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Return to School Parent Letter

 

 

Dear District 102 Families,

 

I am pleased to welcome students and staff back to our buildings this week. As a reminder, our first day of school is Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Students will dismiss one hour early that day (GMS 1:40/MES 2:00). Regular dismissal times begin Thursday, August 19, 2021(GMS 2:40/MES 3:00).

 

Thank you for your support as we continue to navigate the pandemic and the challenges it presents.  All school districts have been put in a difficult situation with regards to reopening plans and ever-changing guidance and mandates. Recent changes have necessitated updates to our District Reopening Plan originally approved by the Board of Education on July 27, 2021. I ask that you please review the attached plan in its entirety, but I have also taken a moment to summarize key points of interest below.

 

Quarantine

The District will continue to follow IDPH guidance with regards to quarantine, giving final authority to TCHD. We anticipate a revised decision tree in the coming days, but at this point we do know that students and staff who are fully vaccinated with no COVID-19-like symptoms do not need to quarantine or be restricted from school or extracurricular activities when identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

 

Tiered Levels of Mitigation

Additionally, we will continue our plan to implement tiered levels of mitigation as outlined on the final page of the document to allow our students as normal a school experience as possible when county and school metrics are minimal for positive cases of COVID-19.


Mandatory Masking

On Wednesday, August 4, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-18, that effective immediately; all Illinois schools must follow the CDC’s guidance on universal masking. Accordingly, all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to PK-12 schools must wear a mask while indoors (and on school transportation), regardless of vaccination status.


Shortly thereafter, the IDPH issued Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools. Legal counsel is advising districts that the Governor and IDPH have the authority to impose the masking mandate. School districts that do not comply with the new gubernatorial order potentially risk liability. Additionally, the Illinois State Board of Education can remove recognition status for any school district not following the Governor’s order.  As a result, District 102 will require universal masking regardless of vaccination status.


Meals
Once again, we will be able to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students through a grant funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

I understand individuals may hold varying personal values as it relates to the pandemic. Despite those differing perspectives, I believe we all share a common goal to create a safe learning environment for our students. I appreciate your continued cooperation as we seek to do just that.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Lindsay

Superintendent

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