Andy Jordan and Toby Coates

Donovan CUSD #3 Donovan, Illinois
Andy Jordan, Principal
Toby Coates, Superintendent

Growth Mindset During COVID-19: How Donovan has Pivoted to make 2020 our best year yet

Teaching is extremely difficult let alone teaching during a worldwide pandemic.  Donovan CUSD #3 has thrived this year and here are a few ideas we want to share with other schools throughout the country.   As of 10/29/20 Donovan is in week 10 of full in person learning and has reported 0 cases of COVID-19 with our student and teacher populations.  We are offering remote learning for each semester for families that do not feel comfortable with sending their children to school.  96% of our 6-12 student population is participating in full in person learning.

  1. We have accomplished 100% internet access for our entire student body. Thanks to the Federal CARES Act grant we were able to secure enough jetpacks to distribute on our first day of school for any student without access.  Reaching 100% internet access was a milestone for our district and our families.
  2. Continuing Social Emotional Supports for our students. We are unable to hold assemblies in our gym due to Illinois requirement of no more than 50 people per space.  We have switched to holding Virtual Monthly Assemblies to highlight our successes and promote monthly achievement in our schools.
  3. Some schools are teaching in person learning and remote learning at the same time with teleconferencing or a hybrid rotation schedule. At Donovan we felt throwing more work at our teachers and putting them in a remote or hybrid situation might set them up for failure.  We decided to put the 4% of our 6-12 population on a module learning platform called  We reshuffled one of our aides schedule to monitor the program and we communicate weekly with our remote learners.  Overall, that program has been very successful for our remote learners and for our teachers.
  4. Being able to read research based data, best practices, and be able to decipher that data and use situational awareness to determine what strategies and practices should be used that would best benefit Donovan.  This includes knowing your school and community.  Principal Andy Jordan and Superintendent Toby Coates meet individually in the spring with each teacher to gather their input on remote learning and how we can be successful moving forward.  Principal Andy Jordan and Superintendent Toby Coates recommend that you utilize your staff and continue to ask questions to help you plan for success.