DPS 109 COVID End of Week Update

January 7, 2022

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DPS 109 families,


Thank you. I said at the beginning of this school year that public education in Deerfield is a team sport, and this week has been the perfect example of that. From our staff stepping up to help cover classrooms this week, to the dozens of you that have applied or inquired about how you can help, I truly appreciate everyone’s efforts.


We need your help to keep our buildings open. I don’t want to sugarcoat our situation. The coming weeks aren’t going to be easy. Jeffrey Shaman, infectious disease modeler at Columbia University, said this week,


  • “...in the near term, everyone should expect an intense month of disruption” and continued,

  • “get vaccinated,

  • get booster shots, and

  • prepare for a bumpy January.”


We completely concur and would add three additional requests:


  • SHIELD testing is a benefit to all of us. This is truly a time for all of us to pull together. Participating in SHIELD testing helps us limit the spread of the virus within classrooms and buildings. We can’t encourage you strongly enough to help us by having your child test. The sign-up link for SHIELD is below as is the link to the Deerfield booster clinic being held this weekend.

  • If one of your children tests positive, we’d ask you to keep siblings home unless or until they test negative. While guidance states that vaccinated siblings can come, our experience with the Omicron variant is that all of the kids get it if one gets it.

  • Send your student to school with an age-appropriate and form-fitting KN95 or N95 mask, if possible. Cloth masks are not effective against the new variant.


Over the course of the week, we had 112 individuals either report or test positive for COVID. Our SHIELD testing positivity rate continues to be lower than that of the county and state. That said, we are very much aware that we all need to remain diligent and use every avenue we have to keep kids in school and get over this wave.


Read the important updates below or watch the summary video from our Director of Communications highlighting the major points on this Friday.


It’s clear from cases we have seen this week that vaccinated individuals can still get COVID, so it’s important to keep your guard up. We can’t do without each other, and greatly appreciate your partnership in helping navigate this school year.


Sincerely,

Michael V. Simeck

Superintendent of Schools

DPS 109 COVID News Update: Friday, January 7, 2022

Extracurriculars To Resume Next Week With No Athletic Competitions

We are prepared to resume extracurricular activities starting on Monday. After consulting other schools in our conference, athletic teams will be allowed to practice, but any games or matches will be rescheduled or canceled. All participants must have a signed consent form and be signed up for SHIELD testing in order to take part. Extracurriculars are different from enrichments, so for elementary school families, your principal will be reaching out to those who need to complete the form to avoid any confusion. Middle school families, watch for a link to the form in today's Spartan Weekly and Caruso Connect.

Park District Enrichments To Resume Next Week - No Consent Form Needed!

After school enrichment activities offered at the elementary schools will resume next week as well. These programs are run by the Deerfield Park District, so you do not need to fill out a DPS 109 consent form for these programs. Not sure what counts as an enrichment versus a DPS 109 extracurricular program? Look at the picture below.
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Revised Quarantine Guidance

The CDC has put out clarifying guidance specifically for K-12 schools reducing the recommended time for isolation and quarantine periods to five days. IDPH & ISBE have since endorsed this new guidance.We are working to adjust our quarantine and isolation periods based on these new regulations and will contact affected individuals directly. The question of who is supposed to quarantine comes up often. Please check out this helpful explainer from the CDC.

Local Vaccine/Booster Clinic Tomorrow - No Appointment Needed

There is a vaccine clinic tomorrow at the West Deerfield Township offering first, second, and booster doses for ages 12+. See more information below.
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Vaccine Disclosure Form - Help Us Avoid Unnecessary Quarantines!

Remember, you can complete an optional form in Family Access to let DPS 109 know that your child is vaccinated. This is the same form that was made available to students ages 12 and older earlier this year.


A major benefit of completing the form is that 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.


Sign Up For SHIELD Testing - Regardless of Vaccination Status

In a world where COVID testing is hard to come by, free SHIELD testing is offered weekly to all students and staff at DPS 109 schools! Test results are generally reported within 48 hours. You will only be contacted with a positive result. To opt in to SHIELD testing, please log in to Family Access below to fill out the consent form.
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