Welcome to the New School Year

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Welcome to the New School Year

August 26th, 2020

Dear District 57 Families,

Welcome to the new school year! We’re excited to return to learning, even though we’re disappointed that students and staff can’t be together in the schools at this time. I’m so proud of the way everyone has worked to adjust during these first couple of days of virtual classes. We’re off to a good start – students have been able to log in and have connected with their teachers and classmates. I know some of you experienced technical issues and got help by filling out the Remote Learning Tech Support Form. Remember that our tech team is here to support you if you need it.

 
Our remote learning model is sustainable, prioritizes student and staff safety, and mirrors the regular school day as much as possible. Of course, there will be challenges, but we’ll work together to address them, and students will continue to learn and grow. I thank my administrative team of Dr. Mary Gorr, Adam Parisi, Sara Tyburski, and Mark Fijor (our new technology director who came on board in July) for spending long hours over the summer planning the best possible scenario for students and staff. I also thank the principals and assistant principals, as well as the Staff and Administrator Task Force members, who have coordinated this transformation of the way we normally operate. And I thank the teachers and staff who are now implementing remote learning and making it work for their students. We also greatly value the staff who are working in the buildings.
 
I have a few updates to share with you as we get the new year underway:
 
  • We completed some building improvements over the summer, including new parking lots at Fairview and Lions Park. These capital projects, which address necessary upgrades in the four schools and administration building, were approved early in the year as part of the FY20 budget. Adam Parisi, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, highlighted the 2020 completed work in this video
  • Students who are eligible for and have accepted free lunches can now pick them up between 11:10 and 12:50 every Tuesday and Thursday at Lincoln (outside of door five). 
  • Dr. Susan Woodrow, who retired as the District’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in 2017, will fill in as Westbrook principal when Kristin Vonder Haar goes on maternity leave in October. We thank Susan for helping us in this capacity!
 
This is a bittersweet time for me, as it is my last back-to-school season as your superintendent. As you know, I plan to retire at the end of this school year. District 57 will continue to thrive under its next leader, and I look forward to my next chapter. But I will miss leading this school district and serving the wonderful families of this community. I thank you for the privilege! This fall, the School Board will enlist the assistance of a search firm to guide the process of finding the next superintendent. We will share more about how staff and community members can be part of the interview process. In the meantime, let’s continue to get the school year off to a great start. Thank you to the students, staff, and parents/guardians for your flexibility and partnership as we make this journey together!

 Dr. Elaine Aumiller
 Superintendent of Schools
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