Without question, the challenges we faced this spring have been unprecedented. Our district, staff, and students rose to the challenge presented to us by COVID-19. As we continue to work through plans for the upcoming school year, we will listen and intentionally focus on how we educate and serve our students. Specifically, we want to create dialogue that leads to actions around the issues of racism, equity, and meeting the social/emotional needs of our students. Now is the time to ensure that our students of color and staff members of color feel welcomed, loved, nurtured, and heard within our system.
Please understand that we are committed to getting this right. In doing so, we need to have honest conversations and identify the barriers that may be keeping us from doing our best work. Together, focused on love, respect, and the well-being of our students, staff, and community we can strengthen our efforts to provide our students with the opportunities they so deserve. Our staff will be working over the summer to reflect on and develop actions centered on these issues. It is important to note that racism of any kind will not be tolerated in our schools.
In addition, we would like to share tentative plans and timelines for returning to school in the fall. We are hopeful to begin the year with face to face instruction. We are tentatively planning on a return to school during the week of August 10-14. Our district has been working to secure adequate numbers of face masks, face shields, plexiglass partitions, and other PPE needed to begin school safely. If required, face masks will be issued to all students and staff. Our custodial and maintenance staff will be utilizing electrostatic disinfecting equipment.
We are awaiting additional guidance from the State of Illinois. When we receive it we will adjust and finalize our plan and communicate details to our school community.
Please understand, Belleville Township High School District #201 is among the finest schools in our entire area, and we are dedicated to getting both of these issues right! Our children and community deserve the very best we have to offer.