Supt Journal

  • Staff Appreciation

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 5/6/2021

    Our primary goal in education is to get the children ready for adulthood.  It’s a clear goal everyone knows and understands.  When the students graduate from high school, we want them to have the skills and knowledge to excel at whatever they choose to do.  We want them to be balanced socially and emotionally.  When an elderly lady needs to cross the street, we want our graduates to notice the need, take initiative to assist her, and then expect no compensation or recognition afterward.  We want the graduates to live their lives beyond themselves.

    This important task takes years of dedicated effort to accomplish. The teachers lead the charge, but they need the support of paraprofessionals, food service workers, secretaries, transportation employees, custodians, maintenance workers, nurses, technology workers, certified support staff, non-certified support staff, coaches, supervisors, administrators, board members, volunteers, and parents.  Everyone’s effort, whether seen or unseen, deserves appreciation.

    There are times when we become discouraged, angry, and frustrated.  We see injustice, abuse, and heart-breaking circumstances.  We sometimes disagree with each other and hurt one another’s feelings.  But there are also times we encourage, forgive and defer to one another.  We work as a team and do all we can to reach our primary goal.  I want to publicly thank all of the staff members in the Sherrard School District for their work. I consider it a privilege to work alongside such a talented and dedicated team.

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  • Multiple Choice Exam

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 4/29/2021

    It is time to begin making preparations for the fall.  The planning process feels like a multiple-choice exam.  

    Question 1 - What type of school day will it be? 
    A. Full remote
    B. Late start
    C. Full day
    D. None of the above
    We don't have enough information right now to confidently choose answers to all the questions.  All we can do is make plans that attend to our predictions about what the virus will do in the coming months.
    I believe the risk of virus transmission could be lower because of those who already had Covid and because of the number of individuals who will be vaccinated.  We hope the virus will not mutate in a way that will cause people to catch the virus a second time or mutate in a way that will render the vaccines ineffective.  Testing will probably become commonplace at school.  Currently, we test students who have symptoms.  I predict we will be testing healthy individuals in the future as a way of detecting virus transmission quickly before it spreads to others.
    Assuming the transmission risk will be low in the fall, the board stated that it intends to have full days of school five days a week during the 2021-2022 school year.  Families with documented medical conditions that prevent the students from attending will be allowed to learn remotely.
    I predict there will be some mitigation procedures in place next year, but I don't know which ones.  Perhaps we will not have to do the temperature and symptom checks.  It wouldn't surprise me if we still have to wear masks.  I would think that social distancing will still be a part of the guidelines along with extra cleaning.  I predict we will have normal athletic seasons, but the number of fans in attendance might be limited again.
    Question 2 - Will next year be awesome?
    A.  Absolutely
    B.  Absolutely
    C.  Absolutely
    D.  All of the Above
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  • Light at the end of the tunnel

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 3/30/2021

    I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and I am confident it isn’t the headlight of an oncoming train.  Hopefully, it is an indication of a healthful future that is free from the coronavirus.  Our nation has experienced three surges of the virus in the past twelve months.  If we keep our guard up, we can avoid a fourth one. 

    I recently saw a video montage of first-place athletes racing to victory only to be passed at the last second by a competitor.  The stunned athletes realized they started to celebrate too soon.  They didn’t know that defeat was bearing down on them.

    I am optimistic that we will be able to return to most if not all of the things we enjoyed before the pandemic.  Until then, we need to continue social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands, and cleaning frequently-touched surfaces.  A fourth surge is avoidable.  It has been a long year and we are tired, but we have hope.  Let’s not claim the victory yet.  Baseball legend Yogi Berra aptly said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”


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  • State of the District

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 2/28/2021

    I presented my annual State of the District Report to the Board of Education in February. A copy can be found in the superintendent section of the district website. As I begin creating the report each year, I am filled with trepidation about not having enough information to present. As I gather information, however, my fears are always put to rest. By the time I am done with the report, I am overwhelmed with the amount of work the staff and students have accomplished. The number of awards and accomplishments the students have earned is always astounding. I am also heartened by the data that clearly shows our district is on solid ground. The Illinois State Board of Education has given us a perfect score for our finances and they have rated four of our five schools as exemplary. The fifth school is rated as commendable. The Regional Office of Education has stated that our facilities are clean and in great condition. Don’t get me wrong – we have problems that need to be addressed.  I am reminded by them every day. Our staff is committed to fixing the problems and reaching an even higher level of success. One-hundred percent of our students depend on a high-quality education. We are committed to providing it by doing the best we can where we are with what we have.


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