Winter Weather Announcement

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning beginning at 6 p.m. this evening, indicating snow fall of 4-9 inches. These conditions have the potential to make hazardous road conditions. As a result, classes at all District 7 schools will be canceled for tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 2023. This will be a true snow day and no e-Learning will be taking place at this time.

An announcement regarding any after school or evening activities will be communicated by coaches or sponsors.

Thank you and be safe!

January 24, 2023 | 6:00 p.m.

2023-2024 School Calendar Approved

At Monday night’s regular meeting, the Board of Education approved the 2023-2024 school calendar.  

2023-24 School Calendar  

The first date of student attendance will be Wednesday, August 16, 2023 (half day), while the last day will be Friday, May 24, 2024 (half day), unless emergency days are used. Each Wednesday will continue to be an early release.  

Other highlights of the 2023-2024 calendar include:  

The 2023-2024 school calendar also includes the following: 

  • Teacher Institutes on August 14, 15 & 16, 2023 
  • Teacher In-Service on October 13, 2023 – NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE (PM) 
  • Teacher Institute on October 20, 2023 – NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE 
  • Thanksgiving Break – November 22, 23, and 24, 2023 
  • Holiday Break – December 21, 2023, through January 2, 2024 
  • Teacher Institute on January 3, 2024 – NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE 
  • Students return to school – January 4, 2024 
  • Spring Break – March 25 through April 1, 2024 
  • Students return to school – April 2, 2024 
  • 5 emergency days – May 28 through June 3, 2024 (if needed) 
  • High School Graduation – June 1, 2024  

Additionally, a draft of the 2024-2025 calendar has been constructed.  

Thank you to everyone who provided input and feedback during our calendar survey in November. That information helped in the development of these calendars.  

 

Stories on the Move Returns to District 7 Buses

In 2019, District 7 partnered with the Edwardsville Public Library and First Student Bus Transportation Company to increase student access to books and awareness of the power of reading in hopes to grow enthusiastic readers.   

Stories on the Move, a program that puts books donated from the Edwardsville Public Library on 15 District 7 buses, emerged out of this collaborative effort. The concept is simple. Children are offered a book as they enter the bus. They can choose to read it on the bus, put it back at the end of their trip, or take it home to help build their home libraries. The book does not need to be returned.   

Unfortunately, Stories on the Move was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the support through a donation from Dieterich Bank, this initiative comes alive again beginning this week.  

This collaboration between community entities such as Dieterich Bank, the Edwardsville Public Library, First Student Bus Transportation Company and District 7 is just one of many ways the community works together for the good of our children. 

Friday Feature: Melissa McKaig, Occupational Therapist

Being an occupational therapist in the school setting allows Melissa McKaig the opportunity to work with a variety of ages and skill sets and to have fun while doing so.  

“The best part is that I get to disguise my work as ‘play’ to motivate my younger students and to collaborate on goals with the older ones.”  

McKaig came to District 7 in 2011 after previously working in Missouri in an outpatient head injury clinic. She works with students at Leclaire, Hamel, Midway, Worden, Columbus, Liberty and EHS.  

“Working with kids has always been my passion, so I was ecstatic when an occupational therapy position opened with D7.” 

In her position, McKaig supports a students’ ability to participate in daily school activities or “occupations”. 

“OT services support a student’s achievement in the areas of play/leisure, academics, self-care, social participation, and transition/work skills. By focusing on the students’ strengths, we help design and implement programming to improve inclusion and accessibility.” 

The occupational therapy field incorporates McKaig’s passion to help others and to think outside the box to develop goals meaningful to the individual.

“I love how versatile the field is, in that we can work with all ages and address various skills to increase independence. Every person is different, so the job is never boring.” 

Just as every person is different, so is every day.  

“Since I travel to different buildings, I get to work with different grade levels and also get to learn from and communicate ideas with our amazing educators.”  

Because of the students she works with, her position does not feel like a job.  

