Dear District 58 Community,
Welcome to the 2021-22 school year, and thank you for reading Communicate 58. District 58 publishes Communicate 58 every two weeks during the school year. It contains helpful reminders and calendar items, along with District, school and community partner news. I encourage you to read it!
This summer was once again dominated by issues related to COVID-19. While there are many strong views regarding the pandemic and the mitigation measures, I truly appreciate how everyone comes together for the sake of our students. From the beginning I have shared that we are in this together and your support is truly appreciated.
The District 58 Citizen Task Force reconvened this summer to address the urgent capital needs throughout the District. In total, the District has identified approximately $244.8 million in work throughout our facilities. This week’s heat spell demonstrates the need for not only air conditioning in our schools, but upgrades to our electric and mechanical systems. While only a referendum will address our major facility needs, the District continues to take steps to ensure that tax dollars are being used in the most efficient manner possible. This includes restructuring debt and selling assets that are no longer needed. Additionally, the District continues to take steps to build up our fund balances to ensure financial stability.
I am very excited to begin a new school year tomorrow, especially since our students will attend in-person school full-time! Last month, District leaders participated in a two-day Orange Frog workshop, and earlier this week, our entire staff completed an abbreviated version of the same training. The Orange Frog teaches the power of positive psychology, and it has been transformative for our staff! The positive energy that has permeated our buildings and teams has been nothing short of amazing, and I am so excited for our staff to spread happiness and joy to our students throughout this school year. We can all use an extra dose of joy, especially as we persevere through the pandemic.
Please continue reading this publication to access our back-to-school toolkit, to learn what's new this year in District 58 and more. I am very proud to be the superintendent of District 58, and I am excited to partner with each of you throughout this school year. Have a wonderful first day of school!
Dr. Kevin B. Russell
Superintendent of Schools