A Message from the Superintendent

January 2, 2022

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Dear Families and Staff,


Happy New Year - and welcome to a snowy 2022 start! We are eager to welcome our students and staff back to campus. While the Omicron variant is certainly present, we are confident that we can continue with in-person learning, being mindful of our layers of mitigation to avoid as much disruption as possible. Thank you for working with us, recognizing that many are growing weary of managing pandemic challenges. Our priority continues to be keeping our classrooms open to in-person learning while also maintaining a safe and healthy environment.


IMPORTANT DISTRICT COVID-19 MITIGATIONS


  • Keeping individuals home if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and/or pending the results of a PCR test; please follow this linked guidance for more details.

  • Washing hands regularly and practicing respiratory etiquette.

  • Implementing social distancing, especially during lunch. Schools will continue to evaluate best options for maximizing social distancing at lunchtime.

  • Wearing masks across all school environments for all individuals, ensuring a proper fit over nose and mouth.

  • Continuing weekly SHIELD testing at all five schools. We plan to test all registered SHIELD students this week. It is likely that fully vaccinated 5-11 year olds who were part of SHIELD testing prior to break will be tested, as the State database may not be fully updated yet.

  • Maximizing outdoor recess and breaks.

  • Postponing some large group events.


IDPH REVIEWING CDC GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS


We are still awaiting direction from the IL and Cook County Health Departments regarding the implementation of the revised CDC guidance for the school setting. On December 30, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopted the CDC recommendation to decrease isolation for people who test positive from 10 days to 5 days for members of the general public. K-12 schools have been asked to continue with a 10-day isolation period for students until school-specific guidance is released. Your patience is appreciated.


FINAL REMINDER Winter Break COVID-19 Reporting


Thank you to the families who have already completed this form, easing the burden on our school staff as we strive for accurate case reporting and quarantine durations. If you have not already done so, please complete this form by January 3 if your child:


1) Tests/tested positive for COVID-19 between December 24 and January 3 or is Presumed Positive due to symptoms + being a close contact.


AND/OR


2) Your child is not fully vaccinated AND someone in your household has tested or tests positive for COVID-19 between December 24 and January 3.


REMINDER COVID-19 Testing Opportunity Following Winter Break


North Shore Clinical Labs will be offering free COVID testing at Marie Murphy School (2921 Illinois Rd.). Testing appointments are still available on January 7 and 8, 2022. All minors must be accompanied by an adult in order to be tested. Testing is open to parents, students, and to staff members.

Below are two links. One is for scheduling a test. The other is for registering and uploading necessary documents so you do not need to complete any paperwork at the time of your student's test.

Link for Eventbrite Site to Schedule Test

Link for Registration to Upload Information & Paperwork for Testing


Thank you for your continued partnership and patience as we manage this most recent wave of COVID-19. We will continue to evaluate our practices and metrics to minimize disruption to our school environment. With that, we appreciate your understanding as we may need to adapt new practices or procedures to best address present conditions.


Sincerely,


Trisha