School Board Spotlight Part 1—School Board Overview: 1-26-2021

District 7 Community Members,

In the coming weeks, District 7 will release a series of three spotlight articles to educate the community on the Board of Education.  Please take a moment to read Part 1 below which covers basic information as well as the fundamental duties of the District 7 School Board.

School Board Spotlight Part 1—School Board Overview


Your school board is comprised of seven individuals, elected by District 7 voters. Unlike some elected positions, school board members are not paid for their service to the community. These seven members are dedicated to the betterment of the district while representing all District 7 stakeholders.  These stakeholders include students, parents, teachers, staff, and all that live within the boundaries of District 7.  The school board provides local control over District 7 similar to the way that local, state and federal representatives act on the behalf of their constituents.


The school board is an elected governmental body, and it can take action only by majority vote at public meetings. This means that individual board members are not able to make district decisions alone.  The individual board members exercise authority by casting votes at board meetings. The purpose of school board meetings is to transact the business of the school district through discussion and voting among the members. The board engages in ongoing communication with the community through engagements such as public forums, surveys, and citizens’ committees to determine the community’s desires for the schools and students.

In carrying out the interests of district stakeholders, the school board performs the following fundamental duties:

·       Determines the direction of the district by defining or refining a purpose, mission, or vision

·       Communicates its actions with the community

·       Selects and employs the superintendent

·       Sets policies for the district and delegates authority to the superintendent to operate using the policies as the guiding factor

·       Monitors performance of the district

In upcoming School Board Spotlights, school board meeting procedure will be reviewed as well as how the community can effectively engage with the Board.

Message from District 7: 1-22-21

District 7 families,

District 7 was happy to welcome back our kindergarten through 6th grade students to in-person learning this week.  Thank you to all the staff members, students, and families for helping this week to run smoothly.   Beginning next week on Monday, January 25th, 7th grade students will return and they will be joined by 8th grade students on Wednesday, January 27th.  Next Friday, January 29th, we will send families an update on plans for the high school level.

COVID Dashboard 

As students return to in-person learning, District 7 will once again update its COVID dashboard weekly–typically on Friday afternoons.  The dashboard will contain the number of positive COVID-19 cases as well as the number of quarantined staff and students within each school in the district.   You can view the District 7 COVID-19 by clicking here.


On Friday, January 8, 2021, the #take10 Wellness Team had the honor of recognizing some of our hardworking champions who give their best every day.

Emily Cimarolli, second grade remote teacher at Nelson Elementary

Leah Gibbs, head cook at Goshen Elementary

Mandie Schulte, secretary at EHS South

Beth Renth, principal at Worden Elementary

Important Message from District 7: 1-8-2021

District 7 Families,

The purpose of this communication is to update families on the schedule changes beginning Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

As a reminder, all parents who chose 100% remote learning for their student during the second semester will continue in a remote learning status the entire semester regardless of any schedule changes described below.

Elementary: Pre-k through 5th grade

All elementary students will return to five days per week of in-person instruction beginning on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Middle School: 6th through 8th grade

Middle School students will transition to five days per week of in-person instruction beginning on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 utilizing the following schedule:Tuesday, January 19 – Friday,

  • January 22, 2021: All 6th grade students will begin attending in-person every day. 7th and 8th grade students will remain in a remote learning setting.
  • Monday, January 25, 2021 and Tuesday, January 26, 2021: All 6th grade and 7th grade students will attend in-person every day. 8th grade students will remain in a remote learning setting.
  • Beginning Wednesday, January 27, 2021: All students (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) will attend in-person every day.

The above staggered transition will ensure that our middle schools will be able to safely transition students back to in-person learning while still ensuring all students receive five days per week of instruction. More information will be emailed from principals next week to outline specific changes in building procedures.

High School: 9th through 12th grade

All High School students will continue in a 100% remote learning setting on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

As District 7 staff members receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the number of new cases in our communities and county continue to decrease, it is the intention to return high school students to five days per week of in-person instruction. The rationale for continuing 100% remote learning instead of moving into a hybrid schedule is to allow high school students to continue to receive five days a week of instruction remotely until the students are able to return to school for five days a week of in-person instruction.

The District will continue to monitor all available data weekly and will inform families of any change to the high school schedule. As we continue to balance student and staff safety along with the instructional and socio-emotional needs of our high school students, the possibility exists for high school students to move into a hybrid (A/B) schedule if it is determined that five days of in-person instruction is not feasible. High school families can expect to receive an update on the schedule on Friday, January 29, 2021.

