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Office of the Superintendent

 

Dear Ball-Chatham Families,

 

I hope that your Thanksgiving was one where you were able to create some memories with your family.  The Winter Holiday Season is always memorable and I hope you are able to enjoy each day with your loved ones.  My hope and wish for you is that although the get-togethers may be smaller than a typical year, you have the ability to be with family and friends.

 

Winter is upon us, and it is time we think about transitioning to cold weather.  The first thing I would like to mention is that it is important for our students to wear warmer clothing when coming to school.  Many students walk to school, and/or wait at bus stops.  It is necessary to wear warm clothing when headed out the door.  If you or someone you know is in need of assistance accessing a warm jacket, gloves, or a cap/hat to keep their head warm, please let us know and we will attempt to assist them in getting these items.  

 

In addition to efforts being made to keep our students and staff healthy during these trying times, I want to highlight that we have been able to be in session for 17 weeks now.  This is phenomenal given the circumstances we have all endured.  As I had expressed earlier, kudos to our staff for their due diligence toward maintaining clean classroom environments and social distancing. They have truly done a commendable job! And thank you to the parents of our in-person learners for continuing to complete your children’s wellness checks in Skyward before they leave for school. Doing so saves our nurses from having to track students down to conduct a separate wellness evaluation, which often interrupts students’ instructional time.

 

The remote learning platform planning, preparation, and implementation over the past several months has brought about a new reality, and that is remote learning can be done well. This is going to serve our school community in another way besides that of our blended instructional model as a way to combat COVID19.  We now have the capacity to forego snow days, and other inclement weather emergencies.  This will serve two important purposes. First, we will be able to continue our lessons that week with minimal disruption if a snow day is implemented. Secondly, we will not be adding days at the end of the school year to simply meet the daily requirement. A separate communication was emailed to you yesterday and provides additional information related to snow days.

 

As part of our efforts to assist families during these times, we are able to continue providing meals to our school community. The USDA  issued nationwide waivers that allow school districts to extend the operation of the Summer Food Service Program through their School Year 2020-2021, which is May 27, 2021, for Ball-Chatham. This temporary free meal program offering is for all Ball-Chatham students regardless of whether they are learning in-person, virtually, or are homeschooled but live in our District’s boundaries. The free meal program includes one complete meal for both breakfast and lunch, daily.

 

In closing, I encourage you to visit our district website and visit the different links to each of our schools.  In spite of the restrictions and challenges we face with COVID19, our students and staff have continued to safely participate in clubs, sports, the arts, and academic competitions during the school year.  You can virtually surf through the pages and see all of the activities, programs, and competitions they have been able to excel.  You may access this at chathamschools.org.

 

Have a safe and memorable holiday season!

Supt. Dr. Doug Wood

Superintendent

Douglas A. Wood, Ph.D

Address: 201 W. Mulberry, Chatham, IL 62629

P: 217-483-2416| F: 217-483-2940 | E: dwood@bcsd5.org