Hello Parents/Guardians of Harmony 175,
I’d like to officially welcome everyone back for the 2021-22 School Year. While I was so hopeful that the 2021-22 school year would bring a return to some more normalcy, the challenges of responding to COVID are still very real. We will continue updating our numbers of positive or quarantined individuals on our website weekly and building principals will also send out notifications of positive cases. We are continuing with our strict cleaning regimen and am so thankful for some of the building upgrades that were completed this summer, including new handwashing stations in all student bathrooms district-wide.
In addition to the challenges of keeping our students and staff safe, Harmony 175 and public school districts across Illinois continue dealing with changing rules and mandates from the state - much as we did during the 2020-21 school year. The change of the mask policy issued just before the start of the year is one example. Another is the most recent executive order from Gov. Pritzker, which mandates all educators be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. This order goes into effect this weekend and there still remain several unanswered questions that the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health have yet to answer.
I do not inform you of this to complain, but to highlight the fact that we must once again be prepared for change at any moment throughout this school year. Whatever challenges may come, I’m confident that by continuing to work together we will overcome them. At least for the moment though, I’m going to celebrate this fact: we are in session with all students for full days for the first time since March 2020. Having our students here in person with
access to all of the teachers, staff, resources and programming that we have to offer makes me genuinely happy.
On Monday night, the Board of Education held our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Below are a few items that were discussed.
I. Thank you to Mr. Dennis O’Neill, our Finance Manager, who provided a presentation on the 2021-22 tentative budget. The budget is available for view on the website at www.harmony175.org. There will be a budget hearing related to this budget at 6:45pm on September 27.
II. Harmony 175 will be hosting our Parent Orientation Nights tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight will be for Ellis Elementary and tomorrow night for Harmony and Emge. We look forward to seeing you!
III. As many of you are aware, many industries are experiencing a shortage of both workers and resources. One of those industries is food production. While Harmony 175 has not seen an impact yet thanks to our partnership with Opaa Food Services, it is very likely that in the near future our menus will need to be altered with less choices.
IV. Finally, if you have not done so please visit our new website and also download the free Harmony app!
Thank you for all that you do and I wish everyone a wonderful 2021-22 school year!
Dr. Deets, Superintendent