St. Raymond families show signs of support to teachers, staff
Amid a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers at St. Raymond School in Mount Prospect were surprised -- and some moved to tears -- by the 340 signs of support installed by families before the start of school this week.
The yard signs, which dot the school campus at 300 S. Elmhurst Ave., include personalized messages of thanks to teachers and staff for their efforts to provide in-person learning this year.
The prekindergarten through grade 8 school -- a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon award winner in 2019 -- has been open since August with masks, social distancing, cohorting and other protocols in place, save for a two-week remote period after Christmas break.
"They have done a phenomenal job with keeping the school open," said Lisa Eckert Aliprandi, one of the organizers of the sign effort. "The parents were all so very grateful they've been able to do it."
Parents kept the campaign a secret, and installed the signs around the school building Monday night -- in time before teachers returned from Easter break on Tuesday morning.
Parents purchased five variations of yard signs with headings like "St. Raymond teachers ROCK!" and "Thank you for keeping our school open and our kids safe!" -- then added their own messages of thanks in the white space below.
"It's so lovely because you've got this wide array of personalization," Eckert said. "It's very sweet."