Today, Governor Pritzker announced the suspension of in-person learning will remain in place for the remainder of the school year. During times of uncertainty it is our responsibility to stay calm and measured while accessing accurate information so that we can develop the best plan for response where every decision that is made is done so with health and safety as our top priority. While I am disappointed that we will not all gather together in our schools once again this year, I am grateful that the safety and welfare of our school community remains at the forefront of the decision making process.
Our schools have three immediate priorities: the general health welfare and safety of our school community. To communicate with transparency, clearly and often. And to provide continuity for education.
Teachers, administrators, and support personnel are doing heroic work. Parents, thank you for your efforts to partner with our teachers. Together we are overcoming challenges to provide opportunities to our students through remote learning.
To all of our students and specifically our seniors, the class of 2020, you are special. You are important. You will not be forgotten. We will celebrate you. You are sacrificing things you have worked so hard for. The games, practices, programs, performances, events, parties and more that are now put on hold. Some things you will never get a chance to do again. For that, we are truly sorry and share in your disappointment.
To that end, discussions are well underway for different ways that we can recognize and celebrate our students. In the coming days we will announce details for an alternate graduation ceremony for our senior class and plans for how we will recognize our 8th grade students.
While you have been with us in our schools we have talked a great deal about leadership, how to deal with adversity, being resilient and persevering. This is the time we need you to put those traits to practice. We all desire to get back to normal. But instead, I challenge us all to strive to get back to something different, something better. Yes, it will look different than we thought. Our path is unknown. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!
Until then, take a few days to reflect and celebrate what you have accomplished, be sad about what you are missing, and look forward to what you’re about to achieve. We are in this together and we will get through this together. You are history makers in our schools!
We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.
Stay well everyone,
Dan W. Cox, Superintendent of Schools