End of Year Message from Dr. Hector Garcia
Dear D181 families and staff,

The last few weeks of the school year are always a special time. This year was no exception and it's one we won't soon forget. We enjoyed social-distanced clap-outs and drive-through parades for our graduates and special celebrations for all students coordinated by our principals and teachers. We also launched our first virtual Field Day, expertly crafted by our rockstar team of P.E. teachers.
The pomp and circumstance of our eighth-grade graduations were captured in a video shared with all graduates, complete with wise words from their fellow students and heartfelt congratulations from their principals, our Board President Margaret Kleber, and myself.

You can see a snapshot of all of these events in our regular end-of-year newsletter below. I cannot thank our students, parents, teachers, staff, Buildings & Grounds crew, and our administrative team enough for their hard work and perseverance during this time.

While our spirits were lifted by these celebrations, we would be remiss if we did not recognize the challenges we are facing in our community, our nation, and our world at this same time.

The first challenge falls into uncharted waters: doing our part to keep our community safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19. At this time, we are continuing to listen to the advice of medical experts and the local, state, and national authorities issuing guidance. Our administrative team will continue to closely monitor the guidance that is sent from the State and Illinois Board of Education in terms of reopening our schools. Please continue to rest assured that we will carefully balance our ability to create safe spaces with the immense value we place on in-person, classroom instruction. As we have done before, we'll keep you well informed of any progress over the summer.

While we cannot bank on the certainty of how the Coronavirus will continue to affect our lives, we can be certain that when our doors open again, we will welcome our students into a place of compassion and respect where our differences are not just accepted but are celebrated. The second battle we are facing is one we are no stranger to as a nation: the reality of racial injustices and inequalities. We reject any form of inequality and injustices in our society and we are deeply committed to making the critical shift from rhetoric to action and from intent to continuous progress. To this end, we pledge to continue our long-term and meaningful diversity conversations as well as expand our work with the D181 Foundation and Community Speaker Series to increase our reach to parents and the larger community.

As a District, we are committed to having open, honest conversations with our students and families. We embrace diversity and cultural understanding. We will continue to recognize the feelings and perspectives of all students and encourage the use of communication and social skills for our students and staff to interact effectively with others. There is a great deal of unfinished work in our school and society, but we will continue to stay focused and expand our work to do what we can to create meaningful and long-term change.

As always, I thank you for your partnership in educating our students who we are so very proud to call members of the D181 community. While we are living in challenging times, our collective efforts will help us to overcome and persevere. We've linked a few suggested resources for you below.

I hope you have a wonderful summer and we'll be in touch as soon as we receive guidance and develop our plans for next school year.


Dr. Hector Garcia, Superintendent