staff and families will participate in parent-teacher conferences. We are all very proud of what our students and staff have accomplished under very challenging circumstances due to the pandemic. The resiliency that our students and staff have demonstrated has been nothing short of amazing. We are very much looking forward to discussing your child’s learning experiences at conferences.

On Nov. 23, we invited all District 58 staff and families to fill out surveys on our learning model. The intent of the surveys was to gather feedback to help us strengthen our instructional model during the pandemic. Nearly 2,000 families and staff completed the survey. As always, we are truly grateful for the high response rate. District 58 is a special place because we have caring students, staff members and families. District staff are carefully reviewing all survey responses via the timeline below:

  • November 30 - Surveys closed at 5 p.m.
  • December 1 - Central Office team began to review data
  • December 2 - Initial review of data with full administrative team/building level administrators
  • December 3 - Initial review of data by volunteer working group of teachers and administrators
  • December 11 - All staff will participate in conversations around survey feedback and instructional model improvement/enhancement
  • December 14 - Board of Education initial presentation on data review process and next steps
  • December 16 - Working group of teachers and administrators will reconvene to discuss next steps
  • December 17 - Administrative team meeting to review data processing to discuss next steps
  • Winter Break - Central Office team will develop recommendations for enhancements, changes and a timeline for a second commitment to a learning model (in-person or remote)
  • January 11 - Recommendations for enhancements, changes and a timeline for a second commitment to a learning model (in-person or remote) shared with the Board of Education

District 58 takes pride in making sure all voices are heard and that staff have the opportunity to thoroughly review the data prior to making a final recommendation to the Board in January. When the current model was approved in September, the District committed to continuing the model into January and completing a full review with the Board at the Jan. 11 meeting. Everything is on schedule for the Board review, and we are very thankful to all of the stakeholders for providing valuable feedback. 

Dr. Kevin B. Russell
Superintendent of Schools