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I understand that District 186 will enforce a school "dress code" for video classes. It requires children to not wear pajamas, and they cannot be in their beds, but have to sit at a desk or table. I have worked for DCFS for 26 years, and I was appalled at this obviously privileged stance taken by the mostly white, middle-class school board with no regard for the diversity of families that make up District 186.

There are many families that struggle with day-to-day survival, of which the school board should be aware, given the generous meal and food giveaway programs that the district has provided since the beginning of the pandemic. How many school board members have ever visited the homes of any of these families, or even thought about how they live? If they can't afford food, what else are they lacking?

I have been in many homes in my time, and I can tell you that sometimes all a family will have is a bare mattress on the floor, or maybe two or three of them. Some families may not even have that. Some families may have a table, but it's where everybody does everything: meals, playing cards, drinking, smoking and visiting with family and friends, so it wouldn't be conducive for a couple of kids to set up their computers and learn.

So, for the school board to imagine that every child in District 186 can sit at a clean desk in a quiet room, is for them to not consider anyone who lives outside their middle-class bubble. Such a display of privilege should make you all ashamed of yourselves.

Jodi Perko



For the past five weeks, more than 215 elementary students from District 186 participated in virtual Camp Compass, an online summer learning program. Thirty-two incredible District 186 teachers, supported by three phenomenal administrators and a stellar academic team of five literacy, math and technology coaches, instructed students daily in reading and math via live Zoom classes. 

Attendance and engagement exceeded all expectations, with 75 students having perfect attendance. On average, 173 students participated each day. With small class sizes of six to eight students and two teachers per class, students received individualized instruction, meaningful feedback and social-emotional support. 

Additionally, volunteers delivered school supplies, books, food and enrichment activity kits to students' homes each week. Students, parents and staff have been showering praise upon the program. Preliminary results show 93% of students improved in at least one math assessment and 97% improved in at least one reading skill.

Congratulations to all the staff and volunteers who made virtual Camp Compass possible and successful.

Molly Berendt
executive director Compass for Kids



Bruce Rushton's column is right on ("No mask? Call the cops," Aug. 6). I'm so tired of "covidiots" not social distancing and not wearing masks. Some will talk about "all we're going through," but they aren't doing anything to flatten the curve. Fine them! Maybe then they'll get the message.

It isn't hard to wear a mask. It may be a bit inconvenient, but have the intestinal fortitude to do what is right. A ventilator is vastly more inconvenient.

I will remember those who did what was necessary to save lives, and I will also remember those who didn't.

Nancie Simmons

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