“Their energy and enthusiasm make the day fun!  They motivate me to continuously find creative ways to work on difficult skills. They teach me something new each treatment session and reward my efforts with their progress.” 

 

Board of Education Approves Bond Referendum

January 9, 2023   

Dear District #7 community,  

Earlier this evening, the Board of Education voted unanimously to put a $100 million zero-tax-rate change bond referendum on the April 4, 2023, ballot, aimed at improving school safety and the infrastructure of District 7 buildings.  

If the referendum is approved by voters in April, District #7 would: 

  • Install double-entry doors for improved safety and security at seven schools, which would result in secure double entry at each of the district’s 13 schools. This also includes double entry at Nelson Elementary School and relocating the office space to the two classrooms just inside the main entrance. The current office space would then become classrooms.  
  • Renovate and rebuild Lincoln Middle School on its existing site by retaining the 1925 building.  
  • Remediate the asbestos and build a new wing of classrooms at Hamel Elementary School.  
  • Allocate up to $2,000,000 for repairs at Midway Elementary School. 
  • Expand the commons at Edwardsville High School.  
  • Provide safe and accessible playgrounds at all primary and intermediate schools.  
  • Provide safe and accessible gymnasiums at Leclaire, Glen Carbon and Columbus elementary schools. 
  • Create media centers at Columbus Elementary School, Woodland Elementary School, and Edwardsville High School.  

We have continued to work with the architects and construction management firms we have partnered with to refine the projects in a way that will maximize the use of taxpayer dollars and allow the district to accomplish the most possible. This means that those projects at the top of the list will be given priority, while those at the bottom will be done if funding is available. Given that the district will take 4-5 years to utilize all the funds, being able to predict pricing for some projects leaves them as tentative projects.   

The district’s current tax rate is $4.6829. Approval of the bond referendum would not change the bond and interest tax levy.  

The referendum question that will appear on the ballot will read:
Shall the Board of Education of Edwardsville Community Unit School District Number 7, Madison County, Illinois, improve the sites of, build and equip additions to and alter, repair, and equip school buildings, including constructing security improvements and secured entryways, and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $100,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof? 

The referendum will be on the ballot on April 4, 2023. Early voting begins February 23, 2023.  

We look forward to sharing more throughout this process.  

Sincerely, 
Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

Internet Safety Parent Information Night

District #7 will host a “What Parents Need to Know About Internet Safety” presentation on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the Jon Davis Wrestling Center.

Alyssa Castlemann of the Office of Illinois Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will be the special guest speaker.

The targeted audience is for 3rd-8th grade parents/guardians. Seating is limited and those interested in attending should RSVP here. Due to the content covered, children are recommended to not attend.

 

Engage District 7 Final Report & Recommendations

 

Watch the video version of this communication HERE.

 

December 16, 2022  

Dear District #7 community,   

Last Monday, the Board of Education held a special meeting to hear the final report and recommendations for a facility plan from the Engage District 7 facilitating team.  

For the past four months, over 250 individuals from the District #7 community have been working to put together a plan on how to meet the facility needs for all District #7 students, now and in the future. The community engagement process provided valuable information for Engage District 7’s final recommendations.   

To make these recommendations a reality and to address the identified needs in District #7, the facilitating team recommended the Board of Education place a bond proposal for building repairs and improvement on the April 4, 2023, ballot that would provide a zero-tax rate increase on the current debt service levy. This bond proposal would address the projects which were prioritized through community engagement sessions.  

