SY19-20 Adjustments and Remote Learning Updates

SY19-20 Adjustments and Remote Learning Updates
Posted on 04/27/2020
Remote Learning
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
847-512-6000
www.wilmette39.org

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

 

As we prepare to move forward with our fourth quarter and the end of our school year remotely in accordance with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s order last Friday, we want to provide you with some updates regarding remote learning and assure you that our community will see our way through this together.  We will continue to put our students first and, as a community, we will continue to support one another and those in need with caring kindness and generosity, as is the Wilmette way. 

This has been, without a doubt, a harrowing month for all of us.  In the midst of many challenges, we have truly seen the resilience and collective strength of our entire community in action. We are incredibly grateful for your support as schools closed, lives dramatically altered, and we swiftly shifted to Remote Learning. We have been encouraged by the many positive and uplifting messages we have received, and by the ongoing partnership and collaboration from which we all benefit in these truly unprecedented times.  

As we continue to make adjustments to and refine our Remote Learning Programming to ensure the most meaningful, manageable and connected learning experiences for our students, we are also now planning for the end of the school year remotely.  Below are updates in several topic areas.  We continue to closely monitor guidance from our health experts at the CDC and the IDPH and await additional guidance from the Governor and the State Board of Education regarding the conclusion of this school year and summer school opportunities; yet, we are building plans in the best interest of our students, families and community.  Here are a few updates, and you will hear more from your principals over the next two weeks regarding grade-level and school specific information. 

 

End-of-Year Planning

The end of the school year will simply not be the same without the opportunity for all of us to physically gather again as a school community.  We also know the news of school closures through the end of the school year is especially difficult for our 4th, 6th and 8th graders who are preparing to transition to new schools in the fall. Please know we are identifying special ways in which we can lift spirits and honor some of our treasured end-of-year celebrations, especially for these students. We have a myriad of activities, events and important end-of-year adjustments to make. Below are some of the priority activities for which we are planning.  You will hear more about each over the next two weeks, and Principals will continue to communicate to families with grade-level and school specific information.  

  • May/June School Calendar
  • Additional Synchronous (live) Supports for Students
  • Grades and Grade Reporting
  • Summer School Opportunities (D39 will offer summer school, but we await further guidance regarding modality and options that we can make available.)
  • End-of-Year Celebrations and 8th Grade Graduation
  • Locker Clean-Out and Retrieving Student Items from School 
  • Library and Textbook Returns
  • Technology Device Drop-Off (and options for keeping devices home for summer) 
  • Supporting Transitions for Incoming Kindergarteners, 5th Graders, and 7th Graders
  • Coordinating 8th-Grade-to-High-School Transitions (We are coordinating with New Trier regarding freshman transition events and supports.) 
 

Student/Teacher Remote Connections

In an effort to nurture strong positive connections between students and teachers, District 39 teachers and staff offer multiple types of remote learning experiences for students, including synchronous and asynchronous learning.  We continue to receive feedback regarding the value and benefit of each, and to refine our programming in the best interest of students to support meaningful, manageable and connected remote learning experiences.  For more information on the remote learning expectations and opportunities, parents are encouraged to review our updated information and resources provided on our D39 Remote Learning Page for Parents. Here parents can learn more about D39’s remote learning programming, synchronous (live) and asynchronous learning expectations, Green and Grey Day expectations, frequently asked questions, the D39 school calendar, our D39 Virtual Library, and much, much more.  We encourage parents to review this information.  

 

Participation in Remote Learning

All District 39 students from Early Childhood through Grade 8 are expected to participate in remote learning, if able. While we recognize the circumstances and situations for families may vary, we also understand the importance of keeping our students engaged in their learning at this time. Teachers are working hard to provide connected synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences for students, and we thank you for continuing to encourage your child’s full participation in both to the greatest extent possible. If your child is feeling overwhelmed by the workload, please reach out to your teacher or school principal to discuss needed adjustments.  If there are unique situations within your home that prevent full participation, please contact your school principal.  The health and emotional wellbeing of all students is our highest priority, and we are here to help.  

 

Attendance

In an effort to better support families during these challenging times, District 39 has changed its remote learning attendance reporting procedures as of April 27, 2020. Rather than requiring families to report daily student attendance, District 39 will presume students are present unless reported absent through one of our attendance phone lines. We have asked our teachers to continue to monitor student engagement and to work with students and families when a student is not participating as expected.

If your child is absent or otherwise unable to participate in remote learning, please call or email your child’s school nurse:

 

Curriculum Adjustments and Supports

With regard to curriculum adjustments and supports for students as they prepare for the end of school this year and the start of a new one in fall, please know that we are all grappling with this new educational landscape together and we will get through it together.  Every year we review and recalibrate our curriculum, differentiating our instruction to meet students where they are educationally and helping them to grow. As we continue to support our students and teachers through remote learning programming as well as in preparation for the upcoming fall, we will do the same.  Our curriculum leaders across the New Trier Township are in close communication with one another to ensure we coordinate and align efforts in the best interest of our students.  We will remain in close collaboration with one another as well as with our New Trier High School partners to develop plans to support the important educational transitions that the end and beginning of a new school year provide.  

 

Gratitude

We want to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of so many individuals throughout our school community.  We appreciate the unwavering dedication of our teachers for their incredible efforts, creativity and flexibility to ensure that teaching and learning continues for all of our students. We are ever grateful for the support of and partnership with our families. We know that many parents are balancing a plethora of responsibilities as they oversee their students' Remote Learning. We are thankful for and incredibly proud of our students for their resilience, engagement, focused efforts and positivity in light of our current situation. We look forward to when we are able to safely return to school and engage with each other in person again. 

Finally, our District remains grateful for our healthcare providers, first responders, and essential workers on the front lines.  If you or one of your family members is one of these people, please know the entire school community is behind you and thinking of you often.

In these unusual times, please be well.  Take care of one another, and continue to spread joy and kindness wherever you can.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Cremascoli
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

A Few Reminders and Resources:


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