Dear Frankfort 157-C Families,
I hope your summer is off to a great start despite the restrictions placed on families during this pandemic. The District Office is busy preparing for the opening of school in the fall.
Currently, school districts across the state are anxiously awaiting guidance from our state superintendent, Dr. Ayala and Governor Pritzker regarding the plan to reopen schools in the fall. According to Governor Pritzker, schools can reopen when we move into Phase 4 of his Restore Illinois Plan. We expect this announcement to come at the end of June along with specific safety measures for schools to follow. In preparation for this guidance, I have formed a Return-to-Learn Task Force Committee comprised of District administrators, teachers and specialized staff. Each school’s team is made up of building administrators, teacher representatives from each grade level, as well as encore and special education teachers. At this time, we are planning for two scenarios for the start of the school year, onsite learning and remote learning. As much as we want our school day and year to return to normal, we understand that some students may not be able to come to school due to the pandemic. Therefore, the District’s Remote Learning Team is preparing for an enhanced remote learning experience for our students. I hope to be able to communicate our plan to the Board and families in July and then survey families to understand how many would be comfortable sending their students back to school, given the full details of the plan.
On a positive note, last week I shared with the Board of Education the generous results of our Charitable Giving Program for the 2019-2020 school year. At Hickory Creek, students answered more than 550 letters to Santa from students at Chavez School; raised $4,265.78 for the Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Association, despite the annual wheelchair basketball game being canceled due to the pandemic; raised $5,333.00 for Honor Flight; and raised $1,510.90 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation though the Great Strides Walk was canceled due to the pandemic. At Chelsea, students collected more than 1,700 nonperishable food items for the Frankfort Food Pantry; raised $24,213.66 for the American Heart Association; and collected 100 pounds of pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House. At Grand Prairie, students collected 1,545 nonperishable food items for the Frankfort Food Pantry. Additionally, Grand Prairie and Chelsea students teamed up to donate 83 care packages to active duty troops. When we abruptly closed schools back in March, many of our Charitable Giving events were canceled; however, we still were able to make significant contributions to a number of our giving campaigns. For more information about our Charitable Giving Campaign, please visit our website.
Just a few reminders, if you have not picked up your child’s supply box, please call the school and schedule a time to do that. All supplies will be donated at the end of July if they are not picked up. For returning families, please complete your online registration. This is the only way for us to know that you will be returning to school in the fall. If you are planning to withdraw from our district, please contact the District or school office to complete the necessary paperwork for withdrawal. Finally, if you have a new kindergartener who needs to be registered, please call the District Office (815-469-5922) to set up an appointment. Completing student registration this week will ensure that we have the correct amount of staff to service our students. Please take a few minutes to complete the process.
As always, I want to thank you for your continued support and patience as we develop the plan to reopen our schools. Your child’s safety and the safety of our staff is our top priority. We know that the very best education happens in school with talented and dedicated teachers. The only way to make this happen for our students during this global pandemic is to follow the guidelines from the Illinois Department Health and the Center for Disease Control. Please keep these guidelines in mind as you and your family enjoy the summer break. Our collective efforts will help to pave the way to reopening our schools safely in August.
Dr. Maura Zinni, Superintendent