The projects include: 

  • Installing double-entry doors for improved safety and security at seven schools (Glen Carbon, Leclaire, Nelson, Columbus and Woodland elementary schools, Lincoln Middle School, and Edwardsville High School), which would result in secure double entries at each of the district’s 13 schools. 
  • Rebuilding Lincoln Middle School on its existing site with the goal of retaining the 1925 building, and with other sections being deconstructed, then occupied through construction phased over a 36-to-42-month period. 
  • Conducting a second engineering survey/report specifically for Midway Elementary School and developing a plan for Midway Elementary School based on community priorities and additional information obtained. 
  • Remediating asbestos and building new classrooms, gymnasium, and entry at Hamel Elementary School.  
  • Expanding the commons at Edwardsville High School.  
  • Relocating the office at Nelson Elementary School.  
  • Providing safe and accessible playgrounds at all primary and intermediate schools. 
  • Providing safe and accessible gymnasiums at Leclaire, Glen Carbon and Columbus elementary schools.  
  • Updating media centers at Columbus and Woodland elementary schools and building a new media center at Edwardsville High School.   

The projected cost of completing all projects is approximately $100 million, which would be accomplished through a bond proposal that would not increase the debt tax rate currently in place.  

The Board of Education will discuss the final report and recommendations at their monthly board meeting this Monday, December 19, 2022, at 7 p.m. and will be voting on the recommendations on Monday, January 9, 2023, at a special board meeting at 5:30 p.m. If you are unable to make either of these meetings, they will be streamed on the District’s Facebook page 

You may also find more information at EngageDistrict7.org  

We hope you have a great holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2023!  

Sincerely,  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Friday Feature: Lynn Padgett, Liberty Receptionist/Records Secretary

After relocating to Edwardsville in 2000 to be closer to family, Liberty receptionist/records secretary Lynn Padgett was a stay-at-home mom who was also active in the school’s PTO. She also served as a member of the District 7 Growth Committee and was a member of the CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee) when the opportunity to serve as a secretary sub within the district came about. After subbing for a few years, a permanent opening became available at Liberty in 2005. That was 17 years ago, and Padgett has been a mainstay in the front office since.   

“I love the frenetic of it. I never know what each day will bring, but I know it’s always going to be fun and exciting, and I love being able to see every kid that comes through the building.”  

Padget spends most days multitasking – answering the phone, getting messages to students and staff, calling students to see their respective administrator, finding subs for covering vacancies in the classroom, and scheduling events in and around the building.  

 “Not everyone understands that as a school secretary, how unexpected your day is. You don’t come in and have the same routine. There are certain aspects of the job that are the same, but there is never the same day. To me that is the best part. There is no routine.” 

 The thing that has kept Padgett in her position and at Liberty is the strong connection with the administrators, office, staff, teachers, support staff and students.  

 At Liberty I am able to work with every level from students to their parents, all staff, and administrators. Every year I think it cannot get better, but it does. We are truly family.” 

 Padgett also loves the middle-school age group of students.  

 “They are figuring everything out at this age. It is inspiring to watch them change and mature from sixth to eighth grade. I hope to be able to continue to support the students and staff at Liberty Middle School for years to come.” 

 

 

Geography Bee Winners

District 7, Local Libraries Provide Access to Each Student

For the past several months, District #7 has been working closely with the Edwardsville Public Library and other libraries in the District #7 footprint to provide every student enrolled in District #7 access to a public library card. That program is now active.   

“This partnership between District #7 and the public libraries serving the school district allows us to provide access to all students,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “This is possible due to the cooperation of the local public libraries and an Intergovernmental Agreement between District #7 and the Edwardsville Public Library to provide access to students living outside of a library taxing area.” 

Student’s cards will be registered at one of the following libraries based on their home address: Edwardsville Public Library, Glen Carbon Centennial Library, Worden Public Library, Wood River Public Library, Bethalto Public Library District, Maryville Community Library and Roxana Public Library. These libraries are all part of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and share resources. As a result, students will be able to check out physical books from any of the libraries listed above. Electronic resources, including e-books/audiobooks are not shared, so access to databases and e-reading apps will vary based on the library the student is registered at.  

“We are excited to be able to provide District #7 students with access to additional resources which will enhance their education.” 

There will be no physical cards issued by the library, instead each student’s school ID will be their library card. Information on how to use the school ID as a library card was sent to families in a district communication.