U-46 celebrates American Education Week
As the nation continues to struggle with a public health crisis that has deepened appreciation for the importance of public education, Elgin Area School District U-46's teachers and education support professionals will be honored with an "Accent on Achievement" during Monday night's board of education meeting. The recognition coincides with the beginning of American Education Week, being celebrated Nov. 16-20.
American Education Week is always recognized one week before Thanksgiving. It is organized by the National Education Association, along with 13 other organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education and the National PTA.
Each day of American Education Week focuses on a specific school position and Nov. 18 is Education Support Professionals Day, honoring secretaries, paraprofessionals, food services workers, operations staff, bus drivers and bus assistants.
"I am grateful every day for the work done by our teachers in providing a quality learning experience for our students," said U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, our teachers have shown new levels of flexibility, creativity, talent, and dedication in connecting with and educating their students.
"Meanwhile, our educational support professionals have bolstered that effort, in many cases taking on new responsibilities as we all deal with the challenges of this pandemic."
Those new roles for support professionals have included preparing student supplies for Distance Learning kits, creating instructional videos with teachers, recording read-alouds of books for remote library sessions, delivering supplies to families, distributing meals, making phone calls to check in with families and follow-up on attendance, sanitizing school buildings, and more.
The focus for each day during American Education Week is as follows:
• Monday, Nov. 16: Kickoff Day
• Tuesday, Nov. 17: Parents Day
• Wednesday, Nov. 18: Education Support Professionals Day
• Thursday, Nov. 19: Educator for a Day
• Friday, Nov. 20: Substitute Educators Day
Barbara Bettis, president of the Elgin Teachers Association, and Sara Moeller, president of the District U-46 Educational Assistants union, will accept the "Accent on Achievement" certificate at 7 p.m.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the board will be participating electronically using a Zoom webinar which the public may join live at us02web.zoom.us/j/81429354372. Members of the public will be able to issue public comment through the Zoom application during the public comment portion of the meeting. The meeting will also be livestreamed on the district's YouTube channel.