Superintendent's Message

Superintendent welcomes back families 

Thanks for your dedication, patience and understanding 

August 28, 2020 -- On behalf of the Board of Education, administration, and staff, I’d like to welcome you to the 2020-21 school year. While it wasn’t the first day of school we normally expect, the overwhelming amount of feedback we received yesterday was very positive. Thank you to all the parents who took the time to send positive messages to staff, whether it was encouragement or appreciation.

As you know it’s been an extreme endeavor to get this school year launched, and I am moved by the camaraderie of our staff and parents, the dedication of our staff to transition their planning and instruction to address this year’s challenges, and by all the patience and understanding it took from everyone to pull this off. As I’ve walked down the halls of our schools the past two days, listening to teachers making connections with students and starting the learning process for the year, it felt good to at last be back again with children, albeit remotely.

I also want to acknowledge that there were certainly glitches and challenges to work through the past couple of days, and I thank parents for reaching out to teachers or principals to help work through those things. We want to get it right.

With school launched, some parents have reached out this week to inquire about when they can expect us to start returning to in-person learning for those who were interested. As we stated previously, while we did decide to start the year fully remote for most students, our goal is continually focused on how we can bring back more students to in-person learning as quickly and as safely as possible. Please remember that we did commit to full remote learning for the month of September. We are, however, continuing to plan for the return of our students. To that end, we will give the community an update on our return to school by Monday, September 14.

This week also brought a heavy array of emotions with the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha and what has followed in its wake. I am saddened and frustrated with each of these events, and I’m sure many of us are left wondering what more we can do. First, I hope you will join me in standing in solidarity with our Black students, our students of color, and their families as they are repeatedly targets of racism in our society. Furthermore, as was mentioned in the spring, District 64 will form a Diversity Task Force this year, made up of staff and community members, to look at the topics of racism and bias and what changes we can make as a school district. More information to come this fall.

We understand this year will hold numerous challenges for parents, students, and staff. All of us will have to adjust routines and make an extra effort at times to make the best of our unique circumstances. Flexibility and understanding are going to be in high demand this year, and we’ll need everyone to practice these as we tackle the challenges before us. We’re confident, however, that if we all work together, we can make this school year a great one.

We have so many talented staff members here to partner with you in your child’s learning, so don’t be afraid to reach out. And while most questions or concerns may be directed to teachers and principals, if I can help in any way, please contact me at eolson@d64.org or 847-318-4301.

We are all working through a challenging time for our country and our world, and I know we’re all desperate to return to the life we knew before the pandemic. That day will come. Until then, we look forward to learning and growing with you this year and in the future!

Take care of yourself and others,

Dr. Eric Olson

Superintendent

(View the Superintendent's letter from Sept. 14)

(View the Superintendent's letter from Sept. 18)