Dear District 163 Families,

Throughout the unprecedented 2020-21 school year our Board of Education, administrative leaders, teachers and staff have shown an unwavering commitment to continuing our focus on excellence in education for all that we serve in the Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 community. Our Board of Education has voted to continue remote learning through June 4th, the end of the 2020-21 school year.

Our remote learning plans have been developed to ensure that all students, families and staff have the maximum benefits of virtual teaching and learning. All students will continue to learn virtually through live teacher facilitated lessons integrated with blended learning programs delivered through enhanced technology resources. An in-person and remote summer academy will be offered beginning June 14th. Stay connected for details and registration information.

Recently, the Illinois State Board of Education allowed school districts to choose to administer the mandatory Illinois Assessment of Readiness, Illinois Science Assessment, and other accountability testing either this Spring or in the Fall. Our District 163 students will be administered mandatory Illinois testing upon their return in August 2021.

Students are engaged in daily social-emotional learning experiences with their teachers and peers. We will continue to offer parent education workshops to provide opportunities for families to learn ways to support children at home through the Schoology platform. iPads are provided for each student in pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade. Chromebooks are provided for each student in 3rd through 8th grade. Our staff members have been provided with technology and additional resources to enhance virtual teaching experiences.

This year presents new and different experiences for each of us. However, I am confident that we are keeping the focus on our four excellence targets:

1.   Engagement with students and families
2.   Effective school environments
3.   Enhanced communication with students, families and stakeholders
4.   Establishing caring communities of teaching and learning

We will also continue our work with the Partnership for Resilience to implement strategies for supporting students through trauma informed practices. Our educators work diligently to create supportive and caring communities.

Our 8th grade leadership ambassador program is ongoing and supports the genius in each student to develop young leaders prepared for transition to high school with excellence in academics, service, character and leadership.   

Let’s all work together to stop the spread of COVID-19!  Wear our masks, wash our hands frequently, watch our distance, and get vaccinated. We look forward to seeing you soon! Stay well! Stay connected! #elevatingexcellence

Be excellent,

Dr. Caletha White

“Intelligence plus character, that is the true goal of education.” Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.