Butler SD 53 News

POM Letter to Families

August 8, 2020

We continue to appreciate your commitment, partnership, and cooperation with us as we prepare for the safe and successful start of the new school year in these most difficult times. Thank you to all of you who participated in our Q&A sessions with our building principals last week. We found these sessions to be avenues for very important dialogue. Further, thank you to all of the families that inquired about more details with respect to the in-person and remote learning opportunities to begin the new school year. Our district is poised to provide a robust in-person and remote or parallel learning environment through the Flip the Classroom (FTC) model program. We look forward to welcoming more than half of our families back into the physical classrooms and engaging with others through FTC in their homes.

Return to School Email

July 31, 2020

The 2020-2021 school year will be one that has never been experienced before. Last evening, the Board of Education held a Special Meeting to further review and discuss the instructional pathways for reopening our schools, along with sample schedules. The Board of Education read over 70 emails received, and listened to comments from various stakeholders; parents, Oak Brook Education Association representatives, staff, and community members - at the previously held Education and Community Outreach committee meetings as well as at this Special Meeting.

This morning, the Education Committee met, reviewed, and discussed four different options that were presented for reopening schools, along with survey results from staff and families. The Committee heard from administration, the Oak Brook Education Association, staff, parents, and community members who shared their perspectives and concerns, as did the chair and co-chair of the Committee.

When I considered the position of Superintendent of Schools at Butler D53, I reflected on the comments about parental involvement, support of the community, and dedication and compassion of our staff. As I look back on the past year, all of these wonderful attributes of a successful school district community rang true. I am proud of the way our district responded to this public health crisis, transition to remote learning, and the hours and days being spent this summer to prepare for the fall.

The District has adopted a weekly cadence of messages to communicate with parents and staff as it relates to updates, information, and particularly the start of the new school year. The safety of our students, families, and staff is the utmost priority. We recently received additional guidance from the DuPage County Department of Public Health, which is being reviewed and assessed. Our administration/transition team continues to meet and compile different avenues so that continuity of learning will take place within the parameters of agency guidance.

Earlier this week, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), issued their "Transition Guidance" for Starting the 2020-21 School Year. This guidance comes as part of our state's movement into Phase 4: Revitalization, which began today, and will answer many lingering questions shaping the beginning of our next school year.

IDEIA Meeting

June 25, 2020

The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) specifies that special services be provided by the Local Education Agency (LEA) in which the parochial school resides. District 53 is therefore responsible for the provision of child find and proportionate share services to students attending Bright Horizons.  Due to school closures, the District 53 Timely and Meaningful Consultation will take place through a virtual meeting on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 10:00 AM. If you plan on attending this meeting, please contact Andrea Prola at aprola@butler53.com or (630) 280-8224.

Read up on the latest happenings in the community newsletter Newsline, which has been mailed to all homes in District 53. See pictures of graduates, virtual celebrations and learn about the highlights of the year, including remote learning.

D53 Juneteenth Message

June 19, 2020

As you are traveling through our school community today, you may notice that our flags are flying at half-staff. Per a notification from the State of Illinois, we have lowered flags on our campus in recognition of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a national celebration of freedom and the end of enslavement in the United States in 1865 with origination in Texas.

Butler School District 53 is pleased to release our 2020 Summer School course offerings for students entering grades 3-8. During the summer, our students are offered an opportunity to implement digital technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom while furthering their learning.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our school community to the newly adopted vision and mission statements for Butler School District 53. I'm grateful to the students, parents, faculty, and staff that contributed to the development of these guiding principles. These statements embody the direction and goals for our school district.

I would like to take this opportunity in my final Friday, 2019-2020 school year letter to wish you a safe, relaxing, and memorable summer. If you have learned anything from my weekly correspondence during our time quarantined, I hope that you take with you the important fact that you are not alone. The students of Butler D53 are our salient responsibility.

Four Butler School District 53 students were awarded the Oak Brook Education Association Citizenship (OBEA) Award.

With an unconventional summer nearing, we wanted to provide resources that could help you to keep children and families engaged and busy during the next few months. After all of the stress and uncertainty we’ve experienced these past few months, it might be tempting to go into summer with no plan.

This spring Butler Junior High 8th graders were celebrated in a different way than past graduations. Click the link inside this story for the Graduation Video Stream.

I want to wish staff, students, and the Butler D53 community a safe, and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day is a way to honor those in the armed forces who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Traditions have changed over the years. It is also the official-unofficial day that signifies that summer has arrived.

Below is a list of fun websites that give students an opportunity to virtually check out field trips and destinations they may want to visit. This list includes museums, aquariums, zoos, national parks, Broadway, and even the planet Mars! Besides destinations, there are also some enriching educational activities included too.

As I compose this note on a dreary morning, I think about what is to come after the storm; sunshine, new growth, greener grass, calmer waters, and perhaps a rainbow. The Butler D53 family of students, guardians, and staff have been navigating a sort of storm for the past 9 weeks. No one could have ever predicted the duration or severity.

Last week was Brook Forest’s “Week of Kindness” and we hope students and families had fun engaging in each day’s theme. Being kind to self and others is something we can always strive to do more of. Not only does this help others to feel good, we feel good about ourselves when we are kind and help others.

As the weather is becoming more stable, the cadence within our family and home is also stabilizing. School end-of-year activities are beginning to take shape. You see it within our district and on news reports from across the country. These events and rites of passage are different than what we could ever have imagined.

Research shows that movement provides physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral benefits to our bodies. Movement helps us to reset and recharge when our bodies have been sitting and focusing for too long. It not only helps children get the “wiggles out” but energizes them and increases their ability to focus for the next activity.

Dear Butler School District 53 families and staff, My topic of this week's communication is our appreciation for “you”. You wear many hats as you balance your new routine, your job, parenting, as a caregiver, and teacher. As we all navigate and adjust, remember to take care of “you”.

While we all may have suspected it was coming, the recent extension of the stay-at-home order can make it challenging to maintain a positive mindset for the coming weeks. In addition, not having an end in sight for when we can “return to normal” can make us feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the future.

Dear Butler School District 53 families and staff, As we are still digesting last week's order of suspending in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic school year, yesterday there was a new gubernatorial direction extending the stay-at-home order through May 30.

As we all try to adjust to this new normal, week to week, it is so important to remember to live in the key of BALANCE. This school year has not ended, although we must adjust our daily expectations. No, we do not get to go to school and see our teachers and friends, but it is not a lost school year. We have much to learn and discover during this time.