We are writing to provide an update on communication sent Friday evening regarding a legal challenge to state-mandated COVID-19 litigation.
Late Friday afternoon, Judge Raylene Grischow issued a temporary restraining order in pending litigation in Sangamon County that names our District as a defendant. Due to a separate ruling limiting the scope of the litigation and based on advice from our legal counsel, the order applies only to the parties to the lawsuit. The temporary restraining order will be appealed and may be stayed, meaning that the order could be placed on hold while the appeal is decided.
As a result, the legal effect of the temporary restraining order is uncertain over the next couple of weeks. Because of this uncertainty and significant confusion reflected in various reports regarding the temporary restraining order, we want to let the community know our clear expectations for the foreseeable future.
Naperville 203 will continue to implement the same layered mitigation strategies, per the guidance of the national (CDC), state (IDPH), and local (DCHD) health departments, that have allowed us to successfully navigate through the school year. This means we will continue to follow all of the safety protocols listed in our Return To Learn plan, which includes the requirement of masking in schools, on buses and during after-school activities; as well as the continued requirement of quarantines, when necessary, for close contacts. The only exception to this rule will be for those named parties to the lawsuit.
The legal situation continues to be fluid. We anticipate further updates as the legal process plays out over the following days and weeks, and will share this important information with the community. Until then, we ask for your patience and that you continue to follow Naperville 203’s layered mitigation strategies.
The Naperville 203 Board of Education & Superintendent Dan Bridges
IEA leaders are involved in daily conversations with education stakeholders as plans continuously evolve regarding the rest of the academic year in Illinois. Please know that in these conversations, IEA will be looking to make sure several things happen:
Everyone – students, members and your families – can stay safe and healthy;
Members remain whole as a contributing member to our economy, which will take a huge blow as a result of the pandemic;
Students see as much success as possible under these unconventional circumstances;
And, that there is flexibility granted to schedules, work locations, assignments and conditions. This is all new, but work must still be done and we are all going to have to join together to find ways to accomplish it.
We’re hearing wonderful stories from all over the state about educators doing wonderful things – from unique remote learning techniques to providing food or internet to underserved communities. We’re not surprised. And, we’re so very proud. Thank you! Thank you for always coming through for Illinois’ students.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Naperville Unit Education Association would like to express our appreciation to all of our Education Support Professionals in District 203. There is no doubt that our district would not function without the hard work of our colleagues in NESPA (the Naperville Education Support Association), NUMA (Naperville Unit Maintenance Association), and NTA (Naperville Transportation Association). We stand together with our ESPs to make District 203 a great place to work!
The NUEA is pleased to announce that they have voted to approve the tentative agreement offered by District 203. The NUEA is now waiting for final approval from the school board on September 7 before the contract may take effect. Until then, the NUEA is not authorized to share the details of the agreement to the press or the public at large.
Special thanks go to the Negotiations Team and the Crisis Team for their long hours and dedication to a fair contract that honors our certified staff while maintaining the long-term fiscal stability for the district. Also, the NUEA leadership would like to thank all of the members who served on committees, attended the rallies, spoke at the Board meetings, and wrote letters in favor of a fair settlement. And finally, the NUEA leadership would like to thank the Naperville community. Without their advocacy and support, we would not be at this point today.
The NUEA is hopeful that the Board will ratify the agreement on Tuesday. If the agreement is not ratified, we will let the community know our next steps on this site.
NAPERVILLE – At the conclusion of online voting, the Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) membership voted overwhelmingly in support of an authorization to strike. The vote gives the NUEA bargaining team the authority to call a strike. The NUEA and the Naperville Community Unit School District 203 Board of Education next scheduled mediation session is Fri., Aug. 13 at 10:30 a.m. They will continue to negotiate with hope that a settled agreement on a contract is reached.
The following statement can be attributed to Dan Iverson, president
of the NUEA:
“To the students and families of
District 203: I know these are stressful times and that some of you might be
disappointed in this news. This vote does nothing to undermine our desire to be
ready to meet and teach your students on the first day of school. You have
shown us great support over the years, and you have put great trust in us to
teach your children. We ask for your continued support and trust as we work
toward a settled agreement with the district.
We have disagreed with the district
on two central points: family and parental leave and an appropriate and
affordable increase in compensation for the increase in professional
responsibilities for teachers.
