A Message from Your Superintendent
My administrative team and I reported at last night’s School Board meeting that our internal COVID-19 metrics continue to be strong, and we are prepared to bring students back for hybrid learning on January 19, as planned. Board members agreed we should follow this timeline as long as there are no unexpected external metrics issues over the next few weeks. They will review the metrics once again at their January 7th meeting. In the meantime, we are moving full speed ahead with planning to implement hybrid learning for families who have selected that model.
We have been providing targeted in-person services for a limited number of students with the highest levels of need. This has gone well due to our PPE and preparations in the buildings and the fact that staff and families have closely followed safety procedures. Even though COVID-19 rates are currently high in the community, we feel confident that our mitigation efforts will be effective as we aim to expand hybrid learning next month. Getting the children safely back in their schools has been our priority, and I’m so happy we are moving in that direction. Thanks to our staff and families – and especially our students! – for their patience as we have worked to make this happen.
The School Board has directed administration to survey Lincoln families who have already enrolled their child/ren in hybrid to see if they prefer to keep the current, phased-in approach (Phase 1: half-days in-person for four days/week for the first three weeks and Phase 2: two full days of in-person until the end of the third quarter) or if they would prefer that hybrid students remain in Phase 1 until the end of the third quarter on March 19. A summary of the options is in the chart below. The survey will be sent later today; we’ll report the results to the Board of Education at the January 7 Board Meeting. The Board plans to approve the hybrid plan based on the majority of responses. If hybrid parents do not submit a survey, it will be assumed that they prefer the current model.
Lincoln Hybrid Survey
(Only for Lincoln parents whose students are currently enrolled in hybrid.)
- 4 Half-Days/week
- 1 full remote day-Wednesdays
- 2 Full Days/week
- 1 full remote day-Wednesdays
Jan 19-Feb 5
Feb 8-March 19
Jan 19-March 19
Our Return-to-School Task Force held its first meeting last week and will meet again on January 12. Potential members were surveyed before selection to ensure a broad representation of viewpoints. I thank the task force members – see the list of names below.
Congratulations to Sara Tyburski, director of student services, on the birth of her twins, Simon and Payton, who were born on Tuesday! While Sara is on maternity leave, Carla Cumblad, who is retired from District 25, will be our interim director of student services.
Before we head into the break, I want to share examples of students and staff giving back and making this a special time of year, even though this season is so different. We haven’t had the usual concerts and celebrations, but I’m proud of our school communities for managing to spread plenty of cheer.
- Fairview’s Winter Story Windows tell the story of “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. If you drive south on Fairview, you’ll see the large, colorful images in the school’s windows, and you can even tune in to 89.7 FM to listen to the story read by teachers Kendall Roberts and Courtney Voss, who created the illustrations. Be sure to bring a nonperishable food item to drop in the bin for the food pantry. Check out this Daily Herald story to learn more.
- Many local children in need will have a more joyful holiday thanks to the Lions Park “Caring for Kids at Holiday Time” Toy Drive. Students and staff donated items, and members of the Mount Prospect Fire Department came out last week to load the toys onto their trucks so they could be distributed. Teacher Heidi Jorgenson coordinated this longstanding Lions Park tradition this year, and her class even joined the truck loading event via Zoom, cheering on the helpers.
- The Lincoln Chorus performed virtually for the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce holiday meeting this week. If you watch this video of the performance, you’ll surely get in the spirit. Congrats to director Leslie Thomas and the talented performers.
- Another fun performance this week was the first-ever District 57 Virtual Winter Sing-a-Long, featuring students from three schools, plus our amazing music teachers Rebecca Connelly (Westbrook), Christine Happ (Fairview), and Claire Koehlinger (Lions Park). Check it out here.
To learn about even more exciting things going on in the District and the schools, be sure to read our fall/winter newsletter at this link. Stay safe and healthy, and have a wonderful winter break and a happy holiday season!
Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools
Return-to-School Task Force
Kimberly Arvanites, Parent
Zoi Giannakopoulos, Parent
Chris Hoff, Parent
Kasia McGrew, Parent
Jill Morgan, Parent
Mike Murtagh, Parent
Diane Rush, MPEA
Jenny McGoon, MPESPA
Kim Finnerty, District Nurse
Dr. Mary Gorr, Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Elaine Aumiller, Superintendent