COVID & Define 109 Update
January 14, 2022
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DPS 109 families,
We are closing in on the end of another school week, and I’m happy to report that we enjoyed a much better week than last week. We have a significantly higher number of students and staff back in our buildings and have seen our positive cases (through SHIELD or other means) drop off. It’s both a great relief and very welcome news.
This is where we need to stay vigilant, especially with a 3-day weekend ahead. It bears repeating that we need to be prepared to ride the COVID roller coaster in January. I encourage you and your family to get vaccinated, get your booster shots, and to get tested if you experience symptoms or become a close contact of a positive case. The evidence is overwhelming at this point that vaccination is the surest way to keep our kids safe. We’d also like to reiterate that if one of your children tests positive, please keep siblings home until or unless they test negative. While guidance states that vaccinated siblings can come to school, our experience with the Omicron variant is that all of the kids get it if one gets it. Please see below for some important COVID-related updates and answers to questions we have received.
Thank you for your partnership and dedication towards DPS 109 and public education here in Deerfield. Enjoy the long weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!
Michael V. Simeck
Superintendent of Schools
NOTE: In the initial version of the above letter that went out, I stated that Lurie reported this week that 3% of school-aged students with COVID experience serious health consequences. Upon further review, I stated that wrong. The correct statement should read "When kids presented themselves to the emergency department, 3% developed a severe outcome." Context matters, and I apologize for the oversight.
New ISBE/IDPH Guidance
Vaccine Disclosure Form - Help Us Avoid Unnecessary Quarantines!
This has come up a few times this week! We have had to call a few families and let them know that their child, who is a close contact, would not be able to come to school that day because we didn’t have vaccination info on file for them. As it turns out, some of them didn’t realize they could submit it online. Help our contact tracing team out and save yourself some stress by completing this optional form in Family Access.
Sign Up For SHIELD Testing - Regardless of Vaccination Status
Why can't we SHIELD test twice a week?
Do we need a negative test to come back to school from quarantine?
Why did we not require a negative test prior to the start of school last week?
Why is there no remote option this year?
Define 109 Update - ThoughtExchange Results from December
Next Friday, the Board of Education will hold a study session from 12-4 p.m. at the District Office to hear information from Eklund Consulting about the focus groups and data they have collected from students, staff, and the community as it pertains to refreshing our mission and vision, and participating in group work to help begin shaping an initial draft of DPS 109's mission and vision. There will be no formal action taken at the study session.
Below, take a look at the information YOU provided through our ThoughtExchange question posed in December: