May 13, 2020
May 27, 2021
Dear CCSD21 families,
As we come to the end of our 2020-2021 school year, I want to take a moment to offer my sincere thanks to all parents, students and staff, for their determination, hard work, understanding, and enormous flexibility as we navigated an unprecedented time in the life of our nation. There was no shortage of complex challenges as we worked together to combat COVID-19 and while we were not always able to find universal agreement or the right solutions for all, as a community I think we should all be very proud about how we came together and made the best decisions possible for the health and safety of us all.
Our community successfully and safely returned students to classrooms starting in October 2020, and while we had our fair share of bumps, setbacks, and uncertainties along the way, we successfully returned to full days of in-person attendance for all those who wished by April. I want to acknowledge the role that each member of our CCSD 21 community – students, families, and staff – played in making that happen.
As we look toward 2021-2022 and see a brightening horizon, we look forward to having as normal of a school life as possible when we start again in August. The availability of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15 is a huge step forward in returning to a more normal middle school experience and with the news that Pfizer expects to submit its emergency use authorization request for children ages 2-11 sometime in late summer, we have high hopes that by mid to late fall, all school age children will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
As availability of vaccination continues to expand for teens and children, we want to support you in accessing sound scientific and medical information that will provide all of the information you need to make a fully informed decision. To that end, here are links to several trusted sources of information about the effectiveness and safety of available COVID-19 vaccines. We encourage all families to discuss questions with your health care provider as you make your decisions.
As we continue to work as a nation to win the fight over this global pandemic, we expect that we will need to start the next school year with some mitigations continuing. We truly hope that as more and more adults and eligible teens are vaccinated and rates of community infection drop this summer, we will be relieved of many mitigations and be able to begin the year in a much more traditional manner. As we have all year, we will continue to follow the science and make decisions based on the best available guidance and direction of the Cook County Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. As we approach the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we will share additional information about any and all COVID-19 mitigations we may need to continue, including the potential for continued social distancing, wearing of masks for unvaccinated adults and children, and continuation of testing.
Recently, the Illinois State Board of Education adopted a resolution calling for the return to in-person learning in 2021-2022 for all students except for those who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine AND are under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. In light of this, CCSD21 is planning for all students to attend in person starting on the first day of school in August. At this time, the Distance Learning Academy will not be offered as an option for families. If families have specific medical concerns about a student or another member of the immediate household where in person attendance may create a health or safety issue, you are encouraged to contact your child’s principal to discuss the specific concern.
The Illinois State Board of Education will continue to work closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and will continue to provide local school districts with more specific guidance and direction as the summer unfolds.
I want to wish each member of our CCSD21 community a very happy, healthy, and safe summer break. Again, my deepest thanks for everything you did to help make this very different school year a successful one. On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire staff, we look forward to seeing all of our students and families again in 2021-2022.
Have a great summer,
Yesterday, CCSD21 families received an email regarding summer learning opportunities and tools students can access throughout the summer to continue learning.
These online learning opportunities are available at no cost to students completing the 2020-2021 school year in the district. Click here for more information.
School District 21 will continue to provide a “fee holiday” for all district students for the 2021-2022 school year. All fees associated with student registration, like the cost of instructional materials, digital learning devices, physical education uniforms, and device protection plan, will be eliminated for next school year.
Additionally, all students will be provided a set of common school supplies at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Families may choose to purchase additional supplies for their student’s use at home or school, but all necessary supplies will be provided by School District 21 in the fall and replenished later in the year. The CCSD21-provided school supply list for students entering grades K-8 can be found here. As always all PreK classrooms will be stocked with the supplies and materials students need to participate in learning throughout the year.
A free, healthy breakfast and lunch will be served throughout the summer for any child 18 years of age and younger.
Meals will be served on weekdays from Monday, June 1, to Friday, August 6, between 9:30 – 11:30 AM. Meals will NOT be served on July 5, 9, 16, 23, or 30. Distribution locations are:
CCSD21 in-person summer school students will receive meals on site. Menus are available online.
As a reminder, all current CCSD21 students must register for the 2021-2022 school year through our online portal. Snapcodes (unique codes matched to each student) were emailed to families in early May. Please contact your child’s school if you need their Snapcode. Using the student’s Snapcode during registration will help families save time by reviewing and verifying pre-populated information already on file.
Registration information, for new students and returning students, is available at ccsd21.org/registration.
Please spread the word to family, friends, and neighbors! This important step is critical so we can best plan and prepare for the fall.
Honoring CCSD21 staff
Prior to the May meeting, the CCSD21 Board of Education honored a number of individuals for their contributions to our schools. Educational support personnel are honored through Recognizing Distinction for exemplifying service to the CCSD21 community. Characteristics include creating a helpful and positive environment, developing positive relationships and communicating effectively, and working collaboratively with others.
Licensed staff members are honored with Celebrating Excellence for demonstrating and advancing CCSD21 values of a Professional Learning Community. Characteristics include embracing our mission and vision, collaborating, and continually improving.
Finally, this spring, 19 staff members are retiring from School District 21. The retirees’ combined service to the District totals 380 years. We greatly appreciate each employee’s passion for and commitment to our students, families, and the community!
Social Emotional Learning and Support
Kim Cline, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services and School Safety, presented an update on Strategic Plan Goal 2: Cultivate a safe and responsive environment that supports each learner’s growth.
The presentation began by reviewing data collected through the Panorama survey, which supports CCSD21 with measuring, understanding, and improving student self-reflections on their social-emotional learning (SEL) skills and wellbeing. The information helps resilience teams – and all staff members – understand the needs of our students and put supports in place to address needs. The presentation slides are available here.
Elementary Assistant Principals
Three Elementary Assistant Principals were hired to begin July 1 (two additional Assistant Principals were hired in April). Stephanie Stallman, pictured second from the right, will support Tarkington and Poe, Lisa Applequist, pictured second from the left, will support Whitman, and Maria Alva, who joined the meeting virtually, will support Field.
Community Service & Administrative Center
Over the past several months, Board members have discussed a potential public-private partnership to bring a Community Service & Administration Center to the property adjacent to the current Gill Administration Center and London Middle School. The center would provide access to several community services under one roof: physical health, mental health, and dental care, youth services, meeting space, and more. At its May meeting, the Board formally authorized the negotiation of a contract to purchase property, finance, design and construct the CCSD21 Community Service & District Administrative Center.