109 News

March 29, 2022 - Issue 16

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Happy Tuesday!


I hope everyone had a relaxed and fulfilling spring break. We are excited to see our students and staff back in classrooms and ready to finish out the school year strong. There’s a lot to look forward to in the upcoming weeks as we anticipate rounding up our new kindergarteners, Field Days, graduations, and more. It’s important that we continue to each do our part to protect our school community. That means reporting any COVID-like symptoms to the school nurse and staying home if you’re not feeling well or if someone in your household tests positive for COVID. It also means having as many people as possible participate in weekly SHIELD testing so we can continue to have the best indicator possible of any COVID impact on our school community.


Thanks as always for your flexibility and partnership in your child’s education.


Michael V. Simeck


Superintendent of Schools

Important COVID-Related Change: At Home Testing

Based on recent guidance from IDPH, we are now able to accept tests you administer at home to confirm either a positive or negative COVID diagnosis for your DPS 109 student. This will be especially helpful if your child wakes up with symptoms. You will still be required to fill out a form that will be sent to your school nurse confirming the at home test result. Please click below to view that form, which must be submitted before your child enters school.


A reminder that the federal government is offering four free COVID-19 tests to any household. Please click here to fill out the form for that program.


NOTE: Testing for symptomatic individuals that takes place outside of the District Office after school will continue to be offered as well if you would prefer to have your child tested by our District 109 team.

Other COVID Guidance Clarifications


  • CLARIFICATION: As it is considered a healthcare setting, masks are required for those entering the nurse's office at school. Masks are on hand at school for individuals to put on before entering.

  • CLARIFICATION: Individuals in our pre-K program that test positive are now subject to the same isolation guidelines as K-8 students. This means a 5-day isolation period with eligibility to return for days 6-10 as long as symptoms have improved and students are able to consistently mask upon their return through day 10.



As always, if you're unsure of whether to send your child to school or concerned about symptoms, please reach out to your school nurse and/or your pediatrician.

Remember, you can visit www.dps109.org/covidinfo for the latest information as it pertains to our district. We update this page when we get new guidance from healthcare agencies or modify any of our protocols.

Caruso Auditorium Project Update

Caruso Construction Update 3/18/22

Camp Duncan - Back on in '22-'23!

In past years, students have gone to the YMCA Camp Duncan in the fall of their 5th grade year. The pandemic made the experience unavailable to our current 6th graders and resulted in a delay for our current 5th graders. During this pause, we discussed this opportunity and are excited to share that the middle schools will begin sponsoring the Camp Duncan trip beginning with the 2022-2023 school year!


6th grade is a big time of transition for students. Not only do two elementary schools merge, but the schedule and school day also look different. The team building activities offered at Camp Duncan will serve as a great kickoff to middle school as students and staff get to know one another!


In 2022-2023, both the 6th and 7th grade classes at Shepard and Caruso will go to Camp Duncan so all students will have had the opportunity. In future years (2023 and beyond), the 6th grade class will continue this 109 tradition. More information will be shared by the middle school principals at the beginning of the school year, but we want to communicate the change in advance.

March Reading Madness Overtakes Walden!

Congratulations to the Walden Philanthropy Club for their wonderful presentation to the Board of Education right before break! We can't believe that Walden students read 1,000 books in like a week and a half! Click below to watch their presentation.
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Adorable Alert!!

2nd graders in Ms. Carr's class at Kipling wanted to make sure their friend attending school virtually still got in on the fun... so they brought them along to recess! How sweet!
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Upcoming Dates to Know


  • April 6: 5th Grade Parent/Guardian Info Night at Shepard at 6 PM
  • April 7: 5th Grade Parent/Guardian Info Night at Caruso at 6 PM
  • April 12: Next edition of 109 News
  • April 15: NO SCHOOL
  • April 21: Regular Board of Education meeting at 7 PM