Hey, students! This is a series of news updates by me, Omega Editor-in-Chief and District 99 Board of Education Student Representative Sam Bull, that is designed to inform you, the DGN student body, of the most relevant changes, decisions, and updates from the most recent Board of Education meeting. In other words: this is exactly what you need to know from every Board meeting.
This week’s Board meeting featured an update on the Master Facility Plan and local COVID numbers as well as several comments from parents about DGN returning to fully remote.
2020-21 School Plan Update:
COVID-19 numbers are worsening in our area: District 99’s community positivity rate has increased to 13.11% (as of 11/13), and the five community factors that contribute to the District’s decision to staying in school or going remote have all moved into the “substantial” risk category.
“In order to return the week of Nov. 30, we would have to see numbers substantially declining for this week and then for next week, and then on the 30th we’ll make a determination if we’re going back at that point or if we’re continuing the adaptive pause and continuing remote learning,” Superintendent Hank Thiele said at the meeting.
Several people who submitted public comments expressed their anger and frustration about the District’s choice to stay remote for the time being.
“In-person learning for our children is essential. District 99 students are falling further behind their peers academically from neighboring school districts. Additionally, the mental health of our children is greatly impacted,” one commenter wrote.
“My daughter, who was doing very well in school, is doing much, much worse now; she said she can focus better in the classroom than at home and I believe her…” another commenter said. “All this back and forth is taking its toll on kids in increased anxiety, depression, suicide, and poor grades.”
Master Facility Plan Update:
Further Master Facility Plan progress has been made since the last Board update: the commons, where the courtyard used to be, has been fully roofed and concreted. Additionally, the southeast addition is now finished for all three floors and is ready for use when students return to school. The bleachers and squad rooms are also close to completion, with the District now ordering banners and displays to go onto the stands.
Click here for last night’s full Board presentation.