Dear District 30 Family,
It has been exciting to kick off the 2021-22 School Year this week! Thank you for your partnership as we continue to navigate education during this global pandemic. Our students did a fantastic job this week, and our staff’s significant efforts generated an inclusive, welcoming environment to begin the year.
Included here are a few notes as we continue this journey together:
2021-22 Opening of School Plans: FAQs continue to be updated on our 2021-22 Return to School website that will continue to be updated as this year unfolds. A few highlights include:
Continue to Commit to In-School Learning: Area COVID-19 Metrics remain in the substantial/high transmission area. These transmission levels may lead to positive COVID-19 cases that impact our District 30 Family. We will navigate each with care following the advice of the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH). A significant factor in this year’s success will be our commitment to each other. We will continue to commit to each other’s safety and care for one another by getting vaccinated, staying home when we have symptoms consistent with Covid-19, socially distancing, and wearing masks indoors as long as local metrics dictate. Please commit to in-person school by limiting exposure to transmission risks outside of school. We will continue to partner together for our kids!
CCDPH Travel Guidance: As a reminder, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) has updated its domestic travel guidance. Please remain informed on the CCDPH travel guidance as you will self-monitor. All states except Vermont are now included in CCDPH’s travel hot spots (i.e., orange states).
Instructional Support for COVID-19 Quarantined Students: Students under a COVID-19 quarantine (including for travel) will be provided a connection to their classes through a combination of live-streamed broadcasts of their classes and access to materials and lessons through our learning management systems (Seesaw or Schoology). As our teachers focus on the students within their classes, Instructional support for COVID-19 Quarantined Students will differ from previous hybrid and remote learning and look different for various grade levels. Staff will need 24-hours’ notice to post Zoom links and organize materials that will be available for students in the front office.
SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Monitor Testing: This week, the district worked with our provider to begin setting up the state-funded voluntary saliva testing program using the SHIELD Illinois test, a PCR test developed by the University of Illinois with less than a 24-hour turnaround time. We hope to have this testing up and running for unvaccinated individuals within the first three weeks of school. Monitor testing will help detect potential cases, clusters, and outbreaks before they become widespread.
SHIELD limits login information to view testing results to one email address. Parents of participating students should have received an email to confirm the email address designated to check test results by Wednesday, September 8. Please note that you will be contacted by the school in the case of any positive COVID-19 test.
Also, please note that participation in the SHIELD screening will be required for unvaccinated students to engage in athletics. We are also finalizing details on a Test-to-Stay program that we expect to be available for unvaccinated students participating in SHIELD monitor testing. With Test-to-Stay, eligible close contacts can test 1, 3, 5, and 7 days after exposure to a COVID positive case. If an eligible student remains symptom-free and continues to test negative, the student will be able to stay in school without quarantining.
As was included in the ePacket, no action is required to participate, and all students are highly encouraged to do so. However, you may opt your student out of the program.
Community Support: Remaining connected and accessing the many resources in our community is a strength. Please review the Support for Students section of our Return to School website. Resources include an insightful recent one from The Family Service Center entitled Back to School: Parent Tips for Success in Unusual Times (Again!) that I would encourage reading. I also want to put an upcoming event on your radar. CATCH will partner with Northfield Township Schools to put on Parenting and Pivoting in a Pandemic virtually with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., on September 20. I believe that you will find both of these to be highly beneficial!
School Support: Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help through our teaching staff if and when the need arises. Remaining connected and accessing the many resources in our community is a strength.
Thank you for your continued support and a great first couple of days of school!
Dr. Brian K. Wegley