District Weekly News September 23
This Week in Valley View
News and Notes from Around the District
September 23 Message to VVSD Families from Superintendent Kinder
Valley View learners, staff, families, and community partners continue to model partnership and perseverance with every new daily challenge that has come about this school year. The need to adjust daily and weekly for health and safety protocols to support continuity for in-person learning also continues to be the norm five weeks into the new school year. One change that has come as a result of a recent state mandate involves mandatory vaccination or weekly testing for school personnel. This week we began requiring and providing on-site COVID-19 testing for school personnel who are not fully vaccinated as required by an Executive Order issued by Governor Pritzker.
Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education issued revised public health guidance this week. We have updated our health protocols accordingly and our School Nurses will continue to assess each case as it relates to a student’s need to be excluded from school (symptomatic, exposed, positive) and determine the appropriate timeframe to return to school. Please continue to monitor symptoms daily and report illness, exposure, or positive cases to your school. With the new guidance, we will have a greater ability to facilitate the return to school for students who were symptomatic or had a symptomatic sibling. Specifically:
- We are now accepting rapid antigen tests in addition to PCRs for symptomatic individuals. This does not include antigen tests conducted at home. Symptoms do need to have improved or be resolved in accordance with the diagnosis. Additionally, students should be fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and have no vomiting or diarrhea for 48 hours before returning.
- Siblings/Household Members also do not need to go home if a student is awaiting a test result as long as the symptomatic sibling is tested within 24 hours of symptom onset. They do; however, need to remain masked indoors and outdoors. *If there is suspicion of COVID-19 (ex. Loss of taste and smell or symptomatic sibling is also a close contact to a case), siblings/household members must go home until test results are received.
VVSD IDPH Vaccination Clinic October 2
As part of our dedication to serving the entire VVSD community, we are partnering with the Illinois Department of Public Health to offer a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 10 am - 2 pm on Sat. October 2 at the VVSD Administration Center located at 800 W. Normantown Road in Romeoville. The clinic is open to all members of the community aged 12 years old and older and this clinic will administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Appointments are not needed and walk-ins are welcome. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be given on Sat. Oct. 23 at the same location. If you would like to receive the vaccine and cannot attend this event, you can find a clinic near you by visiting www.coronavirus.illinois.gov
Along with all the other challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have likely noticed “help wanted” and “now hiring” signs throughout the community or heard of staffing shortages across the state. So far in VVSD, we have been able to meet all our staffing needs, but we have had to be creative and extremely flexible to do so, with many staff taking on an additional load to make this happen. One area in particular is in our Transportation Department. Our Transportation Team is doing an incredible job adapting to meet demands, despite not being fully staffed. At times, there has been a need to condense routes or run double routes in some situations; we thank our students and families for their patience and understanding as we adjust. We are continually monitoring the status so that we can be as prepared as possible, communicate when necessary, and most importantly, transport our learners safely to school.
Panorama Survey Open Monday, September 27
Partnership with our families is such a valuable component of fully supporting our children. Your feedback is important to us and helps us to understand how well we are serving our families and our learners. Next week we will be seeking your input to help us to assess communication and connection efforts.
Our Panorama Fall Survey will be available September 27-October 8. To access the survey, simply go to your school website and look for the Panorama Survey button on the homepage. The survey has 12 questions and will take just a few minutes to complete. We understand that everyone’s lives are very busy and we thank you in advance for your valuable time and input.
Thank you for your continued partnership to support our learners.
Rachel Kinder, Ed.S
Superintendent of Schools
VVSD Staff Spotlight- Patsy Castillo, 4th Grade Teacher, Tibbott Elementary
During a teaching career now in its third decade, Patsy Castillo has taught students in grades ranging from kindergarten through 8th grade. Currently a Tibbott Elementary, Patsy is right in the middle, teaching bilingual 4th grade.
Patsy easily connects with her students as she grew up bilingual, a first generation American daughter to Mexican parents. In addition to sharing her passion for teaching in the video, Patsy also shares the story of how and why her mother came to find a better life in the United States. Watch the Video!
VVSD Panorama Parent Survey Opens September 27
Panorama is the family survey VVSD offers twice a year to gather your feedback about our schools and our instructional programs. The survey window will begin on September 27 and will end on October 8. We are hoping for an even larger response from our community than we had last year. To access the survey simply go to www.vvsd.org The survey has 12 questions and will take approximately five minutes to complete.
We understand that everyone’s lives are busy and we thank you in advance for your valuable time and thoughtful input. Your voice and opinions matter to us.
Author Nic Stone Visits VVSD with Message to Students, “Now is Time to Find Your Thing”
New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels Nic Stone visited the Valley View community on Thu. Sept. 22 in her first post-COVID appearances. She made appearances at Lukancic Middle School, Romeoville HS, and Bolingbrook HS and a community appearance at the Romeoville Athletic Center.
