“The positive energy and enthusiasm…is just invigorating” – Chicago Tribune

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Students began the new school year Monday at River Forest School District 90.

“The positive energy and enthusiasm we have seen from students and staff returning for the school year is simply invigorating and exciting to see. I think it represents a return to a more typical way of doing business for all of us,” District 90 Superintendent Ed Condon told Pioneer Press.

SD90 currently has more than 1,300 students, including 326 at Lincoln Elementary School, 349 at Willard Elementary School, and 686 at Roosevelt Middle School, all of which are in River Forest.

Condon said the district has 12 new teachers this school year.

At Lincoln, Kathleen “Kit” Hamilton is the new PE teacher and Ginger Timchak is the new first grade teacher.

New to Willard are special educator Katie McDonald, school psychologist Karyn Kraska, social workers Timothy Larkin and Ann Wolff, and speech pathologist Nancy Kalinowski.

Permanent substitute Amanda Wehrman and social workers Nicholas Leth and Jennifer Diamond joined Roosevelt beginning this school year.

Cheryl Montelongo, for the Tiered Support System, and Maribeth Fagan, Facilitator for Individualized Education Programs or 504 Plans, also join the district beginning this academic year.

“They come to us with many varied experiences, which we know will be a tremendous complement to the strength that our faculty and staff bring. They are going to be great assets as we move forward together in improving the quality of life for students at River Forest,” said Condon.

According to Condon, District 90 continues to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s operational guidelines for K-12 schools to support safe in-person learning.

He said the district continues to review weekly statistics released by the Cook County Public Health Department to comply with the CDC’s suggestion that calls for optional masking for low and low levels of COVID-19 community transmission. means, and universal interior masking when the level is high.

Condon said the district’s goals for the 2022-23 school year include maintaining excellence in teaching and learning while working to understand and offset any impact on student achievement caused by the pandemic, and also to further strengthen relationships to foster student belonging and inclusion.

District officials will also evaluate the current half-day kindergarten program to see if it meets current student needs.

The start of the school year also marks the return of public meetings organized by the school board. Until the spring of 2020, some council full committee meetings used this format to engage with the community.

“We use this as an opportunity to get feedback on any topic,” Condon said.

Jessi Virtusio is a freelancer.

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