District Digest

Glen Ellyn School District 41

January 21, 2021

In this issue…

  • Message from Dr. K

  • Saliva Screening Schedule

  • Dual Language Incoming Kindergartners 2021-22

  • Distinguished Service Award Presented to Marci Conlin

  • D41 Kids Foundation Grant

  • Glen Ellyn DEI Project

A Message from Dr. K

Why COVID 19 Mitigation Efforts Remain Crucial
It is important to note that DuPage County remains in Substantial transmission. While it is a very hopeful sign that restrictions are being loosened for regions throughout the State, transmission mitigation remains extremely important.

On my meeting today with the team from the DuPage County Health Department, the following information was very strongly emphasized:

  • While there are not any new mitigation measures needed due to the new variant of the virus (B. 1. 1. 7) hand hygiene, universal masking, and social distancing (6 feet or more) remain extremely important. Dr. Chugh was very direct in saying that this is absolutely not the time to reduce from 6 feet.

  • B. 1. 1. 7 appears to be more infectious but not more virulent. They anticipate that B. 1. 1. 7 will be the predominant form of the COVID 19 virus by March.

  • Both nationally and locally, the cases are rising in the pediatric population.

What does this mean for us? Our commitment to safety and mitigation must remain intact. We must continue to make medically guided decisions based on data. While all of us are experiencing COVID “fatigue”, we cannot lose sight of progress that has been made so far because of our mitigation efforts.

For those of you who are upset or disappointed because we have had to make decisions to implement an adaptive pause at Hadley, I want to highlight the impact that testing has had:

  • Because we test, contact trace and analyze our data, we were able to take advantage of the long weekend and weigh multiple pieces of information prior to making a decision. We were able to narrow the impact of the adaptive pause to one team at one grade level.

  • For those of you who were directly impacted, I absolutely recognize that this does not feel like a narrow impact. However, without the data that we have, we would have either missed a potential outbreak or put an entire grade or perhaps even an entire school on an adaptive pause. Hours and hours go into this work and these decisions. NONE ARE TAKEN LIGHTLY because we know that they impact your children and your family.

On a final note, I know that our parents recognize the importance of contact tracing. This is not about pointing the finger nor placing blame on anyone. If your child has been exposed or is a confirmed positive, please trust that our nurses ask questions because it is important to the contact tracing process and subsequent decisions. If you will not give us names of other students who might potentially be exposed or positive, it impacts our ability to fully determine the extent of the transmission risk. Our only goal is to minimize risk and transmission so that we can stay open.

Dr. Melissa Kaczkowski
Glen Ellyn School District 41

Saliva Collection Schedule

According to the medical experts, spreading out the saliva screening among grades is the best way to catch as many probable positives as possible. If a sibling tests negative on Monday, it is possible that a brother or sister could test positive later in the week due to the additional time for the virus to become detectable. The goal is to identify positives to keep covid out of school so that schools can stay safe and open.

We are trying to keep the schedule as consistent as possible moving forward; however, we need to maintain a degree of flexibility in the event that we need to prioritize a particular grade level or school due to increased transmission concerns. See below for saliva collection dates by grade level. Thank you for your patience.

Weeks of January 25 and February 1

The following grades return their samples on Monday (January 25th and February 1):

8th, 5th, Kindergarten

The following grades return their samples on Tuesday (January 26 and February 2)

7th, 4th, 1st

*Please note that saliva testing materials will be mailed home to students on Team 7C so that the students who participate in saliva testing can return a sample on February 2nd.

The following grades return their sample on Wednesday (January 27 and February 3):

6th, 3rd, 2nd, PreK/Early Learning

Please remember that we only need one sample per student per week for saliva testing. The sample should be returned to school in the tube that is barcoded for each specific student.

