- Valley View CUSD 365U
District Weekly News February 18
This Week in Valley View
News and Notes from Around the District
February 18 Message to VVSD Families from Superintendent Rachel Kinder
It is important to keep in mind that while we have all our hybrid learners attending in-person classes and our remote learners continuing their attendance from home, we still have a great deal of work ahead of us to reach our ultimate goal of having all students return to in-person instruction.
While we have successfully completed the initial phased approach to hybrid in-person learning, we will also continue to make additional incremental steps when conditions allow. Variables such as enrollment numbers, class sizes, health metrics, physical distancing and many other factors are critical considerations. We have yet to make any determinations if options to change learning models or increase attendance days will be available for targeted groups or particular levels of learners for the fourth quarter. We are also in the process of planning for several different scenarios for the fall. As information develops for next steps, short-term or longer-term, we will communicate with our families.
Last week, VVSD with the help of our community partners, delivered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to nearly 1,700 staff members. The second dose will be administered during the first full week of March. Vaccination of our staff and our larger community is a very important milestone that supports us to work toward our ultimate goal of having more on-site learning opportunities for our learners and doing this as safely as possible.
Next week, we’ll make another important step forward when we begin offering BinaxNOW rapid testing on site by our school nurses for students (with parent/guardian consent) who become symptomatic during the school day. Point of care rapid testing (BinaxNOW) will allow us to initiate contact tracing sooner for positive cases. Return to school protocols will still require a negative PCR test or alternative diagnosis with no suspicion of COVID-19 indicated. Rapid testing adds another tool for us to use in our commitment to health and safety.
Among all the other challenges we are facing, the winter weather has certainly added to the load. We are thankful for our Facility Operations Staff and our Transportation Staff for all their hard work brought on by the challenges of the wave of recent snowstorms and extremely cold temperatures. We are also thankful for the flexibility of students, families and staff to weather the conditions.
Thank you for your vigilance to health and safety precautions and protocols and for your continued partnership to support our learners.
Rachel Kinder, Ed.S
Superintendent of Schools
Bolingbrook HS Senior Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
Bolingbrook HS senior Annabeth Yeung is among an elite group of students nationwide named as a Finalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Competition. National Merit Finalists advance to the final stage of the competition that determines the winners of $30 million in scholarships.
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of finalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
Scholarship winners in the 2021 competition will be announced in April. National Merit Scholarships award $2500 to each student who is named a national winner.
VVSD Staff Spotlight- Ms. Shana Dade, Romeoville HS School Literature Teacher
Romeoville HS literature teacher Ms. Shana Dade has an obvious enthusiasm for the written word that she brings to her classroom every day. She has been a teacher at RHS since 2012 and has proven she is a lifelong learner by adjusting to remote and hybrid learning to meet the needs of her students in the last year.
In addition to teaching African-American Literature, Ms. Dade also teaches sophomore literature and when we visited, the class was analyzing the Greek tragedy Antigone. Watch the Video!
VVSD Middle School Solo Contest Goes Virtual for 2021
VVSD’s middle school band students have been working hard refining and perfecting solo performances for this year’s VVSD Middle School Solo Contest. In the past this has been a live event, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s solo contest will be held remotely. Students have a choice of performing the solo contest on a live Zoom call or submitting a pre-recorded video.
The live contest on Zoom occurs on Sat. Feb. 20. Students perform their solo for a judge who specializes on the student’s instrument. After each solo performance, the judge provides the student with constructive feedback. VVSD and the band boosters at each of the middle schools have donated the funds so there will be no cost to students at this year’s event.
Brooks Middle School to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day
On Tue. Feb. 25, Brooks Middle School will join students around the world in celebrating World Read Aloud Day. As a way of also celebrating Black History Month, this year’s read aloud selection is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Blueprint Speech. Several prominent Bolingbrook community members will be joining Brooks students virtually to read aloud to Brooks students including VVSD Board Members Mrs. Debbie Sykora and Mrs. Diane Parro; Illinois General Assembly Rep. Dee Avelar; Bolingbrook Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta; and Executive Director of the Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce Kevin O’Keeffe.
Illinois 5Essential Survey Now Open
The Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Survey for Parents and Guardians is now open through April 2. Click Here to take the survey.
This survey generates valuable data that districts can use to guide their ongoing efforts to improve schools and to offer students an excellent education. The survey is another improvement tool that allows districts and the state to share data as a means to inform parents and community members about the school’s learning environment. The Illinois 5Essentials Survey is administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education.
