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End-of-Year Letter to Community

June 2020

Dear NPD117 Community,

As the school year has come to an end, we want to thank all of you for your patience, positivity and support. It is certainly not the way we envisioned ending our 2019-20 school year, which is a year we will never forget. Thank you and thank your children for handling the immense changes in schooling with honor and grace. 

We would also like to congratulate our graduating 8th-grade students and wish them the very best as they begin their high school careers.  Congratulations and best wishes to our retirees who gave so selflessly over the years to their students and this district.  We appreciate and are forever grateful to each and every one of them for their service to our community.  

Before the school year ended so abruptly, our students and staff enjoyed many successes and accomplishments.  Staff at Oak Ridge School pioneered the integration of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices into the classrooms and brought awareness of just how valuable these student communication tools are.  The district held its inaugural Math Bowl at Oak Ridge with 4th and 5th grade students.  Dorn and Sorrick schools each received another Excelerate Gold Circle of Quality Award for their high-quality PreKindergarten programs. Glen Oaks School received its second National Blue Ribbon Award, the district’s third, and Conrady Junior High School was once again named a National ESEA Distinguished School.  

In March, when we received word that we would begin working virtually, our  staff members quickly and successfully embraced new types of technology to work with their peers to plan lessons.  Parents stepped up to the plate and worked with their children for hours each day.  The community banned together multiple times during school parades to show continued support and appreciation for our schools that kept staff and students motivated to work even harder.  Teachers and administrators had more contact with parents than ever before, confirming that the school/community relationship is one of our key factors in student success.  

Earlier this year, the ACCESS state assessment was administered to all  English Learners.  Just last week, we received the ACCESS State assessment results.  Our English Learners have shown tremendous growth. Thank you to the students and teachers for all of your efforts. Thank you also to our families for supporting your children.  

As we await guidance on how schools will reopen in 2020-21, we continue to work behind the scenes to plan for the many possibilities being discussed by Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education.  It is our sincerest hope that we will be able to resume face-to-face learning this August with added safety precautions. However, we do not have any definitive plans at this time.  We will continue to post updates on both our district and school websites and send messages home as we know families need to make their own plans for this fall.  We again say thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Our society is currently faced with challenges that are impacting our social and emotional wellbeing. North Palos School District 117 is positioned to address the needs of students and staff upon return through district-wide initiatives designed to foster greater positive relationships, good mental health and a learning environment to embrace a true sense of community.

We hope that each and every one of you enjoy a safe and happy summer break.  Staff members throughout the district created a list of optional instructional activities that can be used to ensure that your child continues learning during the summer break.  Click here or visit the North Palos 117 website to find the list of summer learning resources for each grade band. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Yours in education,

Jeannie Stachowiak