Sep 1, 2021
Dear CCSD21 families,
We have one week of the 2021-2022 school year under our belt and what an exciting few days it has been! The energy in our schools is invigorating; we’re so glad to have our learners back in person.
As we look to September, a few calendar reminders:
Our top priority is to keep students safe, healthy, and in person this school year. We have adopted a range of mitigations to achieve that aim. However, the district will continue to monitor multiple sources of COVID-19 infection data and may implement adaptive pauses to in-person instruction and a temporary move to remote learning at the classroom, school, and in an extreme case, at the district level as conditions require.
Sources include data from the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as the COVID-19 Dashboard maintained by the Northwestern Medicine’s Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center. In addition we are tracking our internal data on the CCSD21 COVID-19 Data Dashboard.
Scenarios in which we would make an immediate decision to implement an adaptive pause include individual schools crossing our 3% confirmed active COVID cases threshold or if an order to return to remote learning is issued by the Governor, Illinois State Board of Education, or state or county public health officials.
Any other decision to return to an adaptive pause will be made with a solid understanding of trending data, including current rates of quarantine or confirmed cases within our schools and with as much advance notice given to parents as possible. We will actively communicate with parents and guardians via regular school and district level communication systems like ParentSquare, as well as via social media and the district website as soon as necessary.
Earlier this week, School District 21 shared its disappointment with the process of SHIELD testing. In follow-up conversations with SHIELD, CCSD21 will adjust its procedures to ensure a smoother testing process moving forward. Most significantly, all CCSD21 schools will no longer test on the same day. Effective Tuesday, August 31, the weekly CCSD21 testing schedule will be as follows:
As a reminder, families will only be notified if their child tests positive.
Equity Action Plan
In early 2021, the District Equity Leadership Team (DELT) was formed to work with equity leader Dr. Ivette Dubiel and develop the District’s Equity Action Plan. DELT members presented the plan which outlines the District’s work to support an inclusive, supportive, and empowering learning environment for all CCSD21 students.
The Equity Action Plan outlines planned activities in each of the following five strands:
The Plan, which was approved unanimously, is available here.
Though the school year had just started, the Board took a look back at the considerable amount of learning that happened over the summer! Students had free access to MyOn (“Netflix for reading”) and Freckle for math and engaged in:
In addition, we had:
But that’s not all!
Honoring former staff member
Former Wheeling Village President Greg Klatecki joined the August meeting on behalf of eight former CCSD21 staff members (who served our community for a combined 210 years!). In the spring, the former staff members raised money to plant a memorial tree at Holmes Middle School in honor of former staff member and coach Burt Perlow. The surplus money raised, just over $1200, was donated to School District 21. Many thanks to our retirees for their continued support of our community!
Earlier this week, the two-shot Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received full FDA approval for any individual age 16 and older. Pfizer maintains its Emergency Use Authorization for individuals age 12-15.
Vaccines are safe, free, and proven to protect against severe illness. CCSD21 strongly encourages all eligible individuals in our community to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Make your appointment today!
As you consider vaccinating your family, hear from leaders in our community who shared their “why” — why they received the vaccine and why they encourage you to consider vaccination, too.
If your child is fully vaccinated, please consider submitting a copy of their completed vaccine card:
School District 21 utilizes the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Growth assessment as one measure to provide information on student academic growth. MAP Growth is a unique computer assessment that adapts to your child’s level of understanding and mastery of skills. The difficulty level of each question is adjusted based on the student’s answers.
MAP assessments are not timed assessments, but they typically take students about 45 minutes to complete in the school setting. Rarely does a student spend more than 60 minutes on an assessment. There is only one Reading and one Mathematics test each fall, so about two hours in total is spent in the assessment process. Test results are important to teachers because they indicate student growth in basic skills. By analyzing these results, teachers know where a student’s strengths lie and in which areas specific support is needed. This information helps guide instruction in classroom lessons.
Students in 2nd-8th grade will be assessed in Reading and Mathematics during the test window of August 30th – September 15th.
MAP Reading Fluency is an online adaptive reading assessment for students in grades K-2 who are learning to read. It measures foundational reading skills, with an emphasis on oral fluency. Students will be assessed in MAP Reading Fluency during the test window of September 8th – 17th.
MAP Reading Fluency was designed with an understanding that before students can read with comprehension, they need to have developed both decoding and language comprehension skills. For students ready to read, MAP Reading Fluency can assess oral reading from passages. But for students not yet ready to read, the foundational skills in both decoding and language comprehension can be assessed.
If you have any questions about either of these assessments, please contact your school principal.
ParentSquare is the communication tool School District 21 uses to share updates with families from the classroom, school, or district levels. Families receive routine communication via email, text, and/or app notification and can adjust notification settings by logging into their account at parentsquare.com/signin or downloading the app (iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store).
Change settings using browser
In the upper right corner of the browser window, click the user’s name and then click My Account. Then select “Customize your settings” under Notification Settings.
Change settings using app
In the upper left corner of the ParentSquare app, select the three horizontal lines, then Account, and then Notifications.
Users can select if they would like to receive instant notifications for communication, which would be delivered at the moment the message is sent, or a digest of messages that would compile all of the day’s communication into one delivery in the evening.
CCSD21 strongly encourages users to keep “School Alerts” on. School Alerts are messages specific to your child, like teacher assignments at the beginning of the year, transportation updates, and more.
We had some wonderful new sub candidates apply to work with us this past summer. We’re excited for these additions to our sub group, but we’re not done hiring yet! Our next sub training is in September.
Please let your neighbors and friends know that we are still hiring throughout the school year.
Apply here: Sub Application