Welcome Class of 2034! VVSD Online Kindergarten Registration Begins Mon. Feb. 22
Online Kindergarten enrollment for the VVSD Class of 2034 begins on Mon. Feb. 22. To be eligible to register, a student must be five years old on or before Sept 1, 2021. Families of current VVSD students will be able to register via their Infinite Campus Parent Portal account, while families new to the District will be able to online register at www.vvsd.org/enrollment
After an application for enrollment is submitted, you will be contacted for an enrollment appointment.
Meals2Go Curbside Pick-Up Available Evenings at VVSD High Schools
To avoid a scheduling conflict with hybrid learning for students, VVSD Nutrition Services Meals2Go curbside pick-up will only be available at Bolingbrook HS and Romeoville HS from 3-5:30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.
All VVSD meal kits include breakfast and lunch for multiple days and are offered each Tuesday and Thursday for any child living in the household 18 years old and under. Children do not need to be present as the adult household member may pick-up the meals on their child’s behalf. Vegetarian Meal Kits are available upon request, but no accommodations are available for special diets or allergies.
Get 3 Free Program for Students Who Bring Their Lunch from Home
For the remainder of the school year, VVSD Nutrition Services is offering free breakfast and lunch to all students. Students who bring their own lunch from home can get a free combo pack of milk, fruit, and vegetable at no cost. (No items are being sold a la carte.)
Supervisando y Suplementando la Educación de los Hijos
Support and Supplement Children Academic Goals
Wednesday, February 24th from 6-8 pm
(This Workshop Will Only be Facilitated in Spanish)
Esta conferencia ayudará a los padres de familia a entender la importancia de supervisar y suplementar las metas académicas de sus hijos. También aprenderán como mantenerse al día con las nuevas tecnologías y desarrollarán conciencia de la importancia de involucrarse en la educación de sus hijos.
This conference will help parents understand the importance of monitoring and supplementing their children's academic goals. They will also learn how to keep up with new technologies and develop an awareness of the importance of getting involved in their children's education.
Kudos for Noteworthy Achievements
Beverly Skoff Elementary School 3rd grader Aleya Ploensewas featured on NBC5 Chicago News for her “You are Loved” project for which she collects items to donate to homeless shelters. The Skoff Elementary community has donated 25 blankets and several other clothing items to Aleya’s project. Aleya says her inspiration to help others comes from her personal role model, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Watch the video!
Seen Around Valley View This Week
Left- Tibbott students may not be able to hang their artwork in the school hallways, but they’re still creating and sharing their work.
Center- A snowy look out the front door of Skoff Elementary School on a snowy Tuesday morning.
Right- VVSD Community Schools Site Coordinator Mr. Alfred Morales makes the first delivery on the first pick-up day at the curbside pantry at B.J. Ward Elementary School. The drive-up pantry is a combined effort of B.J Ward Elementary, VVSD, and the West Suburban Community Food Pantry.
Quick Notes- The next regular meeting of the Valley View School District Board of Education is on Monday, February 22, at John J. Lukancic Middle School, 725 W. Normantown Rd, Romeoville IL. The meeting will be called to order at 6:00 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
Mon. Mar. 1 Casimir Pulaski Day- No Classes
Fri. Mar. 19 Third Grading Period Ends
Mon. Mar. 22 Remote Learning Planning Day- No Classes
Events for the Coming Week
Thu. Feb. 18 Hermansen Elementary 1st Grade Reading Book Drive 3:30 pm
Sat. Feb. 20 VVSD Middle School Virtual Solos Contest
Wed. Feb. 24 Bolingbrook HS Wheels and Reels 6 pm
Supervisando y Suplementando la Educación de los Hijos (Virtual Event) 6 pm
Thu. Feb. 25 Brooks Middle School World Read Aloud Celebration 9:50 am
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
Fountaindale Public Library is open to the public for regular business hours. Please visit fountaindale.org/welcomeback to read about our new requirements for entering and using their building. The library has also pulled together a variety of resources for Valley View students, parents and teachers to use. Visit fountaindale.org/backtoschool for details.
West Suburban Community Pantry at B.J. Ward Elementary
The West Suburban Community Food Pantry offers a curbside food pantry at B. J. Ward Elementary School on the third Wednesday of the every month from 3:45-5:30. Families must place an on-line order each month. Visit www.wscpstore.org for more information.
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)