Dear Parents and Guardians of Bunker Hill CUSD #8 Students,
I would like to first thank everyone that took the time to participate in our community feedback Thought Exchange. With over 200 participants and over 6,000 thoughts rated, your feedback was heard loud and clear. The #1 thought expressed by parents was a return to “normalcy, full days, in-person learning.” This is also the district’s #1 goal this year. While masking and vaccination tracking were the next-ranked thoughts, our district has been hard at work monitoring, interpreting, and applying guidance that changes daily in order to address these concerns.
Bunker Hill CUSD #8 is closely monitoring the ever changing guidance regarding COVID-19 mitigations, including another FAQ document released by ISBE today (8/2/2021.) We anticipate receiving further guidance and direction in the coming weeks. However, with school opening as planned next week, the Board of Education will vote to formally approve a “reopening plan” at a special meeting later this week. I have included a link to the draft plan to this document for your review, which we are calling a “Continuity of Learning Plan” since Bunker Hill CUSD #8 was open last year and plans to remain open all year this upcoming (2021-2022) school year. Here is the link to review: https://bit.ly/37dLOwv
Over the next week or two, I am sure that we will receive updated guidance, and possibly mandates, that may change our plan significantly. Again, the plan attached to this email is a draft and subject to change. I wish I could tell you exactly where we will be on August 11th but that is simply not possible in the rapidly changing situation in which we find ourselves. One thing I can tell you is that our district will be open for full days, five days/week of in-person instruction.
We are also fully aware of the conflicting and passionate viewpoints that are present in our community surrounding COVID-19 mitigations. Please know we are doing the best we can to plan for a great 2021-2022 school year with a focus on full in-person student learning, engagement, social-emotional well-being, and safety. No one plan will make everyone happy, and it is quite possible our plan will make no one happy. However, I urge you to remain patient and supportive as the district moves forward with its top priority this year: keeping all students in school (physically) by avoiding large, lengthy and numerous quarantines.
While this plan may not be the one eventually approved, it does give us hope to avoid student quarantines. In order to share the particulars, as well as answer questions regarding this decision, I will be hosting a “Coffee with the Superintendent” this upcoming Wednesday (8/4) evening at 6:00 PM in the outdoor dining garden of the Sage House. Please feel free to attend in person or watch on Facebook Live as the district’s rationale and thought process is shared. In person attendee questions will be answered, and if time allows, virtual questions may also be moderated.
Of course, feedback is always welcome, so I look forward to seeing you this Wednesday night or hearing from you in the upcoming days.
Enjoy the beautiful weather, and the final week of summer break!
Yours with gratitude,