May 21 Letter from Dr. Wade: End-of-Year Appreciation and Update

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NOTE: Superintendent Dr. Nicolas D. Wade sent the following letter to the District 401 community on May 21, 2020. To translate the letter into a language of your choice, go to the top right corner of this page where the Google Translate button ("Select Language") is located, and choose from the menu of available languages. Links to all of Dr. Wade's letters and other District 401 COVID-19 communications can be found at our Update Center.

To: All Stakeholders of Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401
Re: End of the 2019-20 School Year

While this is not the end to a school year any of us would prefer, I want to thank all of you for doing what you did to bring to as strong of a close one could ask for. A sincere thank you and appreciation to the students on continuing their learning, the parents for adapting to being our "co-teachers," and all of our District staff for committing to providing opportunities to our students. And, above all else, I value your patience and understanding as we not only had to deal with a once-in-a-lifetime event, but all of the executive orders and ever-changing guidance from entities beyond our control.

Many of you have provided a wide spectrum of constructive feedback about what these past two months have meant, and I want to stress that they have been heard and I will continue to be available to listen, clarify and do my best to answer your questions or address your concerns. There is much to do in preparation for the 2020-21 school year, and while I may not know officially what will transpire when students return to (a physical or virtual) school, I can assure all of you that the District will do its absolute best to provide safety, clarity, support and learning.

As communicated to the Board yesterday, I have formed a District Transition Committee that will problem solve, to the fullest extent possible with provided information and guidance, how to enhance and/or improve upon the remote learning experience and transition back to a physical classroom. Students and parents, we have over 80 (and counting) teachers, support staff, custodians and administrators who are committed to preparing for 2020-21 and all it bears.

As communicated to District employees, we may not know what the new normal is, but we can do our best to define it for ourselves.

I will still be providing updates on matters related to the pandemic throughout the summer, and I will be hosting “Virtual Community Conversations” to share the work of this transition committee and to receive feedback from students, parents and community members.

As always, please continue to check out our Update Center on the District website, and if you have questions about picking up student belongings, end-of-year events and so on, please direct them to your building principal.

Thank you, and please stay healthy and safe.


Dr. Nicolas D. Wade
Superintendent of Schools

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