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August 10, 2022
Dear District #7 families,
Earlier this week, I provided our Board of Education with a comprehensive update on the 2022-2023 school year as well as an update on the 2022-2023 Return to Learn plan, which is now updated on the District #7 website. We are excited about the upcoming school year and wanted to share a few highlights related to the school calendar, school day schedules, and our renewed focus on school safety.
Last January, the Board of Education approved the 2022-2023 calendar which included an early release schedule each Wednesday. The early release schedule was adopted in lieu of any additional half days for school improvement and will allow each certified staff member to fully engage in the PLC process beginning with the 22-23 school year. Research has shown that providing teachers with the time to work in collaborative teams has a positive impact on student learning, and we are excited to be kicking off this initiative on Wednesday, August 24.
The high school will dismiss at 12:45 p.m., followed by the middle schools at 1:35 p.m., the intermediate schools (grades 3-5) at 2:40 p.m. and primary schools (K-2) at 2:50 p.m. Schools will provide childcare coverage on Wednesdays from the early dismissal time until the normal dismissal time – at which time parents will be responsible for picking up their child. Buses will run at the early dismissal time. Each building will communicate that process along with a sign-up form for those needing childcare.
The school day for each of our buildings will also begin and end between five and 10 minutes earlier each day from last year to help aid in our bus transportation times. 2022-23 School Start Times
This year our renewed focus on school safety started with the addition of our Director of Security, Michael Hubbard, but has continued with expanding our training for our School Safety Officers, expanding the presence of our School Safety Officers in our middle and high schools, and the requirement for all students and staff to wear IDs in our schools. We want to ensure that each student and staff member feels safe teaching and learning. We will also be continuing our work with local law enforcement on our crisis plans and training for all staff regarding school safety. In addition, we will be refocusing our efforts on enforcing the District #7 Dress Code and requiring that electronic devices, including cell phones and air pods, be put away during the instructional part of the school day. Our goal is to maintain a safe environment for students and staff so that our primary focus can continue to be on educating students.
Staffing continues to be a concern, but we see improvements in our staffing forecast every day. Our certified staff positions are fully staffed with a couple of exceptions. However, we do still have many classified positions still open, although numbers continue to improve through our open interview process, recruiting at Goshen Market, and working with other agencies and institutions to recruit employees.
To add some clarification on staffing with our Kid Zone, Kid Zone is operated as an extension of District #7, but it is run like a childcare and must follow certain licensing with the state. There are only a certain number of children allowed per adult and that adult must be 18. There are also staffing criteria for students with special needs that must be followed.
KINDERGARTEN ORIENTATION/OPEN HOUSE
We are also excited to welcome almost 500 kindergarten students to District #7. We invite our kindergarten families to a special Kindergarten parent orientation on Monday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. where principals will be providing an overview of the kindergarten screening process. Parents are also welcomed to bring community supplies such as Kleenex and wet wipes. Also, do not forget kindergarten open house on Wednesday, August 24!
Registration for the 2022-23 school year is still available! This is the first year we are fully online for registration, and once the school year begins, we will be meeting to find ways to make this process easier for our families. If you still need to register, please visit http://ecusd7.org/district-information/registration/.
I also want to remind our families that we will be charging for breakfast and lunch this year as the funding from the federal government which funded meals the past two years has ended.
Finally, we are looking forward to our Mascot Welcome on Friday for students entering 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades! We are also looking forward to open houses next week and the first day of school exactly one week from today. Enjoy the last week of summer break and we cannot wait to see you next Wednesday!
With Tiger Pride,
Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.