District 7 families,
At today’s teachers’ institute, District 7 staff members were able to receive a mix of in-person and virtual instruction–very much like many of our students. All certified staff members took part in a virtual workshop entitled “Creating an Inclusive School Community” that focused on introducing the foundational knowledge and skills to meet the needs of a multicultural school community. Time was made for teachers to meet with grade levels and departments to discuss curriculum, technology, and how to continue to best meet the needs of District 7 students. Finally, staff took part in a workshop entitled “Compassion Fatigue and Self-Care” in an effort to provide support for our staff. I hope that all families realize the effort that District 7 staff continue to put forth in these extraordinary times.
Survey for Parents of Middle and High School Students
Parents of in-person middle and high school students will receive a survey today from their student’s principal. Parents of remote middle and high school students will receive a survey today as part of a communication from Dr. Cornelia Smith. Please take the time to fill out these short surveys by 12:00 PM on Tuesday, October 13th as they will help District 7 plan for the second semester.
USDA Free Lunch Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended meal flexibilities for school districts through December 31, 2020. These flexibilities will allow District 7 schools to serve no cost meals to ALL students. This unprecedented move will help ensure that regardless of the circumstances, children will have access to nutritious food as the country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities will also make certain meals reach all children – whether they are learning in the classroom or remotely – so students are fed and ready to learn during this new and ever-changing learning environment.
The opportunity for every student in District 7 to receive free meals began on Monday, October 5, 2020. This program will continue through December 31, 2020, or until funding of the USDA program is depleted. Please encourage your students to take advantage of the opportunity to get free breakfasts and lunches!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the USDA Free Lunch Program, please contact Breanna Gordon, Food Service Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued patience and support.
Dr. Jason Henderson
District 7 Families:
One of the District’s highest priorities has been and continues to be creating a safe and healthy learning environment for both students and employees that supports the delivery of quality instruction at all levels. The District’s commitment to this priority has been even more focused over the past seven months as a result of the pandemic that has impacted the world, our country, our state and our own District 7 communities.
On July 30, 2020, a communication was sent out to all parents that explained three different scheduling models for the 2020-2021 school year. Those models included a traditional (5 days a week) learning model, a hybrid learning model, and a remote learning model. On that date, we stated that Pre-K through fifth grade students would start the school year in the traditional learning model and that grades 6 through 12 would be in the hybrid learning model for at least the first semester.
This communication confirms that District 7 will continue the traditional learning model for grades Pre-K through five and the hybrid learning model for grades 6 through 12 for the remainder of the first semester. This should provide clarity for families and eliminate the uncertainty regarding the schedule for the remainder of the first semester.
In our current situation, the hybrid learning model remains the safest option for our middle and high school students and offers a combination of live and remote instruction. The middle schools and high school have been able to conduct mitigation strategies which have allowed the District to keep our students and staff safe while providing in-person instruction for the first seven weeks of school. Through the hybrid learning model at the middle and high school levels, we have been effectively able to keep the number of staff and students quarantined to a minimum.
During the week of October 19th, District 7 will send out information to families regarding scheduling plans for all grade levels for second semester. We will allow parents the opportunity to determine what is best for their student from the available options presented. Responses will be due to the District by the end of October. This timeline will allow the District to adequately staff for both remote and in-person classrooms for the second semester.
Keep in mind that at any time during the 2020-2021 school year, District 7 could be forced to suspend in-person instruction and move to a 100% remote setting under the following conditions:
- The community as a whole is under a stay-at-home order from the Governor or another local or state agency.
- The District does not have enough staff members (due to quarantine) to safely operate.
- There are outbreaks within at least three District 7 schools. An outbreak is defined by the Madison County Health Department as “two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases who are epidemiologically linked to the outbreak setting, have onsets of illness within a 14-day period, do not share a household, and are not listed as a close contact of each other outside of the outbreak setting.” Individual classrooms and schools will have in-school instruction suspended prior to the entire District moving to a remote setting. Click here for more details regarding this metric.
Student Mental Health Concerns
District 7 is continually improving programs and services to address the social/emotional needs of all students. We recently added additional mental health professionals for the 2020-2021 school year to better meet the social/emotional needs of our students. District 7 staff is available to help students through difficulties that they may be facing. This is true whether students are in an in-person, hybrid, or remote learning setting. If you would like your child to speak with a District 7 counselor, social worker, or school psychologist, please contact your child’s building principal who can help start this process.
District 7 understands the challenges with hybrid instruction for students, families and staff members. As students and staff members are becoming more comfortable with the schedule and the technology, we will continue to see improvements. Teachers and administrators are committed to continuing to learn new methods and instructional technology platforms to provide instruction to all students. While we recognize this is not the ideal format that any educator, parent, or student would desire in normal circumstances, we feel this is currently the best way to provide a safe learning environment for our middle and high school students.
In addition, District 7 will continue to evaluate different models of hybrid scheduling that allow students to stay socially distanced while receiving the maximum amount of in-person instruction. Any changes to the hybrid schedule would be communicated to parents at least two weeks before implementation.
Next week, District 7 will survey families and students to get additional feedback about the first quarter of the school year regarding topics such as scheduling, the hybrid learning model, and remote learning. This data will be used as part of the decision-making process as we plan for the second semester.
Thank you for your continued patience and support.
Dr. Jason Henderson
District 7 is looking to hire extraordinary care assistants. The job descriptions and qualifications can be found here: http://ecusd7.org/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/2020/07/EXTRAORDINARY-CARE-ASSISTANTS.pdf
Applications for this classified position can be found here: http://ecusd7.org/departments/personnel/#tab-id-6
Good evening. This is a message from Jason Henderson, Superintendent of Schools. Due to the potential of dangerous road conditions, specifically on rural routes, classes at all District 7 schools are cancelled for Tuesday, November 12th. Further notification will be given for afternoon and evening activities.
Kid Zone service will be open tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12, 2019 for students currently enrolled this week. Kid Zone will operate from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm at Woodland Elementary School located at 59 S State Rt 157, Edwardsville. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase. Critical care items must be provided.
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! It is both an honor and a privilege to serve as District 7’s Superintendent of Schools. I wanted to remind you of important information regarding registration for the 2019-2020 school year. Please click the link below for additional information.