Dear District 65 Families,
With much excitement, I want to proudly welcome back all of our students and staff for another school year! It is no secret that our community has responded with an amazing amount of flexibility to a multitude of changes caused by the ongoing pandemic. With each change, we have courageously and seamlessly adjusted to any challenge that arose. Thank you to each and every one of our parents, caregivers, families, students, community partners, and staff for maneuvering and pivoting, despite such a historic time.
My hope is that you have had the opportunity to focus this past summer on self-care, rest, and connection to your loved ones. We have all had to navigate difficult conversations and adjustments regarding returning to school, especially with the more contagious Delta variant and as COVID-19 cases increase. In District 65, we care deeply about the health and safety of all members of our community and remain committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for teaching and learning, and this is made clear in the robust mitigation plans we have in place in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. With our return to school, I ask for your continued partnership, commitment to our mitigation measures, and flexibility, as health guidance is subject to change. My promise to you is that our team will continue to engage in important conversations and consult members of our medical advisory committee and officials from our local health departments to update guidance as necessary.
This is a school year that marks not just a return of students and staff to our buildings, but a return to our ongoing commitment to equity, transparency, and relationship building. For the past year, many of us have been separated from our families, our educators, colleagues, and our classrooms. This school year represents a closing of that gap in separation. Our school leaders, educators, and staff are all eager to welcome our students back for a new school year and to support them in transitioning into our buildings, responding to their unique learning needs, and creating safe environments for students to thrive both academically and socially.
Our team is hitting the ground running and is ready to deliver the most optimal educational experiences for all of our students, while also continuing to place racial and educational equity at the forefront of decision-making to ensure that the experiences of our students and families, especially those most marginalized, remain a top priority.
Schools are a cornerstone for growth, development, and a hub for humanity. Ours are no different. To many who know me, I’m the one in the room who is most eager to get the work done and this remains especially true regarding our return to school. So, let’s go District 65! Wishing you and your children an amazing start to a new, and unforgettable, school year!
Dr. Devon Horton
Evanston/Skokie School District 65