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Weekly Update from Superintendent Harkin: Calendar Update, Report Card Information, Scheduled System Outage

Published October 16, 2021

Good Evening Parents,

We have started the second quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. As we continue through the fall season, I would like to acknowledge how proud I am of our District 300 students for successfully completing the first quarter of the school year!

The beginning of this school year was unlike any other, as our students needed to reacclimate to the school setting after spending, in some cases, 18 months away from our buildings. Students needed to re-establish friendships with their peers, build relationships with new teachers, and, for those entering a new school, learn how to navigate a completely different building. And our amazing District 300 students proved they can overcome these challenges and succeed in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. I cannot wait to experience all the great things our students will achieve during the second quarter of the school year.

Today’s message includes a COVID-19 update, an important calendar update, an elementary and middle school report card update, and a notice regarding a scheduled outage for our Schoology, PowerSchool SIS, and Rapid Identity systems.

COVID-19 Update:

This week, our total number of positive student cases decreased, with a total of 22 positive cases (compared to 42 cases at the time of last week’s message), and our total number of close contacts decreased to 99 (compared to 159 at the time of last week’s message). The District will continue to follow and evaluate our mitigation strategies to keep our students safe in our classrooms. 

Parents and guardians can access the District 300 Data Dashboard to see positive cases and close contacts numbers. The dashboard is updated daily, Monday through Friday.

From August 9 through October 14:

  • 43 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19

  • 5 staff members have been identified as a close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in a District 300 building (please note, last week’s message indicated District 300 had 12 staff members identified as a close contact, however, that number was the result of a data entry issue. This week’s number has been thoroughly reviewed to confirm there have currently been 5 staff members identified as close contacts since August 12th). 

From August 12 through October 14:

  • 280 students have tested positive for COVID-19

  • 1,632 students have been identified as close contacts to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in a District 300 building 

From August 30 through October 14:

  • 2,311 tests were administered to staff and students to successfully return them to their classrooms through our Central Office Testing Program. This number does not include the test administered at Hampshire High School. 

If elevated cases are identified within a school, the District works with our local health departments to review and modify our mitigation strategies to keep our students and staff safe.

Calendar Update:

On Tuesday, October 12th, the Board of Education approved the following changes to the District 300 calendar:

  • November 19th, 2021, which was previously scheduled as an Early Release day, is now a Remote Learning day. Students will not be in physical attendance at their schools on November 19th.

  • December 10th, 2021, which was also previously scheduled as an Early Release day, is now a Remote Learning day. Students will not be in physical attendance at their schools on December 10th.

During the November 19 and December 10 Remote Learning days, students in kindergarten through 12th grade will access asynchronous instructional activities through Schoology. The workload will be targeted for five clock hours as we recognize students work at different paces. Pre-k students will receive school work aligned to the length of their learning day. 

These calendar changes have been made to provide staff with professional development that falls in alignment with tasks (such as report cards and final exams) they are completing for the first time in the new systems, including PowerSchool SIS and Schoology. Additionally, the district is planning for the possibility of offering staff a COVID-19 booster shot on November 19. Should District 300 successfully engage in a partnership for a booster shot, we would develop a schedule to accommodate eligible staff.

Elementary and Middle School Report Card Update:

Teachers are currently in the process of finalizing first quarter grades for elementary and middle school students which will be posted in PowerSchool SIS as a report card. 

Next week, your child’s school will send more detailed information regarding how you can access your student's report card in the new PowerSchool SIS platform.

Schoology, PowerSchool SIS, and Rapid Identity Scheduled Outage for Maintenance

Schoology, PowerSchool SIS, and Rapid Identity will be unavailable to access on Sunday, October 17th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. due to previously scheduled maintenance. All systems are expected to be fully accessible by 11 a.m.

Conclusion:

I would like to close this week’s message by providing a special congratulations to the students and staff involved in District 300 fine arts programs. Earlier this month, the Dundee-Crown, Jacobs, and Hampshire High School marching bands each performed wonderfully during the D300 Marching Band Exhibition. I would also like to congratulate Hampshire High School for a successful fall band concert! It has been wonderful to see our students return to activities that offer so much positivity along with the opportunity to engage in meaningful relationship-building with peers, staff, and the entire school community. 

As we continue through a school year that presents challenges, District 300 will continue doing everything we can to continue providing opportunities for our students to receive their core instruction and to have access to the important relationship-building activities that are instrumental to a well-rounded educational experience. 

 

Sincerely,

Susan Harkin

Superintendent