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A Message from Dr. Hubbard - May 8, 2020

I hope this communication finds you well and healthy. If you or your family are in need of anything, please know that while our facilities are closed, our district and its staff remain open to being a resource and support. This time continues to be uncertain, however, our commitment to our students, families, and community remains unchanged.

 

As many of you know, this past week has been Staff/Teacher Appreciation Week. We are incredibly proud of our staff and we spent the week making sure they heard, felt, and knew that. In this current reality we are all navigating, I would like to take the chance to thank you all, too, for your support, partnership, and work in further broadening our definition of who our practicing teachers and educators are. Without notice, professional development, or any say, you have become a critical extension of our profession and a crucial piece to our ability to continue helping our collective students grow, learn, develop, create, accomplish, and achieve. Please know that I am profoundly proud of you and deeply grateful for you. You are doing an amazing job and we see, value, and respect your efforts!

 

Before sharing some important information below, I want to take the opportunity to offer a warm and heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, maternal figures, and caregivers in our community. Your love, compassion, care, and example are important to us all. Thanks for all you do with, for, and on behalf of those under your care, roof, supervision, and wings. Have a wonderful weekend and know how much you are respected and loved.

 

There is a lot here, but please reach out to one of our building or district leaders with any questions or concerns…

 

Item Retrieval

Building leaders and staff members have been and will be hard at work in the coming weeks packing their rooms, clearing out lockers, and organizing materials. While we all certainly wish we were doing this end-of-year activity together, we want to make sure we are able to return items before the summer. In the days or weeks ahead, you can expect specific communication from your student’s school regarding when and how to retrieve and return items. Tentatively, processes will occur at AUGS on May 21 and 22, while we have it slated for Oakland, WC Petty, Hillcrest, and MKM ELC on May 26, 27, and 28. More info to follow!

 

Packing Days

In order to arrange for staff to get into the buildings and give them time to pack up and organize their learning spaces and our students’ belongings, there may be a day or timeframe during which your student’s teacher might have limited availability. We hope to be able to communicate in advance of those days/times; however, know that when this occurs, staff will post assignments, but may only be able to provide limited feedback.

 

Devices:

  • Most D34 students will be keeping their technology devices over the summer. 
    • Grades PreK-2 - buildings will be reaching out to Prek-2 families in possession of D34 devices to have 1:1 Device Initiative Handbook paperwork completed.
    • Grades 3-7 – no further action is needed.
    • Grade 8 - the device will need to be returned to the district.  More information will be coming.
    • Moving out of district - the device will need to be returned to the district.  More information will be coming.
  • As always, students are responsible for following the guidelines outlined in the Guidelines for Responsible Use of Technology (GRUT) .

 

Grading:

Antioch School District 34 Administration continues to meet and address topics related to remote learning in congruence with recommendations established by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). With respect to grading, the ISBE Remote Learning Recommendations suggest, “Grading should focus on the continuation of learning and prioritize the connectedness and care for students and staff. All students should have the opportunity to redo, make up, or try again to complete, show progress, or attempt to complete work assigned prior to the remote learning period in that time frame. A focus on keeping children emotionally and physically safe, fed, and engaged in learning should be our first priority during this unprecedented time.”

 

Considering the above and due to the evolving nature of our current situation, we have developed a grading plan effective through the conclusion of the school year. Please know that this plan is predicated on a strong focus of providing multiple opportunities for students to continue to develop and demonstrate skills and progression towards standards. We continue to encourage two mottos in the following grading plan: “grace over grades” and “learning over earning.” We have been in communication with many other districts and our local high school district in making the following decisions. Please support us in encouraging continued engagement with the daily learning activities and know that we are actively preparing to ensure we stand ready to meet the students where they are at the beginning of next year.  

 

  • Elementary Grading and Report Cards
    • Teachers will continue to assign and provide feedback on assignments, projects, and assessments, through the end of the school year.
    • For trimester 3, you will see a largely comment-only report card. 
      • ‘Learning Behaviors’ that require a rating will be marked with NE (Not Evaluated) or left blank, if NE is not an option, and comments will be added for ‘Work Habits’ only.   
      • ‘Academic’ fields that require a rating will be marked with NE and comments will be added for English Language Arts and Mathematics only. 
      • All comments will begin with the statement: “Trimester 3 report card was altered due to COVID-19.”

 

  • Antioch Upper Grade School Grading and Report Cards
    • Teachers will continue to assign and provide feedback on assignments, projects, and assessments, through the end of the school year.
    • For report cards, the overall grade/end of the year grade (Y1) will be the average of the Trimester 1 and 2 grades.  During Trimester 3, students will be provided feedback on their progress on completed assignments. In Trimester 3, staff can grade assignments as normal or use the turned in (check mark) or missing functions in the grade book.  In the end, if the grade for Trimester 3 is higher than a student’s Y1 grade, then teachers will override the previously calculated Y1 grade to show the improved grade for the year.
    • Trimester-long Encore classes will be identified as “No Grade” (NG) for Trimester 3 and teachers will provide comments based on student progress.
    • Students that do not have a passing grade for the school year will be asked to complete Odysseyware in the summer for credit recovery – this will be communicated and coordinated by building leadership.
    • AUGS Honor Roll and Graduation Cords will be determined based on Y1 grades, calculated as described aboveAny changes will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by administration; meaning, if students completed work in trimester 3, boosting their grades, they may earn a higher cord.

 

Resource:

  • Children can be very resilient — if they feel listened to, supported, and taken care of by parents and caretakers. They are not little adults. They need to be in a caring environment that fits their developmental needs, even in times of crisis. Read about what you can do to help calm their fears during these challenging times.


Please visit Parents as Teachers for tips for parents during times of trauma.

 

  • The Illinois Department of Human Services has launched a support line called Call4Calm.  If you would like to speak with a mental health professional, text the word "TALK" for English speakers and "HABLAR" for Spanish speakers to the number 552-020.  You will soon be connected with a healthcare professional in our area.  You may also text keywords like "unemployment," "food," or "shelter" to receive information and support.  The Call4Calm service is free and callers remain anonymous.

 

Thank you for all you do, have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Mother’s Day,

 

Brad Hubbard