Important COVID-19 Update

January 2, 2022

Dear District #7 families,

During the last two weeks while we have been on winter break an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases,
both locally and nationally, has occurred with the omicron variant.

Unfortunately, this surge has had an impact on our staff and the ability to adequately serve our students. As a
result, 6th – 12th grade students will begin the second semester remotely on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. This
adaptive pause will continue through Friday, January 7, 2022, at which time we will re-evaluate data. At this
time, K-5th grade students are unaffected and will begin the second semester as scheduled, but please be
advised things could change.

Important information to know now:

  • Administrators, teachers and support staff will be at their respective schools to provide remote
    instruction.
  • FLS and CASTLE students will be in attendance in all grade levels. All special transportation and
    schedules will remain the same.
  • Students who attend CAVC will continue to do so for their scheduled class periods.
  • Students who need to pick up devices may contact their school office to schedule a time to pick up a
    device.
  • Athletics will continue through the adaptive pause. However, during this pause, no spectators,
    including parents, will be allowed to attend home games.

More specific information from your school and/or grade level will be forthcoming.

Thank you for your continued support as we work through the impact and disruptions of COVID-19.

Sincerely,

 

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

Vaccination Clinic Scheduled for December 13

District #7 will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Monday, December 13, 2021. The clinic will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the EHS Media Center with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being administered.   

There is no cost for the vaccination and the clinic is for any student ages 5 or older.  

All children ages 5-17 must be accompanied by a parent and must have a signed parental consent form, available for download here 

The second dose will be administered on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, also from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the EHS Media Center.  

Masks are required for students and parents at both clinics, while social distancing should also be maintained. 

If your child(ren) is fully vaccinated and their vaccination cards have not yet been uploaded, you may do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F7FTG8J 

 

FastBridge Assessment

Dear District #7 K-8 Families, 

During the 2020-2021 school year, District #7 began using new universal screening assessments, the FastBridge Assessment System. FastBridge provides for the efficient administration of various types of assessments used to screen, monitor and inform instruction/intervention. Teachers and psychologists have been working diligently to screen students in kindergarten through 8th grade in the areas of reading and math.   

On Monday, October 25, 2021, you will receive the FAST Family Report for your child. This report allows you to quickly see how your student is performing relative to their grade level. FastBridge assigns student scores into three categories:  

  • On Track: A student listed as On Track has skills that meet or exceed the grade level expectation. 
  • Some Risk: A student listed as Some Risk may need additional support to improve the listed skills and is at some risk of falling behind their peers. 
  • High Risk: A student listed as High Risk will need additional support to improve the listed skills and are at high risk of falling behind their peers. 

Please keep in mind that the screening process allows for brief assessments intended to provide a quick overview of a student’s development in the targeted areas, similar to a pediatrician’s “well check”.  While this is important information to help us monitor student growth after returning to instruction following 15 months of interruptions to the educational setting, we must also remain cognizant of the fact that there is likely a higher prevalence of at risk students in nearly all schools across the nation.   

 The information in this report may be used as a starting point for conversations about learning needs, but should be considered with all other sources of information, including classroom performance, to gain an overall picture of your child as a learner. Additional screening windows in the winter and spring will allow educators and parents to track how each child’s scores have changed over time, which will provide a more comprehensive picture of student successes and needs.   

 If you have questions regarding your child’s report, please contact their building principal.  

Regards, 

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Parent-Teacher Conferences Pick-A-Time

Read a PDF of the letter below or watch the video


Dear District #7 Community:   

The District will again use Pick-A-Time to schedule PreK-12 parent-teacher conferences to be held via Zoom on Thursday, October 28, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday, October 29, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As in prior years, Pick-A-Time will allow parents to schedule their children’s parent-teacher conferences through the internet using the account from last year or by creating a new account. Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 18, 2021, and will end at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.  

Parents can access Pick-A-Time at https://pickatime.com/ecusd7. Instructions for logging in, along with information specific to grade levels, can be found by clicking here 

Please feel free to contact your building secretary or principal if you have any questions or need support scheduling a conference. 

As we enter the second quarter of the school year, there are also several other communications we will be sharing in greater detail with our familiesOver the next four weeks, please check your email for more information regarding these items:  

Thursday,  

October 21, 2021 

FASTBRIDGE 

FastBridge screening for students in grades K-8 in the areas of reading and math has been completed. FastBridge provides for the efficient administration of several types of assessments used to screen, monitor, and inform instruction / intervention. Your child(ren)s report with additional FastBridge information will be sent on this date.  

Thursday,  

October 28, 2021 

IAR PARENT PORTAL 

The Illinois State Board of Education is launching a parent portal with Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) individual student test results, complete with access to score reports and videos explaining the individual student score reports. More information and directions on accessing the portal will be sent.  

Thursday, November 4, 2021 

COVID/SHIELD TESTING UPDATE 

SHIELD Testing began in our schools on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. In partnership with SHIELD, we will also be announcing the start of community testing.   

