Diamond Edge February 2021

Teaching and Learning

After more than eleven months of school closures we are excited to welcome back our students and staff. We look forward to getting back to the in-person learning that offers our students a rich learning experience. While remote learning has proven successful for some students, research has shown that it does not prove successful for all. In-person learning provides the concentrated and focused support than many of our students and families rely upon. The in-person learning experience, not only focuses on academics, but it also supports the social and emotional growth of our students. It allows students an opportunity to collaborate and cooperate with others, it supports character development, and it strengthens all modes of communication. As we enter the final semester of the school year we recognize that not all students will be joining us for in-person learning at this time, however, we will be continuing to support all of our students both in-person or remotely, by offering the similar curricular offerings and lessons. While it may look a little different for students at home than it does for those in person, the goal is still to provide a comprehensive learning experience for all of our children.


At the February 16th Board of Education meeting, our Summer 2021 Life Safety projects were approved as presented. In order for a Life Safety project to move forward, a licensed architect must recommend a repair or renovation and submit to the Illinois State Board of Education for approval. The project must be used to address an area of need at a school that would improve the health and/or safety for students and staff.

Current guidance from the CDC and IDPH recommends focusing improvement efforts on indoor air quality and ventilation which presented a perfect opportunity to replace aging univent heaters at Diamond Lake School and our chiller plant at West Oak Campus. Overall, 30 univents will be replaced along with their controls which will allow our buildings and grounds department to program continuous outside air to be circulated into classrooms. All projects are anticipated to be completed before students return for the 2021-22 school year.


The district has worked diligently over the last several years to remain fiscally responsible and spend appropriately. Since 2012, the district has more than doubled its Fund Balance vs. Expenditure which means our reserves are at a comfortable level to better prepare for unforeseen events that may occur with new legislation or obstacles that might arise.

Instructional Technology & Communications

In preparation for simultaneous in person and remote learning our Technology Department has invested in supportive technology resources for all District 76 instructional staff. Throughout the week our Technology Team has delivered and installed additional technology resources including teacher secondary monitors as well as bluetooth headsets. Both supplemental resources will assist in our teacher versatility within their classroom and virtual instruction.In tandem with our Instructional Technology Coach, Mr. Tyler Smith staff have had the opportunity for synchronous and/or asynchronous training on how to setup your classroom workspace to prepare for simultaneous teaching.

Special Services

As we transition back to in-person learning, the Special Services department would like to highlight a couple of things that families can expect.

  • During this transition, the safety of students and staff is our number one priority. Along with safety, getting students back into the classroom successfully is important. Therefore, some student plans may vary to ensure the safety and success of that individual student. All decisions will be made on a case by case basis related to student needs.
  • Remote learning/alternative plans will continue to be utilized to identify the various supports and services students will receive. This is because of the need to be flexible due to the variables (possible quarantines, staff availability, scheduling) we are navigating during the pandemic.
  • Once we are able to transition back to a traditional school day/week, the traditional IEP will again be implemented. Any necessary updates will be made on an individual basis relating to student needs.
  • Services may be provided to students in an in-person, remote, or hybrid format depending on scheduling and staff availability.
  • All timelines will continue to remain the same such as trimester goal updates, annual review meetings, and initial evaluation/reevaluation meetings.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your case managers, building principals, or Blake Dole, Special Services Coordinator (bdole@dist76.org). Our goal is to remain transparent and communicate with families whenever changes may need to occur.

Health and Safety


  • Monday, March 1 - Early Dismissal for Students/Teacher Institute
  • Tuesday, March 2 - Board of Education Meeting, 7 PM
  • Tuesday, March 16 - Board of Education Meeting, 7 PM
  • Thursday, March 18 - Early Dismissal for Students/Parent Teacher Conferences- PM
  • Friday, March 19 - Teacher Institute Day-No School for Students
  • Monday, March 22 - Friday, March 26 - Spring Break
  • Monday, March 29 - Classes resume for all students

Stay Connected #D76Diamonds

Diamond Lake District 76