February 18, 2011
Frankly I'm surprised about this.
Feb. 17, 2011
Dear Racine Unified Staff:
There is no doubt about the mounting challenges public education in our state is facing. Despite our considerable amount of substitute teachers, we were unable to fill all of the vacancies caused
by staff members reporting absences today. The decision to close our schools was a difficult one
to make but one that was necessary to ensure the safety and security of our students.
Your presence of leading instruction in our classrooms and supporting school operations is
essential to helping guarantee our students reach our combined North Star vision. While we
understand and honor that our employees have substantiated reasons for being out of their
schools, I stress how important it is to fully staff our buildings to provide a learning environment
that all of our students deserve. I expect you, as leaders in Racine Unified schools, to report to
work tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 18. In accordance with District policies, failure to report to work
will leave an employee open to disciplinary action if prior approval was not given by the
We must remind you that sick leave days are for your own personal illness. Therefore, you may
not call in sick to attend any events. If you call in sick on February 18, you will be asked to
verify per your medical provider that you are to be excused due to an authenticated illness and/or
The mission of Racine Unified schools is to educate every student to succeed. We must continue
this focus and are committed to working cooperatively with our employee unions to ensure the
best outcomes for our children.
Our children depend on us. Even with the challenges many of our students face beyond our
school walls, they will come to school tomorrow ready to learn.
James J. Shaw, Ph.D.Superintendent of Schools