Dear Sycamore Community,
Just last Friday, we were on the verge of returning to in-person learning. At that time, COVID-19 vaccinations for educators were still only on the horizon, our region was under Tier 3 mitigations, activities were still waiting for the green light from the Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health, and we were still waiting on delivery of the Chromebooks we ordered last May.
By the time Tuesday rolled around, we had successfully welcomed the first round of students back into all of our schools. The DeKalb County Health Department notified us that COVID-19 vaccinations could be available to our staff as soon as next week, our region moved from Tier 3 to Tier 1 mitigations, the Illinois High School Association received notification that activities could begin again, and the first shipment of Chromebooks had been received by our vendor — to be delivered to us as soon as next week.
What a difference a few days has made after ten months of working through the challenges of the pandemic! At times, I've likened our staff's efforts to a marathon — an ultra marathon. Working through the pandemic has required stamina and perseverance, and it has felt like an uphill battle every step of the way. I have hoped and prayed for conditions to improve, and this week brought some of that.
Although we are still far from being out of the woods, we received several doses of good news this week. And I think we can all be thankful for that.
Of everything that happened this week, the safe return to in-person learning was at the top of my list. Nothing could compare to seeing our students back in school, especially at the middle and high school. Most of those students had been out of school for more than three hundred days. The energy and excitement in all of our buildings were incredible. I extend a special thanks to our staff for their hard work and to all of our families for their support.
This was a great week! There will still be challenges, but it is important to recognize our successes along the way. After all of the disappointments, let downs, and difficulties this pandemic has presented, we must take time to celebrate the positives — please take a moment to reflect on them, and pat yourself, and each other, on the back. You deserve it!
As we move forward, we will do so the same way we have done everything so far — together. Just as every marathon starts with a first step and continues the same way until you cross the finish line, so too, will we make it through. Every step gets us closer to the finish line.
We will continue to communicate updates and news as efficiently as we can. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, accept my heartfelt thanks for everything each of you is doing to support our learners.
Please continue to support our local businesses and restaurants, too. They have been supporters of our schools, and I'm glad they have been able to continue reopening.
Have a great weekend!
Mr. Steve Wilder