With respect to parental leave, the
NUEA asks that their members be allowed to use their accumulated sick days for
the full 12 weeks to which they are entitled under the Family and Medical Leave
Act (FMLA). Currently, members are only allowed to use their sick days for the
first six weeks of FMLA, and they are not allowed to use their accumulated sick
days to cover the remaining six weeks. This means that NUEA members who wish to
be at home with their children for the duration of their federally provided
leave must take up to six weeks of that leave completely unpaid. We are not
asking the district for paid parental leave. The NUEA does not believe that
members should have to choose between nurturing their families and paying their
Also, the NUEA seeks an appropriate
and affordable salary increase in response to the district’s continued
implementation of a premium learning service. This service, MTSS, requires a
tremendous amount of added responsibilities in all areas of teaching:
supervising, planning, instructing and assessing, and the NUEA argues that we
should be compensated for this premium service we will be increasingly asked to
provide for all students.
We look forward to concluding these
negotiations with a settled agreement on a contract so that we can turn our
attention to preparing for the important work of educating our community’s
The NUEA represents 1,500 teachers in District 203, which
serves 16,500 students. The NUEA’s current contract ended on June 30.
Negotiations began in January 2021.
On July 29, the NUEA submitted the required documents to the
Illinois Education Labor Review Board (IELRB) for public posting. Earlier this
week, the NUEA learned that the IELRB did not upload our contract for public
posting due to a third-party error. Pursuant to the law, the contracts
must be publicly available for 14 days until a legal strike day can be
determined. While NUEA is disappointed in the delayed posting, the NUEA will
respect and follow the law as we continue to pursue a settled agreement that
invests in our students, honors our work, and supports our families.
The next mediation session with the District 203 BOE is Mon., Aug. 16.
On July 22, 2021, the NUEA filed to initiate the public posting process. After months of mediation the NUEA made this decision to promote dialogue and transparency. We believe this notification is an important step to settle negotiations with a competitive and compassionate contract agreement that benefits students, educators, and District 203 families.
As children return to school after
last year’s challenges, the NUEA knows that our students will need more support
and guidance than ever before, and we intend to be that essential resource for
every student in our classroom. The NUEA provides exceptional learning
experiences for all students, and we urge Naperville District 203 to present an
offer that recognizes the NUEA’s value to the community’s students and
The NUEA and District 203 proposals
can be read here on or about August 5, 2021.
Over the July 4 weekend, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2643, which is legislation that extends unemployment insurance for non-instructional school employees until Sept. 4. It goes into effect immediately.
The legislation allows noninstructional, research, or primarily administrative employees of educational employers to receive unemployment compensation during periods between academic terms or seasonal breaks, even if they have a “reasonable assurance” of returning to work in the next academic year.
IEA is sending out an email to members soon to inform them about this measure and also provide information about the federal child tax credit money that will be flowing into many members’ bank accounts on July 15. In addition, IEA will be sharing the following resources:
It has been a frightening last 24 hours here in District
203. As you are no doubt aware, a tornado tore through a large portion of the
district last night, from about Maplebrook Elementary to Meadow Glens and Ranch
View. This event has affected many of our members, our neighbors and our
students. It has also affected our neighboring communities of Woodridge and
Darien. Thankfully, there has been no loss of life reported as of yet, but the
property damage is clearly considerable and lives were altered last night. It
is for this reason that we write this short note today.
One of our greatest strengths is our unity. We are an organization whose main purpose is to look out for the welfare of our members and, in so doing, to look out for the welfare of those we teach and for our greater community. Now is a good time to use our primary strength. We have spoken today with a number of our members who were directly affected by last night’s events. And still more of us are aware of colleagues, friends, neighbors and students who may be in need of assistance at this time. Additionally, still more of us are in positions where we can lend a helping hand to those in need.
As a result,we have created THIS DOCUMENT that everyone can edit. If you have a personal need or know someone who does, please list it here with any appropriate contact information.
And if you are able to help, please indicate so and reach out accordingly. It also has options for making general donations of time and material. In this way, we can use our greatest strength to be a source of aid and comfort for our colleagues, our friends and our community.
Thank you all in advance for letting us know of the needs that exist, and for what any of us can do to meet them. In this last year, we have continually proven we can function well in crisis, and that continues into the summer. Thank you for what you have done, what you are doing and what you will continue to do to make our community better. Especially in times of crisis, we are better because of you. Have a wonderful evening, and be well.
Students honored for their Community
Four students from the Naperville area received scholarships from the Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) in the amount of $1500 each. The NUEA annually gives three scholarships to high school seniors who are children of NUEA members, and one scholarship to an undergraduate child of an NUEA member who is pursuing a career in education. Scholarships are awarded based on extracurricular participation and contributions to the community. These scholarships were awarded in May 2021.
The high-school scholarship recipients are Madeline Sniadecki from
Naperville Central High School, Zack Stokes from Waubonsie Valley High School, and
Samantha Weigel from Naperville Central High School. The undergraduate scholarship winner is Kayla
Hoffmann from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois.
The NUEA scholarships were created by certified staff in District 203
through their union to recognize outstanding contributions among area high
school seniors. The scholarships are
funded by member dues and represent a small portion of the local support NUEA
provides the community through scholarships, volunteerism, and charitable
Sniadecki – High School Senior
Madeline Sniadecki will be attending the University of Iowa majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. While at Naperville Central High School, Maddie has been a leader in all aspects of student life. Maddie participated in cross-country, track, soccer, and basketball, serving as a captain of the cross-country team her senior year. She also participated in the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. She was a member of the Student Advisory Council and served as an Executive Board member and Chairwoman for the Mr. NCHS committee.
Outside of school, Maddie has been a confirmation retreat leader and
youth group member at Saint Raphael Church.
She partnered with WaterStep her junior year to organize a shoe drive at
Naperville Central. She collected over
200 pairs of shoes which were resold to provide money for a filtration system
for clean water in a small village in Africa.
Stokes – High School Senior
Zack Stokes will be attending the University of West Florida to study
accounting and play baseball. Zack carefully
balances his time between his church community and his school community. He has served as a member of his high-school church
youth group and as a volunteer for vacation bible school, Feed My Starving
Children, and the middle school youth group.
Zack traveled with his youth group to Colorado on a mission trip to help
less privileged individuals find success in life.
Zack has played baseball on various traveling teams since he was nine
years old and has been a member of the Waubonsie Valley Baseball Team for all
four years of high school. He also worked as a lifeguard during the summers.
At Waubonsie Valley High School, Zack was chosen as a student leader for
the LINK Leadership Team. As a team member,
he met weekly to help Freshman acclimate to the high-school environment. Zack used his own experiences to help create
a positive example for others to follow.
Weigel – High School Senior
This fall, Samantha will be attending Grand Valley State University to swim and study Elementary Education. Samantha is a highly decorated swimmer at Naperville Central High School, but she also finds time to participate as a LINK Leader and Commissioner and as a member of the National Honor Society. Samantha also earned the Silver Award as a Girl Scout Cadette her Freshman year. She is a PE student leader, swim teacher, and lifeguard in the summers.
Samantha’s swim career is just starting, but already impressive. She participated as a swimmer at Naperville
Central High School for four years, earning varsity letters each year. She also was an Academic All-Conference
Athlete, state qualifier, and national qualifier for three years.
Kayla Hoffmann-Undergraduate Future in Education Award
Kayla will be a junior at Judson University in Elgin, IL for
the fall 2021 school year studying Elementary Education with an LBS1
endorsement. She just completed her second practicum this past semester in a
4/5 split classroom where she spent over 50 hours working with some amazing
students and building confidence in her teaching skills. She was admitted into
Kappa Delta Pi (International Honors Society in Education) and named to the KDP
officers as the Event Coordinator for Judson University. Kayla has loved
working with children since she was young and gives credit to many of the
inspirational teachers that she had growing up in District 203 attending
Elmwood, Lincoln, and NCHS.
Her passion to make a difference in the lives of children was strengthened as she volunteered from 7th through 12th grade for over 500 hours mentoring elementary students at her church. Teaching in the Redhawk Preschool for Early Childhood Education and at Maplebrook Elementary School for the “Introduction to Teaching 2” class gave Kayla a unique opportunity to experience teaching firsthand.
All school board candidates were given an opportunity to be interviewed by a panel of educators and staff from NUEA and our associated ESP Unions NESPA, NTA, and NUMA. Of all candidates, we believe the four above recommended candidates will best guide the district back to full-time instruction safely and responsibly.
Furthermore, they have expertise on a wide range of other issues that will be a necessity post-COVID. District 203 is the 8th largest district in Illinois. Managing the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students, in addition to the financial needs of our community, requires board members with a long-term vision and understanding of what is needed to maintain our district’s status as a high-achieving, fiscally responsible district. They have demonstrated that vision and understanding.
Elections will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. We encourage you to vote!