'Plan' will help Dist. 214 adapt
One of High School District 214's greatest assets is a community of parents, students and other stakeholders who are steadfastly committed to seeing that students receive the highest quality education.
That kind of passion -- expressed in overwhelming support of our academics, sporting events, plays, concerts, art shows, business partnerships, educational foundation and community education has enabled District 214 to stake a claim as one of the nation's most innovative and effective districts in preparing students for success beyond graduation.
That same passion is now fueling calls by some parents to fully open schools so that their students may attend classes and extracurricular activities, in-person and at school on any given day without restriction.
We all look forward to the day when we can safely and responsibly provide that option. All of us -- board members, administrators and staff -- understand that in normal times some students are best served academically, socially and emotionally by in-building, in-person learning. We all miss the sporting events, plays, shows, etc.
We are not, unfortunately, in a normal time. We remain mired in a pandemic that shows few signs of relenting and has compelled people in every sector and walk of life -- including education -- to adapt, to do the best we can to go about our lives while exercising appropriate care as outlined by science and public health professionals.
Fortunately, the district was able to formulate a "Return to School" plan that provides students remote, live instruction, compliant with state and local public health requirements. The "Plan" may be found on the district website (www.d214.org) and was debated and approved by the Board of Education at a public hearing on Aug. 13, 2020. Not in secret.
The district has followed its Plan and has gradually brought students back into its buildings. Starting Oct. 15, the district is inviting one-third of its students back into its buildings for two out of every six instruction days on a rotating schedule. The remaining days of instruction will continue to be conducted live by remote means. The Plan continues to offer each student the option to attend in-person or remotely.
The board is grateful for the cooperation and extra efforts provided by the teachers union, the custodial staff, special ed teachers, school and district administrators, librarians, health personnel and all staff who work to make District 214 such an excellent school district.
Dan Petro, President
Bill Dussling, Vice President
Northwest Community High School District 214 Board of Education