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Message About Reopening

Meridian Community:

As you know, over the past few months we have attempted to be communicative and collaborative throughout the process of evolving our schools to meet the new demands created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, ISBE released (what is expected to be) their final guidance document prior to the start of the school year. I am sure many of you have already read this document, as it went viral on social media. For those that have not there is a link to the complete document in the attachment.

Once we received the (presumed) final guidance from ISBE we have been hard at work as a Leadership Team and Board to evaluate the guidance compared to the feedback we had previously received from students, parents, faculty, and staff. That has brought us to this point where I again will ask for you to share your thoughts with us.

In the attached document (15 pages-see bottom of this article) I attempt to synthesize all pertinent information and lay out the several options we are considering for re-opening. To be clear, these options are not plans and there are limitless permutations within each of them.

I ask that you do three things with this information.

First, I hope that you take the time to read it and to discuss it with your student (as appropriate).

Second, I ask that you use your voice. Connect with your principal, Board member, or me to share how you are feeling. This is not the time to be shy. My email is pcaposey@mail.meridian223.org and my cell is 815-980-0310. We want to hear from you.

Third, I ask for you to complete this survey that should take less than one minute. This survey allows individuals to give direct feedback regarding their feelings on social distancing and face coverings.  https://forms.gle/HRiTe9m2tUBLYm938

The Board of Education and Leadership Team will re-convene on July 7th with the intent of coming to a decision on our path to re-opening. As always, as soon as possible thereafter I will be communicating with all of you.

I have two other quick thoughts before I sign off.

First, I have heard from people passionately on both ends of the spectrum on every issue related to re-opening this week. Know that I hear you, but also know for every position I hear on one side, I hear one on the other. Whatever decision we make on July 7th will be in consideration of the health and well-being of our students and staff, the social-emotional health of our students and staff, the academic interests of our students, and taking into consideration our role as a vital element of our community. Said differently, we are working really hard, but whatever decision is made will undoubtedly upset a number of constituents.

Second, whatever the decision that is made I encourage all parents to understand that their child’s attitude toward the school-year will likely start at-home. So, as we continue to move forward through this challenging time, please remember and convey to your students that we are all on the same team.

Thank you for your partnership,

PJ

Re Opening Plan as of June 26