October 21st, 2021

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October 21st, 2021

October 21st, 2021

 
 
 
 
Dear District 57 Families,

At last night’s School Board meeting, I gave this presentation about the idea of equity in our schools. I asked Board members to approve moving forward with an audit that will examine how District 57 delivers educational services and whether all students equally and equitably receive those services. Our goal is to use an objective outside firm to get a clear picture of our strengths and weaknesses and identify areas where there’s room for growth and improvement. Board members approved the idea, and gave me the okay to select and hire a firm that will conduct the audit, using grant money from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Equity is something we hear a lot about in education today; however, I think it’s important to understand exactly what it means in the context of our schools. This definition from the Illinois Association of School Boards gives a clear picture and, I believe, illustrates why equity is something we should all care about: “Educational equity means that every student has access to the educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment in their education, and students’ needs are not going unmet due to race, ethnicity, dominant language, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family background and/or family income.”

The purpose of an equity audit is to shine a light on areas of strength within our current practices related to educational equity as well as identify specific areas for improvement. We plan to select a firm out of three that we have researched, with work beginning as soon as possible. The firm will seek and analyze quantitative and qualitative data trends from a variety of different sources, including  focus group interviews, anonymous surveys of D57 stakeholders (staff, families, students) and student achievement data broken down by demographics.

The audit, of course, is a starting point. Once it is complete and we have a comprehensive report, District Administration and the School Board will have more information in order to determine next steps and how to best address any findings.
I am eager to get this process started, and I look forward to updating you on our progress, as well as on opportunities for the D57 community to weigh in and get involved. I believe this work will help us do an even better job of meeting the needs of ALL students and preparing them for success.

Update on D57 Quarantine Procedures
District 57 has updated our procedures for how student quarantines are handled. Specifically, students who have been identified as close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case may be eligible for a modified quarantine period of either seven or ten days. Below is direct text from the updated D57 Safety and Operations: A Guide for Parents regarding the change. I encourage all families to read the entire document to stay up to date with our COVID-19  procedures. 
Quarantining after an exposure to COVID

Vaccinated students
  • If asymptomatic and fully vaccinated (2 weeks post 2nd dose of Moderna/Pfizer vaccine or 2 weeks after J&J vaccine), a quarantine is not necessary
  • It is recommended that a COVID test occur 3-5 days after exposure. 
 
Unvaccinated students
 
Quarantine at home for 14 calendar days from date of last exposure 
 
OR
 
Quarantine for 10 days from date of last exposure
  • Student must be asymptomatic upon return
  • Upon return on Day 11 until Day 14 the student should:
  • Sit 6 feet from peers at lunch (to the greatest extent possible)
  • Mask throughout the day (including PE and outside, except while eating) 
  • Participation in extracurricular activities will be determined through consultation with CCDPH and masking will be required.
OR
 
Quarantine for 7 days from date of last exposure
  • Student must be tested on Day 6 or later, provide a negative COVID test (PCR preferred) to school, and be asymptomatic upon return (at-home tests will not be accepted per IDPH/ISBE guidance)
  • Upon return on Day 8 until Day 14, the student should:
  • Sit 6 feet from peers at lunch (to the greatest extent possible)
  • Mask throughout the day (including PE and outside, except while eating) 
  • Participation in extracurricular activities will be determined through consultation with CCDPH and masking will be required.   
Thank you for your partnership and continued support. Have a wonderful weekend!


My best,
 
 
Dr. Mary Gorr
Superintendent of Schools 
Mount Prospect District 57
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