Additional information will be provided to families regarding opportunities for high school students to come to school for in-person tutoring, small group instruction or other services during the afternoon academic hour.

Food Service/Meal Pickup
All District 7 students will continue to receive free breakfasts and lunches for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Students who are in-person learners will receive meals at school. Families will still be able to access meals in one week increments for any child under 18 that is learning remotely. Beginning on January 19, 2021, families of remote students may pick up meals at Edwardsville High School only on school days from 8:00am-1:30pm.

Procedural Changes

Upon returning to school for in-person learning, students should be prepared to see some changes to building procedures. One change for all students is the addition of a daily temperature check upon arrival at school. As stated previously, your building principal will send an email next week regarding the procedural changes that will occur within your child’s school. In addition, all families will be emailed a self-certification form which must be submitted prior to students returning to school for in-person instruction.

As students begin to come back for in-person learning, families should be aware of the fluid nature of our circumstances. If COVID positive individuals are in school buildings, we will continue to have situations where groups of students and in many cases entire classes will be required to be quarantined. If positive cases in our community and county spike again, we would temporarily pause in-person instruction and move back into a remote setting for all students. In all situations, we will attempt to give as much notice as possible for families to be able to prepare.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate these challenges together.

Dr. Jason Henderson
Edwardsville CUSD7

Reminder from District 7

District 7 Families, 
This is a reminder that Monday, January 4, 2021 will be a remote planning day for staff with no student instruction.  Tuesday, January 5th through Friday, January 15th will be 100% remote instruction for all grade levels K-12.  
On Friday, January 8th, families will be notified regarding the plan for student instruction and the schedule for the week of January 19th and beyond.  Families that chose 100% remote instruction will continue to be remote for the entire second semester for all grade levels.  
We hope that you have been able to enjoy this holiday break with your families and are excited to begin the second semester with your students.

Message from District 7: 12-14-2020 Update

District 7 Families,

This email is being sent to notify families that all K-12  students (including those in the CASTLE/FLS programs) will be in a remote setting for the first two weeks in January.  Preschool and Preschool Academy will continue with the current schedule.  Monday, January 4th will be a remote planning day with no instruction for all students. On Tuesday, January 5th, remote instruction will resume for all students and will continue through Friday, January 15th.   The reasons for making the decision to continue remote learning into January at this time are the following:

  •  Positive cases in District 7 Communities continue to be high with over 300 new positive cases in the last week.  More specifically, Madison County Health Department has provided data showing that within our school district boundaries in the last 14 days there have been 18 new cases in the 5-9 age range, 25 new cases in the 10-14 age range, and 40 new cases in the 15-19 age range.
  •  Waiting two weeks after the winter break will allow any surge in cases to pass prior to the return to in-person instruction.  Our area has seen a surge in positive cases after both Halloween and Thanksgiving, and it is extremely likely that the same will occur after the winter break as well.
  •  Providing this information now gives families more time to develop a childcare plan.

While remote learning has run smoothly for many students and families since November 30th, we understand that a remote setting is not ideal.  At the elementary level, remote instruction requires assistance from families in order to be successful, and because of this, the decision to continue to pause in-person learning at those grade levels was not taken lightly.

Beginning on Tuesday, January 19th, we plan for all pre-k through 5th grade students to return to in-person instruction five days a week.  We will continue to consult with the Madison County Health Department to help make determinations regarding in-person learning.  Any changes in schedules at the elementary level as a whole will have a minimum of one week’s notice.

The instructional model (fully in-person/hybrid/remote) for the middle and high school levels beginning on January 19th has not yet been determined.  This decision will be communicated in early January to families after consultation with the Madison County Health Department.

High school administration will be sending an email in the coming days to families with information on how to pick up books for those students that are taking different classes during the second semester.

Please continue to check your email this week for more building specific information regarding the beginning of second semester.

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these challenges together.


Dr. Jason Henderson

Online Superintendent Search Survey

The Edwardsville CUSD 7 Board of Education is conducting a search for a new superintendent.  The selection of a new superintendent is probably the most important decision a board of education has to make; therefore, the Board has hired the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) to assist in this process.

The Board of Education is seeking everyone’s input in the search process.  The Board requests that all board members, all staff, all parents and community members complete an online survey provided by the IASB.  The results will be tallied and used by the Board and Screening Team to develop a brochure to advertise the position.

