Glen Ellyn School District 41
This issue is dedicated to District 41 updates and reminders related to COVID-19. Thank you in advance for your attention to this information.
For all communications related to COVID-19 sent from District 41, click here
COVID-19 Dashboard and State of the Metrics Report
Saliva Screening Results for this week Coming Soon
The samples are now at the lab and we are starting to receive the results. We will share them as soon as possible and they will be included in the dashboard. As long as we are in person, we plan to conduct the screenings weekly. Watch for weekly information on the testing days. Most often our testing will be done on Mondays and Tuesdays or Mondays and Wednesdays.
Sign Up for COVID-19 Saliva Screening (in person students/staff only)
It is important to have as much participation in the screening program as possible. Our goal is 90% participation to make the best evidence-based decisions. If you already consented and acknowledged the waiver for each of your children in Skyward, you will continue to be provided with test kits.
If you have signed up last week, you will receive test kits this week for the week of December 14.
If you have not yet consented and acknowledged the waiver in Skyward, you can do so now until Monday, December 14, for the fourth round of surveillance testing that will take place when we get back from winter break in January. Test kits will be provided to students to take home prior to winter break.
Once you sign up you will be in the system and do not need to sign the waiver again.
Lost COVID-19 Saliva Test Materials
Unfortunately, we cannot replace lost testing materials. It is an extremely time intensive process to prepare the testing materials for each round of testing. *Please note that you only need to return one test sample per week for each of your in person children. If you receive multiple barcoded tubes in your baggie/envelope, that is so that we do not have to send baggies/envelopes weekly.
Tips for Collecting the Saliva Sample from Your Child
Click here for an instructional video about how to collect the saliva sample.
It takes most people 2 to 5 minutes to provide a saliva sample. If your child is still having trouble, the following suggestions can help increase saliva production:
Closing the mouth and wiggling the tongue
Gently rubbing the outside of the cheeks, just behind the back teeth
Making chewing motions with the mouth
Smelling or imagining smelling sour foods such as lemons
Thinking about one's own favorite food
Updated CDC Guidelines Coming Soon
CDC came out with new guidelines as an optional alternative to the original 14 days; however, D41 is still following the guidelines from our local health department which remains at 14 days of quarantine for close contacts. The new CDC guidelines will be implemented in District 41 once the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopts them. We will update you with new guidance as we get it from our local health department.
In addition, the CDC has new, detailed guidance on domestic and international travel and suggestions for possible quarantine upon returning home depending on where you traveled and what activities you engaged in. If you are considering traveling, we ask that you follow these guidelines so that we can keep the safety of our school community our top priority. It would be impossible for us to enforce these guidelines so we are asking that you follow their guidance in good faith.
Student Learning on Quarantine or Isolation
Students in the blended in-person model who are out waiting on a COVID-19 test or are in quarantine will maintain their spot in blended.
Once a parent notifies the building of the need to quarantine, an administrator from the building will contact the family to determine the mode of instruction that will occur during the quarantine time.
During quarantine, parents have the option of having their child continue to receive homework from their classroom teacher or be temporarily moved to a remote section with a new teacher for the duration of the quarantine.
Each student’s situation is unique so the parent and administrator will determine
which mode is the best for each individual child. If it is determined necessary to temporarily move the child to a remote section, that move will occur within two days of the decision (i.e. if the conversation with the administrator occurs on Monday then the child will start remotely on Wednesday; if the conversation occurs on Friday then the child will start remotely on Tuesday). This will allow time for the new teacher to be alerted of a new student being added to their class, the classroom teacher and remote teacher to communicate with each other, and the district to add the student to the new Google Classroom classes.
Understanding the Substitute Teacher Shortage
Many of our families have expressed frustration over substitute shortages and staffing issues. Stable staffing has always been one of District 41’s (and almost all district’s) criteria for reopening. This is not a challenge that is unique to District 41.
Please read this article from the Chicago Tribune related to area teacher shortages.
District 41 Looking for Temporary COVID Screening Kit Preparation Assistants
District 41 is looking for one or two people per school to assist with preparing saliva testing kits/materials. We will be paying $10.50 hourly which is consistent with our rate of pay for summer helpers. This is a perfect opportunity for college students who are learning from home and looking to work. The ideal candidate will have a flexible schedule as some weeks may require more hours than others. Must be able to devote at least 25 hours per week to preparation work. Preparation work will be done at the D41 Central Services Office or at the individual schools.
Must be detail oriented and dependable. Please apply online at www.d41.org
Please reach out to Jen Ng in Human Resources at email@example.com if you have any
Data Safety and Security Information Related to COVID Screenings
District 41 has a consultant on board due to the increased technology needs that come with our reliance on technology during the pandemic. This consultant relationship precedes the Board’s decision to implement saliva testing. Our consultant has a degree in Network Security and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). We have asked for guidance on our testing process particularly regarding the security of our data and we will continue to do so as we refine our process over time.
Our initial process was built so that testing materials could be delivered to participants. The waiver reflected this. However, delivering to families took an incredible commitment by numerous volunteer drivers and is not a sustainable model.
The saliva based COVID screening tests recently initiated by D41 do not result in the collection of biometric information. Section 10-20.40 of the Illinois School Code defines biometric information as “information that is collected through an identification process for individuals that is based on their unique behavior or physiological characteristics, including fingerprint, hand geometry, voice, or facial recognition or iris or retinal scans.” The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act similarly defines biometric data and applies only to private businesses, not governmental entities like public school districts. In short, neither saliva nor the results of testing saliva is biometric information regulated under Illinois law because it is not based on behavioral or physiological characteristics. Even so, D41 has acted to maintain the confidentiality of the identity of the students tested and the results of the tests.
Receive Text Messages from District 41
District 41 will use text messaging to share timely information and emergency communications. You can now opt in to receive these important text messages from District 41. Text Y or Yes to 67587.