COVID-19 Updates

**Please note guidance is rapidly changing and these guidelines may change upon discretion from ISBE, IDPH, and/or the CDC.

Covid symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever (100.4 and above) or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Do not go to work/school if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. Please contact your school attendance line. All family members should remain home if someone within the household is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms until the cause of the symptoms is known.

Social distancing guidelines

  • 3 feet between students in the classroom.
  • 6 feet between students and teachers/staff in the classroom.
  • 6 feet between students in non-classroom settings.

What if a child is sent home with suspected Covid?

Suspected COVID-19 Case (child develops symptoms) During School

  • The teacher will immediately notify the office and the school nurse who will get the child and immediately take them to a designated isolation room to be assessed. If symptoms present, parents will be notified that their child will need to be picked up ASAP (within 1 hour). 
  • That student will have to either provide proof of negative Covid-19 test results, provide an alternative diagnosis if Covid-19 is not suspected, or isolate for 5 days before returning. Parents will receive a letter upon picking up their students with this information. 

A child is Sent Home (suspected COVID-19), but Tested Negative:

  • A student may return to school if Covid is ruled out by providing proof of negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test results. Rapid test results will not be accepted. OR An alternative diagnosis is provided by a physician. 

Contact Tracing & Communications

If a positive case of COVID among our students or staff is reported, the Covid dashboard on our D91 website will be updated. The dashboard will be updated daily. It is the responsibility of parents to check the website for updated Covid cases.  The school health coordinator will conduct contact tracing and anyone that was within three to six feet of an individual that tested positive for COVID will be notified individually.  In the case of students that were within three to six feet of a person that tested positive for COVID, the parent/guardian of that student will be contacted to pick up their student to quarantine for a minimum of 5 days. The last point of contact is considered day 0.

What if a student tests positive for Covid?

  • Contact tracing will be performed to identify any close contacts.
  • Families within the classroom will be notified of the positive case and those considered close contacts will be notified.
  • Rooms will be sanitized once students have left for the day.
  • Students will isolate for 5 days after testing positive.
  • The nurse will reach out to the family at the end of the student's isolation period to make sure the student has been fever-free 24 hours without medication and symptoms have improved, if symptomatic.

Masks are strongly recommended 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that masks are needed only in areas of high transmission. Governor Pritzker announced, masks are optional for all schools and school districts starting Monday, February 28, 2022. This is based upon the new metrics established by CDC when the COVID-19 Community Level is “Low”. At this time, Cook County falls under the community level of Low. ISBE will work with the Illinois Department of Public Health to update our guidance documents as soon as possible.

Our district will have to a STRONGLY RECOMMENDED MASK MODEL for students and staff as a form of precaution. 

SHIELD testing

  • Students regardless of vaccination status will test weekly with SHIELD. SHIELD is a saliva-based test that is one of the most accurate Covid tests available. It is a PCR-based test that identifies those presymptomatic individuals in the early stages of the virus. 
  • If your child is identified as positive through SHIELD, it is not necessary to have your child retested via PCR or rapid. Once students are identified as positive, they will be treated as positive.
  • Those individuals that have tested positive within the past 90 days and have provided proof to the health office, will be excluded from SHIELD testing for 90 days post virus. The reasoning behind this is that those individuals who have recently tested positive can continue to test positive for 90 days post virus. 
  • Students may opt-out of SHIELD testing if parents chose to do so. A completed opt-out form will need to be filled out by parents and submitted to the health office. 

What is the test to stay option?

D91 will implement the test to stay option. The school nurse will advise you if your student qualifies for the test to stay program.

  • The Test to Stay program allows for close contacts of confirmed cases where both parties were consistently masked, to stay in school pending they test negative for Covid on days 1,3, and 5 and remain symptom-free for a 10 day period. Testing will be conducted using a rapid antigen test known as BinaxNow and will be conducted while at school.
  • During the Test to Stay period, the individual must be able to maintain physical distance as much as possible and mask at all times indoors and outdoors. While in the classroom, the student must remain 3 feet socially distanced, but during lunch, 6 feet of social distance will be required since masks are off. 
  • Students engaged in Test to Stay after exposure may participate in extracurricular activities as long as they remain consistent and correctly masked and physically distanced for the full testing period. Students should not participate in sports competitions.
  • Test to Stay participants should avoid social gatherings and remain at home when not at school functions during the test to stay period.
  • If at any time the student tests positive or becomes symptomatic, they should be immediately isolated and sent home, excluded from school and the health department notified. 

Criteria to Qualify for Test to Stay option

  • Both parties must have been consistently masked during the exposure period.  Those individuals identified as close contacts during lunch would NOT be allowed to do Test to Stay since both parties were not consistently masked. 
  • Testing must be conducted in school and at the start of the school day before entering the classroom. Students will have to report to the nursing office for testing.
  • Cannot use the Test to Stay program for household contacts. 

Student travel

  • Since there is no mandated guidance for traveling, only recommendations, students who travel may be asked to provide a negative test result before returning to school.

What if my student was sent home due to Covid symptoms?

  • If your child was sent home due to Covid symptoms, they may return with a negative Covid test, an alternative diagnosis from their physician, or completion of a 5 day isolation period.

Any questions or concerns please contact District Nurse, Michelle Bernero.