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 

TECHNOLOGY SURVEY & WINTER WEATHER PLANNING 

In conjunction with the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, District #7 will be asking for your assistance in completing a survey to show an accurate picture of the type of broadband coverage that is available in the District #7 geographic area and where it can be improved for our families. We will also share plans for winter weather.  

 With Tiger Pride, 

 

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D
Superintendent

 

 

Superintendent Update: September BOE Recap

October 3, 2021

Dear District #7 Community:

The District #7 Board of Education met last Monday (September 27, 2021) for their regular monthly meeting, which included approving the purchase of 1,800 Dell Latitude 3310 XCTO computers with a total cost of $1,024,200.00. This purchase comes after extensive work by several individuals in District #7 to identify a device which will withstand the daily use of middle school students, but also provide the long-term sustainability needed. These devices will be distributed upon returning from winter break in January 2022, pending availability. We are extremely excited that in addition to our staff and high school students, our middle school students will also now have devices.

The 2020-21 audit was also approved. Our financial profile designation also improved, going from ‘review’ to ‘recognition’. District #7 continues to remain on solid financial ground while continuing to fulfill the promises made with the passing of Proposition E in 2017.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Approving the 2021-22 budget.
  • Approving the purchase of a Panorama Education Platform License, a social-emotional intervention and monitoring tool that will allow teachers to access data on a student’s attendance, discipline, academics and social and emotional on a personal, classroom, school and district level.
  • Approving Friday, November 12, 2021, (the day after Veterans Day) as a non-attendance day. This now makes the last day of school May 20, 2022, with a half day. Communication on this 2021-22 school calendar change was sent out last week.

We continue to work through the onboarding process for SHIELD Testing and hope to have that ready to go very soon. Students who wish to participate can still submit consent forms for testing.

District #7 continues to need substitute teachers. Information on becoming a sub is available on the district website. Even if you have occasional availability, I encourage you to apply.

Finally, we had a great turnout of nearly 150 community members at our Strategic Planning Community Kick off on September 23, 2021. It was wonderful to see the engagement of everyone in attendance as we plan for the future of District #7. Our next strategic plan community event is Wednesday, December 8, 2021 (note the change in date). We look forward to seeing you there!

With Tiger Pride,

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.
Superintendent

2021-22 School Calendar Change

At the Monday, September 27, 2021, regular school board meeting, the Board of Education voted to approve a change in the 2021-22 school calendar.  

Friday, November 12, 2021, will now be a no attendance day for students. This date falls after Veterans Day on November 11, which is a holiday.  

The district has been experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers this year, which has resulted in pulling employees from their assigned locations to cover a classroom. Unfortunately, Fridays have been extremely difficult as we are pulling several people to cover classrooms. This change in the school calendar helps us alleviate any issues we may have had in covering classrooms on Friday, November 12, 2021.  

The final day of the 2021-22 school year will now be Friday, May 20, 2022, with a half day, barring the use of any emergency dates.  

Please see the revised 2021-22 school calendar to reflect this change. 

Strategic Plan Community Kick Off Held

Nearly 150 District #7 community members gathered at the EHS Commons on Thursday night, September 23, to hear plans for the 2022-27 Strategic Plan and to provide input on where they hope to see District #7 in the year 2027.

This strategic plan follows the previous strategic planning process that began in December 2019 and was slated for three years from 2020-2023. However, because of COVID-19, it was hard to form planning groups and community input was not as strong as was hoped. The 2020-23 strategic plan is being used as a one-year action plan during the current 2021-2022 school year while the new one is being built for the next five years, which will take District #7 from 2022 to 2027.  

Thursday night’s community event was the first in a series of four that the public will be invited to provide input.

At the kick-off event, District #7 Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton outlined the planning groups and the process for the development of the new strategic plan. He also announced the goal areas, which will include:

  • Student Experiences (our students)
  • Thriving Workforce (our adults)
  • Safe and Supportive School Culture (our schools)
  • Family and Community Engagement (our community)
  • Financial Responsibility (our resources)

A new mission and vision statement for the district is also currently in development with plans to have the Board of Education adopt those in December.

Future community meetings surrounding the strategic plan will be held in November, February and April.

The goal is to present a new strategic plan to the Board of Education on May 23, 2022.  

Strategic Plan Community Kick Off

Dr. Patrick Shelton invites the District #7 community to the Strategic Plan Kick Off on Thursday, September 23, 2021, at the EHS Commons from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Read the letter from Dr. Shelton or watch the video.

09-12-21 Message from Superintendent, Dr. Patrick Shelton

9.12.21 Letter
SHIELD-Testing-FAQ
SHIELD Testing Consent Form

A reminder that SHIELD testing consent/opt-in forms are due on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, along with other district reminders and updates from Superintendent, Dr. Patrick Shelton.

09-03-21 Message from Superintendent, Dr. Patrick Shelton

Please read the letter from Superintendent, Dr. Patrick Shelton, regarding SHIELD testing.  The student consent form can be found here.