109 News - Coming Back From Break

December 29, 2021 - Special Edition

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December 29, 2021

Good afternoon DPS 109 families & staff,

We hope you are enjoying some rest and relaxation during this second week of winter break. We know there have been a lot of headlines surrounding the Omicron variant and rising case counts locally and statewide. We continue to prioritize health and safety as we prepare to resume in person learning on January 3rd. Prior to next week, please see the reminders and information below that may be top of mind.

Is a negative test required for my child prior to next Monday?

We do strongly encourage everyone to be tested, however a negative test is not required to return to school. Below are some links with testing resources.

Who should I contact with urgent COVID-related questions concerning my child prior to school starting?

Prior to Monday, if you have time-sensitive questions regarding positive results or contact tracing, you can email Joanna Ford, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, (jford@dps109.org) or Kristen Bordonaro, Director for Student Services (kbordonaro@dps109.org) and they will reach out to you to obtain further information and determine the next steps. Beginning Monday, please contact your building nurse to report any positive cases and report any symptoms through the daily health certification.

When does SHIELD testing resume after break?

Schools will resume their weekly testing schedule next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. All staff and students, regardless of vaccination status, are eligible for this optional testing. If you haven’t done so this school year, you can log in to Family Access to fill out the SHIELD testing consent form.

How does the recent CDC change in quarantine guidance affect DPS 109?

The CDC recently reduced recommended quarantine time for those who test positive or are considered close contacts to 5 days, however they did not specifically apply this to schools. As of right now, we will continue to follow guidance from IDPH, which recommends the 10-day quarantine period. As always, guidance is subject to change.

My child was recently vaccinated and I would like to share that information with DPS 109. How do I do that?

While this is optional, a major benefit of sharing this information is if your child is deemed to be a close contact to a positive case, either in school or outside of it, our contact tracing team will quickly be able to potentially rule out quarantine for those that have voluntarily disclosed their child’s vaccination status or minimize the number of additional tests required to participate in the test to stay program. Again, filling out this form in Family Access is entirely optional.

As a reminder, live streaming is available for students who are isolated due to being COVID-positive, quarantining as a close contact, or who have COVID-19 symptoms (or who have a family member with symptoms) and are awaiting a negative test result.

Schools will continue to follow mitigation protocols established prior to winter break, and we will continue to be flexible as local, state and federal guidance changes throughout the rest of the school year.

We hope you have a restful remainder of break and look forward to seeing everyone at school on Monday.

Mike Simeck

Superintendent of Schools