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April 5, 2021

COMMUNITY UPDATE

We received notification today that two individuals at McCracken Middle School and two individuals at Middleton School have tested positive for COVID-19. We are coordinating our efforts with the Skokie Health Department to promptly identify and monitor individuals who have had recent contact with the COVID-19 positive individual to prevent further spread within our school and community. The health and safety of students and staff is our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the evolving pandemic. We are following guidance from the Skokie Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for best practices and procedures to protect everyone’s health.

To prevent further spread of the disease, Skokie School District 73.5 is taking the following steps:
  • Quickly identify and notify close contacts (i.e., persons who were within six feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for 15 minutes or longer in a 24 hour period, or other guidelines recommended by the health department). The infectious period of close contact begins two (2) calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for a symptomatic person) or two (2) calendar days before the positive sample was obtained (for an asymptomatic person).
  • Placing staff members and students who are identified as having close contact to the COVID-19 case in quarantine for 14 days. 
  • Ongoing monitoring of students and staff for signs and symptoms of illness and evaluation of illness reports to promptly identify possible outbreaks. 
  • Conducting a deep clean and disinfection of the areas impacted by potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
We will continue to enforce safe practices to prevent, promptly identify, and respond to potential COVID cases, as follows: 
  • Students and staff who are ill with COVID-like symptoms will promptly be placed in a separate supervised area away from others until they can be sent home. 
  • Students are required to wear face coverings at all times, as previously directed and per school policy.
  • Staff are required to wear face coverings at all times unless alone in their classrooms with the door closed.
  • We are continuously sanitizing high-touch surfaces including door handles, stair rails, sink faucets, etc.
  • We are teaching students the importance of face coverings, social distancing, and proper handwashing.

As always, everyone should monitor their health and stay at home if they develop symptoms. Sick persons should contact their health care provider to determine if testing is needed. Anyone who develops severe symptoms should seek medical care immediately. If your child has had close contact with a known case of COVID-19, keep the child at home and notify your primary healthcare provider, and your school nurse.

Please be assured that we have carefully examined these cases, and they do not require a change in our school program or would require us to revert to a full remote teaching model at this time. By the time you receive this letter all close contacts will have been notified.

We are committed to providing your child and our staff with a safe and healthy environment. Thank you for your understanding and ongoing cooperation with our COVID-19 prevention policies and procedures as we work to help protect your children, your families, and our staff and their families. For any questions or concerns, please contact administration at 847-324-0509.


  1. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea.
  2. Severe symptoms of COVID-19 include: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face.

 

April 1, 2021

RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN UPDATE

A translated version of this message is available below.

توجد نسخة مترجمة من هذه الرسالة أدناه.
A continuación encontrará una versión traducida de este mensaje.
May magagamit na nakasaling bersiyon ng mensaheng ito sa ibaba.
اس پیغام کا ترجمہ شدہ ورژن نیچے دستیاب ہے۔
Bản dịch của thông điệp này được trình bày bên dưới đây.

Arabic   •   Spanish  •   Tagalog  •   Urdu  •   Vietnamese


Based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the district will be increasing in-person instructional access for a population of our students. Per CDC guidelines, we can reduce students’ spacing from 6 feet to 3 feet apart in most classrooms. Some student spaces must remain at least 6 feet apart and those spaces will not be altered as part of this update.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updated on K-12 school guidance to reflect the latest science on physical distance between students in classrooms. Provided the school adheres to universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least 3 feet in classroom settings. The CDC has updated its operational strategy to say:

  • In elementary schools, the CDC recommends all students remain at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal — regardless of community transmission. 
  • In middle and high schools, the CDC also recommends students should be at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal and in communities where transmission is low, moderate, or substantial.

The district has taken additional precautionary measures to increase student safety, such as plexiglass dividers on all student desks. In addition, Wednesdays will remain remote instruction days for all students to allow the district to perform a deep clean of the buildings. These new guidelines offer the ability to add a few more desks in most classrooms. This will increase access for more students at most grade levels. However, it will not accommodate the entire student population.  

Based on the new classroom capacities, we will take the following steps to increase in-person instructional access while also maintaining equity.   

  • Students in Cohort C will maintain the option to attend school 4 days per week.
  • Students in Cohort A and B will be given the opportunity to increase their in-person instruction from 2 days per week to 4 days per week.
    • Students from Cohort A and B opting for 4 days in-person will be added to Cohort C and will attend all 4 days together. 
    • Students from Cohort A and B are not obligated to increase to four days per week. This is a voluntary decision. A family can select to continue to attend only 2 days per week in their current cohort.
  • A limited number of other students who are currently being taught remotely and have been identified as most in need of returning to school, based on multiple data indicators over the past year, will be offered the opportunity to join Cohort C and return to school 4 days per week.

Please note, families of students currently attending school in-person are not obligated to increase their days per week. This is a voluntary decision. If a family selects to not increase their students in-person days from 2 days to 4 days, this is acceptable. To support the district in making these changes, please be aware of the following dates:

  • April 1st: Survey sent to all families in Cohort A & Cohort B to opt into new 4-Day Model
  • April 8th: Surveys to opt into the 4-Day Model are due by 12:00 p.m.
  • April 9th: Invitations extended to families who qualify to change from remote to in-person instruction
  • April 12th: Confirmation sent to parents on selection
  • April 15th: Updated bus information will be sent to families for those who qualify
  • April 19th: 4-Day in-person instruction begins at Middleton and McCracken

Please understand your decision will be permanent for the remainder of the year.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate the 2020-2021 school year.

 

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