“This is my first public appearance since March 9, 2020,” Stone told the students at Romeoville HS. “I feel like today is December 295th, 2020, it feels like 2020 has yet to end.” However, she shared an interesting take on the pandemic with the audience. “I used my writing to get through, it’s my lifeblood.” Then she offered the following suggestion, “If there is ever a time to find your thing, and find what you truly love to do, now is the time.”
Nic Stone’s visit to the VVSD community was a result of a partnership between VVSD and the Fountaindale and White Oak Libraries. Nic is the author of a succession of wildly successful novels including Clean Getaway, Odd One Out, and Dear Martin. In her literature, she boldly addresses topics teens face in America.
VVSD & State of Illinois Teaming Up for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
Valley View School Community Unit School District 365U and the Illinois Department of Public Health are joining together to offer a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic open to all members of the community age 12 years old and older. This clinic will administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the first dose will be given on Sat. Oct. 2 from 10 am- 2 pm at the VVSD Administration Center, 800 W. Normantown Rd., Romeoville IL.
Appointments are not needed and walk-ins are welcome. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be given on Sat. Oct. 23 at the same location.
If you would like to receive the vaccine and cannot attend this event, you can find a clinic near you by visiting www.coronavirus.illinois.gov or calling the IDPH COVID hotline at 833-621-1284. Do you have questions about COVID-19? Call 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the IDPH website www.dph.illinois.gov
Seen Around Valley View This Week
Left- Picture Day at Skoff Elementary School.
Center- Students in Rebecca Gundersen’s and Jessica Vargas’ 7th grade math class did their Unit 1 review under glow light which emphasize fluorescent colors.
Right- The University of St. Francis was one of the many colleges represented at the 1st VVSD College Admissions Tailgate hosted by Bolingbrook HS on Sept. 18
Quick Notes- The next regular meeting of the Valley View School District Board of Education is on Monday, September 27, at John J. Lukancic Middle School, 725 W. Normantown Rd, Romeoville IL. The meeting will be called to order at 6:30 pm, at which time the Board will vote to move to Closed Session. The Public Session of the meeting will begin no earlier than 7 pm. In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, the Agenda for the meeting will be posted no later than 48 hours prior to the start of the meeting. Click here to view the Agenda The Meeting is available via live stream on the VVSD YouTube Channel, VVSD365U
Upcoming Important School Calendar Dates
Wed. September 29 Early Release (Elem 2:15, MS 1:20, HS 12:43)
Mon. October 11 Indigenous Peoples Day (No Classes)
Fri. October 15 First Grading Period Ends
Events for the Coming Week
Fri. Sept. 24 Wood View Elementary Movie on the Green 7 pm
News from Our Community Partners
Bolingbrook Park District
Bolingbrook Park District residents and Valley View School District students are now able to register for the REACH All-Day Care program. All of the information and how to register is located at the following: http://www.bolingbrookparks.org/en/programs/reach-extended-school-care/
Fountaindale Public Library
The library has compiled a variety of resources for VVSD students, parents and teachers to use this school year. Whether you're looking for homework help, a new book to read or exciting technology to learn, you can use your Student Success library card to access all that Fountaindale has to offer! Please visit fountaindale.org/backtoschool for details.
White Oak Public Library-Romeoville Branch
Every Friday from 9:00 – 9:30 am, the Romeoville Branch Library will have an outdoor program (weather permitting) in the library parking lot. All storytimes during the months of June and July will have a specific color theme and they will remain as virtual events.
West Suburban Community Pantry
West Suburban Community Pantry’s Virtual Food Pantry makes it easy for people facing tough times to order free groceries online so they can make ends meet. You can place your order anytime from a phone or computer with internet access. There are no crowds and no reason to feel rushed. Shop when you want by simply choosing your no-cost groceries and a convenient pickup time and place. Just be sure to place your order a couple of days before you need food. The Virtual Food Pantry is a quick and private way to get a little help with groceries so you can get back on your feet. Start shopping today at VirtualFoodPantry.net.
Romeoville Community Pantry
The Romeoville Community Pantry has updated their procedures and days of operation due to social distancing regulations. Instead of being a “choice pantry,” food is distributed in boxes in a drive-thru style. Clients remain in their cars and check in through the window glass as workers place food into their trunks. The pantry WILL be open the first four Saturdays of the month 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Please check the Romeoville Community Facebook page for any further updates http://www.facebook.co/romeovilleconnunitypantry/
Northern Illinois Food Bank
The Northern Illinois Food Bank is conducting mobile food banks and micro pantries in the vicinity in the near future. Please bring bags or boxes. Micro Pantries are designed to allow anonymous food pick-up for those in need and a drop-off point for those who wish to help. Micro pantries are accessible 24 hours a day. To find a Micro Pantry near you visit: http://arcg.is/04LijC
Will County MAPP Food Micro Pantries
Will County Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships conducts micro and mobile food pantries throughout Will County. Click here for more details and a map of locations.
That’s All for This Week!