The deadline for all survey responses is December 17, 2020 at 11:45 p.m.

Edwardsville Community Survey:

Thank you for taking time to complete the survey.

Virtual Meet & Greet with Santa

Learn more and register at 

Remote Learning Update–11-24-2020

District 7 will pause in-person instruction for all students beginning on Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 18, 2020.  Students will not receive any direct instruction on Monday, November 30 as staff members plan remote instruction for the remainder of the semester.  On Tuesday, December 1, remote instruction will resume across the District.

Below is a link to a document containing guidelines and suggestions that will assist families in helping to make the remote learning experience a positive one for students.  This document contains information on the following:

  • Best practices for remote learning
  • Best practices for students in live Zoom lessons
  • Accessing food service during remote learning
  • Accessing technology/internet and technology support during remote learning
    • Accessing Schoology
    • Accessing Clever

Click here to access the Guidelines for Successful Remote Learning

Message from District 7: 11/20/2020 Update

District 7 Families,

Due to the rising COVID-positive numbers within our school communities, the District made the difficult decision to pause in-person instruction for all students beginning on Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 18, 2020. In making this decision, the District factored in the following:

  • Within the past two weeks, it has become increasingly more difficult to secure substitute teachers and maintain appropriate staffing levels throughout the District due to the number of staff quarantined.  There are currently 48 staff members under quarantine throughout the District including teachers, administrators, nurses, maintenance workers, custodians, secretarial staff, etc.–all of whom are vital to keeping our schools operating safely.
  • The District consulted with the Madison County Health Department. The health department informed District 7 that due to the surge and backlog of positive cases within our community, for at least the next few weeks the agency would be unable to assist with contact tracing or provide documentation when students were cleared to come back to school.
  • The State of Illinois is under new Tier 3 Mitigation restrictions put in place by the Governor, and the City of Edwardsville is under an emergency order.

We recognize that a remote setting is not ideal for all students-especially younger students.  Remote instruction requires assistance from families in order to be successful, and because of this, the decision to pause in-person learning at that grade level was not taken lightly.  Next week, families will be sent a list of guidelines and suggestions that will assist them in helping to make the remote learning experience a positive one for their students.

Monday, November 30, 2020 will be a remote planning day for staff members  to prepare for remote instruction. Students will not receive any direct instruction on this day.  On Tuesday, December 1, remote instruction will resume across the District.   District 7 teachers are ready to provide a positive remote learning experience during this pause of in-person instruction.  While there will certainly be glitches and bumps along the road, we ask for you to extend grace to the staff and demonstrate flexibility and understanding as we shift our instructional practices during this difficult time.

Accessing Technology/Internet During Remote Learning 

During our period of remote learning, District 7 will have additional technology and internet access available for students at the following three schools:

  • Edwardsville High School between the hours of 7:00 AM and 2:00 PM
  • Liberty Middle School between the hours of 7:30 AM and 2:00 PM
  • Worden Elementary School between the hours of 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Elementary and middle school students will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian while accessing technology/internet at any District 7 school during the times listed above.

In addition, District 7 has partnered with other community entities who are willing to provide free wi-fi access.  Please click here for a list of locations within our communities where free wi-fi is available.

Parents with additional questions involving accessing technology should call their child’s principal for assistance.


Picking Up Breakfast and Lunches During Remote Learning 

During remote learning, families will still be able to access free breakfast and lunches every day Monday through Friday for their students.

The procedure for receiving meals is as follows:

  • Meal pickup hours will take place from 7:30am until 1:30pm (Monday through Friday) at all school locations.
  • We will offer a full week of Breakfast and Lunch meals in grab and go format.
  • We will have curb-side service at all locations so there will be no need to exit your vehicle.

To better plan for meal preparation required for the first week of service, a form will be sent home/emailed to all students.  Please return the form with student(s) no later than Tuesday, November 24, 2020 or email the completed form to Shira Patterson at


COVID Dashboard 

The surge of positive COVID cases within our communities and schools has had an effect on our students and staff.  In addition to the positive cases listed in the dashboard, District 7 currently has 48 staff members and 538 students that are quarantined. Upon return to in-person instruction, the COVID dashboard will include the number of quarantined staff and students as well as the number of positive cases.

You can view the District 7 COVID dashboard by visiting our website or by clicking here:

As a final reminder, all students will continue on their current schedule for Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th.  All of the changes outlined in this communication will begin on Monday, November 30th.


Dr. Jason Henderson