September 3, 2021
Thoughts from Dr. Pacatte
As has been the case for the past 18 months, the guidelines we are required to follow related to COVID-19 are very fluid. The staff at the District Office and each school building have been working with our families impacted by the virus throughout each day we have been in school. Unfortunately, I don't see it ending any time soon. The good news is that our students are in their classrooms and the teachers are continuing to teach everyone, in person, with minimal interruption. Their stamina is amazing. As a community, we all need to do our part to keep our kids in school. The virus is still out there and the Delta variant spreads easily. If you are not getting the vaccine, please minimize opportunities for exposure for you and your family. Schools are allowed to put kids on buses and place students within 3 feet of one another in the classrooms, but they are then considered a close contact and will need to quarantine, should someone tests positive. This is challenging for everyone involved so please be patient with the processes that we have to have in place to keep our kids in school and respond to the daily events that alter our plans.
We completed our first round of the screening tests this week with the students that have a completed form in Skyward. The process was smooth and quick. Participating students were in and out of their classrooms in a matter of minutes. We received the results the next day and were able to respond appropriately. We expect our future rounds to move even more quickly. If you would like to have your student participate, you are able to go into Skyward and register them at any time.
It is important to remember that we are following the guidance from the the Lake County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The local school district does not have an option as to whether or not someone has to quarantine or the length of the quarantine. If your child has been sent home as a close contact, it is highly recommended that you test for COVID during day 3-5. If the test returns positive, the LCHD will provide you with the information as to next steps. The documentation we are requiring to start student access to instruction should be available on the patient portal on the Lake County Health Department. Parents receive the information needed to set up the portal when you call the Lake County Health Department to notify them of the close contact quarantine or positive test.
As I reflect on our data from the past, related to COVID 19, our peak positivity as a district and county came in November. Let's do what we can to avoid a repeat and take care of ourselves and those around us.
The Gurnee Rotary Club will be conducting their annual project, Operation Warm. Operation Warm provides winter coats for students attending the Gurnee area elementary schools including Districts 34, 50, 56, and SEDOL. Last year, more than 100 coats were provided to our students at Gurnee School District 56. This year, they have raised the fund raising target to $15,000. With each coat costing approximately $20.00, that would be a lot of coats for the children in our community in need. If you would like to support this wonderful project, please log in to www.operationwarm.org/gurneerotary to make a donation. The Rotary Club will match up to $6000 in donations.
Information on how to sign up for a coat will come out later this fall. If your child(ren) are in need, please watch this newsletter for information on how to register for a winter coat.
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