9/11/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot - Back to School

Friday, September 11, 2020

Dear IDHS Staff,

This week, families and children across Illinois demonstrated bravery and resilience as the school year began or was already underway for so many. In today's Bright Spot, I am pleased to shine a light on the incredible teachers, administrators, and staff who are standing by to support IDHS students and their families during this transition.

Here at IDHS, these are employees of the Division of Rehabilitation Services, serving students from throughout the state who attend the Illinois School for the Deaf and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, and the Illinois Centers for Rehabilitation and Education in Chicago.

With all our IDHS students starting the year with remote learning, preparing for the new school year was no small feat. With collaborations across teams and with our labor partners, teachers, IT staff, and so many other IDHS staff members have stepped up to make this transition happen effectively and completed a successful first week.

Establishing routines and schedules for young people helps to ensure their success. The DRS schools are reminding students to follow their schedules and stay engaged, not just for attendance and course content, but because the more often students can interact in the live sessions with their teachers and peers, the more connected they are and the better they feel.

The teaching and learning may be virtual, but the support of our community and the dedication of our staff is most apparent. I am confident that this will be a year filled with growth and achievement for all the students in IDHS' schools.

I am looking forward to an amazing school year in service to our students. Please take care of yourselves and of each other as we work through what is always an exciting time of year for families with school-age children - even during the current health and safety challenges. Do let us know if we can help further.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS