District 365U Superintendent delivers message to families

8/14/2020, 6 a.m.
Many school districts in Will County and throughout Illinois have opted to start the school year remotely as concerns about ...
Valley View School District 365U Supt. Rachel Kinder presented the new plan to start the new school year remotely last week. On Thursday, with less than two weeks until the first day of school gets underway, Kinder sent a message to families to help them prepare.

Many school districts in Will County and throughout Illinois have opted to start the school year remotely as concerns about the Coronavirus have yet to subside and the number of cases are starting to edge back up again statewide.

The Valley View School District 365U Board of Education voted 5-2 in favor of a full remote start for the new school year and thus all students will start the new year learning from home.

In effort to prepare both students and parents for that remote start, School District 365U Supt. Rachel Kinder has released a statement to all the district families.

The 2020-21 school year, she said, will be a year that will start unlike any other since the time public schools first opened their doors to serve the children of a community.

“ While we won’t be the traditional in-person welcome to begin the year, we are still very excited to connect with our learners in new ways and get acclimated to our new virtual classrooms to begin the school year on August 26 for K-12 and STEP students and September 2 for Early Childhood. 

“We know every family is working through the challenges of meeting so many demands--family, school, work, childcare and others. I am proud of our community for supporting friends, neighbors, and family and taking a team approach to navigating many complexities so that parents can meet work and family demands and students can be focused on connection and learning in a safe space. Our community partners continue to be agile and supportive of assisting families. Please see our Community Resource Directory online at https://www.vvsd.org/Page/12502 for contacts for additional support, including referrals for childcare. This document continues to be updated with additional information about local childcare options and other resources. 

“In the upcoming week, schools will be sending communication regarding a Universal Needs Assessment to gather information from parents on student needs to support the transition into the new school year. School and District staff remain committed to our partnership of supporting our learners, even in a virtual space. 

“Schools have begun and will continue to share information with families about class assignments, schedules, and the structure of the day. Our new school year brings an expectation for students to attend a regularly scheduled day (with the exception of Early Childhood and STEP) with regular face-to-face interaction. Students will be expected to engage in learning and complete practice and work assignments and teachers will be expected to provide regular feedback and assessment of learning. Attendance will be taken using the same process used during in-person learning.  

“Please discuss school expectations with your child and talk about where your student’s designated work space will be and what parent or care provider expectations will be in place. Becoming familiar with accessing the learning platform or online classroom is a great starting point. Please make certain your student’s District provided Chromebook or Tablet is ready to go.  If your students' Chromebook, Tablet, or charger is not working, is in need of repair, or to request a device if you do not have one, fill out the device survey on our website (https://www.vvsd.org/devicesurvey)

“Just like students and parents, this is a whole new space for our staff as well, one which they are working very hard to prepare for. We have always emphasized to our students the importance of being a lifelong learner. This summer, our staff continues to model that by further development of their remote instruction/service delivery strategies and technology skills. We are committed to continuing to adapt and grow to meet our learners’ needs virtually as well as prepare for our transition back to in-person learning. 

“We know that this is not an ideal situation for anyone involved and that the transition will bring many challenges, yet we remain confident in the entire VVSD Community to take this challenge head on and make the absolute best of it for our kids.”