One last piece of information. If your child returns a sample to school on a Monday, the lab processes the sample on Monday. The district receives the barcode information late on Monday night or very early Tuesday morning. If your child's sample indicates that a referral to a CLIA certified lab for an RT-PCR test is necessary, parents will be notified prior to school on Tuesday.
*If you have not received a phone call from the nurse prior to your child's AM/PM session, you can rest assured that your child's sample did not trigger a referral for an RT-PCR test. The same process would apply for samples returned on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Important Reminders from our D41 Nurses

  • Please remember to self certify your child through the Skyward app before sending them to school each day.
  • Please keep your child home if they are not feeling well and report the absence on our attendance line and/or to the school nurse. You can expect the school nurse to reach out to you with details regarding paperwork that is required to return to school. A few things to keep in mind:
    • Even just a clear runny nose or headache can be a sign of COVID-19.
    • We cannot accept a negative saliva test or negative Rapid test as diagnostic. It must be the RT-PCR COVID test or a note from a doctor with an alternate diagnosis to return to school.
    • If your child has a chronic condition like seasonal allergies, migraines, etc, please get us a note from their doctor explaining the ongoing symptoms.
  • Remember, all siblings are required to stay home while awaiting the diagnosis of the sick student.
  • Our local health department is still advising that schools use the 14 day quarantine for students who are a close contact to a positive case. Until we hear otherwise, schools will not be lowering the quarantine period for students to the optional 10 days that the CDC has published.
  • We are getting our direction from the DuPage County Health Department and all schools in the county should be following these same guidelines. Thank you for being understanding and patient with these strict rules so that we may keep everyone safe and remain in person learning.

Distinguished Service Award Presented to Marci Conlin

District 41's Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Marci Conlin has been selected by the Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators (IASPA) as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals who have made substantial contributions to IASPA, advancing or enhancing the professional visibility of the association and its purpose and/or the field of school personnel administration. Mrs. Conlin was recognized today, January 21, at the virtual IASPA 14th Annual Conference.
Congratulations to Marci Conlin!

Dual Language Incoming Kindergartners 2021-22

Next month, District 41 will post and announce a parent video with information about our Dual Language program for incoming kindergarteners. The video will provide an overview of our Dual Language program, introduce Dual Language teachers, and offer details about how to apply for the program. Due to pandemic practices this year, the video is replacing the traditional in-person meeting. The video’s availability will be announced in an upcoming District Digest newsletter.

D41 Kids Foundation Answers the Call During the Pandemic

D41 Kids Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of a substantial Covid-19 Relief Grant from the DuPage Foundation, the DuPage County premier philanthropic organization whose mission it is to raise the quality of life for DuPage County residents by fostering philanthropy,

connecting donors to area needs and building community partnerships.
Their very generous grant of $20,000 to the D41 Kids Foundation has ensured that our District 41 most vulnerable families have remained in their homes with food on the table. The members of the D41 Kids Board are eternally grateful for the generosity of our community members and the DuPage Foundation, specifically the JCS Arts, Health, and Education Fund. Their generous support in our endeavor ensures the safety and well-being of our families during this exceptional public health crisis.

Community DEI Program this Saturday, January 23 - Open to all

On Saturday, January 23, Glen Ellyln Village Leaders and Community Organizations will each take 10 minutes to share what their organization has done, is doing, and plans to do regarding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. These interactive sessions are open to all and are a part of the comprehensive community conversation led by consultants from RGW Consultants.

  • Moderated Panel of Village Leaders 10 am-12 pm
    Zoom Meeting ID: 862 0381 0532

  • Moderated Panel of Community Organizations 1-3 pm
    Zoom Meeting ID: 847 8365 8232

Opportunity for Young Leaders to Participate in the DEI Community Project

Make your voice heard by joining the Youth Affinity Group as part of the Glen Ellyn Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Project on Thursday, January 28 at 4 pm.! They are in need of more youth participants ages 17 and younger.

These listening sessions, listed below, are designed to hear the collective feedback of Glen Ellyn community members pertaining to their passions, culture, and roles/responsibilities related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). If you are interested in participating in an affinity group meeting, please contact Library Director, Dawn Bussey at dawnbussey@gepl.org or (630) 790-6760.

  • 1 p.m.: Seniors Age 65+

  • 2 p.m.: POC (People of Color)

  • 3 p.m.: Black

  • 4 p.m.: Youth Age 17 and Under

  • 5 p.m.: Disability

  • 6 p.m.: LGBTQIA

  • 7 p.m.: Women

To ensure participants’ privacy and encourage organic discussions, the Affinity Group sessions will not be recorded or shared.

The purpose of the Glen Ellyn DEI Project is to provide a format for the residents of Glen Ellyn to learn more about the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities taking place in the community and then to participate in open, facilitated conversations regarding their thoughts and ideas about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Glen Ellyn.

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