News from CCSD15

January 4, 2021

School resumes Tuesday, January 5: A Message from Superintendent Heinz

Dear Parents/Guardians: Welcome back! We hope you’ve enjoyed a restful winter break and that your 2021 is off to a healthy start. We are looking forward to school resuming on Tuesday, January 5.

  • Virtual students will remain learning virtually.

  • In-person elementary students will return to school full-time.

  • Junior high hybrid students will return to their previously assigned A/B schedules.

  • In-person students who have elected to learn concurrently from home anytime through January 15 will receive more information sent at the school level. Families were asked to select this option prior to break to ensure staff are aware and ready for concurrent learners in their classroom. If you did not sign up for concurrent learning and would like to do so, please contact your teacher and principal to see if this is a possibility.

COVID-19 Symptom Screening

We ask that you please pay careful attention to any symptoms you or your children may exhibit and do not assume that any symptom is unrelated to COVID. As we continue our contact tracing efforts, it is evident that many people who are diagnosed with COVID have at least one symptom of the virus and come to school/work while symptomatic, assuming it is unrelated to COVID. This puts others at risk and makes keeping classrooms and/or schools open more difficult. We ask for your help and that you please pay attention for symptoms, and stay home/keep your child home when experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Fever (100.4°F or higher)

  • New onset of moderate to severe headache

  • Shortness of breath

  • New cough

  • Sore throat

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain from unknown cause

  • New congestion/runny nose

  • New loss of sense of taste or smell

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue from unknown cause

  • Muscle or body aches

District 15 will continue to respond to any COVID-19 cases by isolating close contacts and closing classrooms/schools for in-person instruction when appropriate.

Communication regarding positive cases will be shared directly with close contacts and impacted classrooms/bus routes. Positive cases are also noted on our public COVID-19 dashboard.

Monitoring Staffing

As we return from winter break, we are receiving information that some staff members will need to isolate/quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test or having exposure to a positive individual. As we have repeatedly shared, our ability to staff our schools is a driving force to successful in-person learning.

At this time, Principals and Assistant Principals are working to ensure classrooms are covered. If finding adequate substitute teachers or building coverage becomes a stumbling block -- classrooms may need to go virtual for a period of time. These decisions are made on a classroom by classroom basis by building leadership. Should this situation need to occur, we will inform parents as soon as possible.

In-Person Learning Reminders

In-person students should remember to bring their lanyard and signed self-certification card to school each day. These cards will be checked by staff prior to entering a school building, and temperatures will also be taken.

As a reminder, if anyone if your household is experiencing a COVID-19 symptom, all household members must quarantine until:

  • A negative RT-PCR test is obtained by the person exhibiting symptoms OR;

  • 10 days have passed since symptom onset OR;

  • A physician’s note with an alternative diagnosis is provided (must indicate illness is NOT COVID-19).

Thank you for following these state-required health guidelines. More information on COVID-related exclusion is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

Chromebook Reminders

In order to be fully prepared to learn after winter break, take note of the following information regarding Chromebooks:

  • In-person learners, remember to charge the Chromebook fully each day for school.

  • If you are a K-3 in-person student and brought your Chromebook home over break, remember to bring your Chromebook and charger back to school.

  • Chromebooks update automatically but require a restart to complete the process. Make sure your student’s Chromebook has been powered off and back on again before school resumes.

Bus Reminders and Winter Recess Gear

Due to COVID-19, District 15 is keeping school buses as ventilated as possible, even during the winter months. Please dress your children appropriately for the weather, as windows will be open on all school buses.

Appropriate outerwear is also necessary for fun during outdoor recess. If they haven’t done so already, principals will share information about winter recess later this week.

ACCESS Testing Delayed

Parents of students eligible for English learner services in District 15 received communication from our schools about the ACCESS 2.0 or Alternate ACCESS test that was scheduled to take place in January or February of 2021.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced that it has delayed the opening of the 2021 spring assessment window to at least March 15. The ACCESS 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS assessments will be delayed accordingly, and no testing for either virtual or in person students will take place during the months of January or February.

We will share more information about English proficiency testing closer to March as it becomes available. We thank you for your flexibility and patience as we continue to pivot and adjust our plans in response to ISBE’s guidance. Your partnership during these unprecedented times is very much appreciated.

Letter is available in: English/Spanish/Japanese/Bulgarian/Polish/Korean

Thanks for Your Partnership!

Thank you in advance for all you will continue to do to help all of us in D15 keep everyone safe, healthy and learning. Here’s to a very healthy and happy 2021.


Dr. Heinz