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CCSD 89 students can return to classrooms starting January 11

All CCSD 89 students who plan to participate in the district’s in-person learning will be able to return to the buildings starting January 11. Students will resume hybrid learning on the same schedule that was in place in the fall. Students still have the option to learn remotely.

Elementary students can return for a hybrid schedule on Monday, January 11. Middle school students can return for a hybrid schedule starting January 11 or January 12, depending if they are in the ‘A’ group (in person on Mondays and Thursdays) or ‘B’ group (in person on Tuesdays and Fridays).

Community Consolidated School District 89 conducted COVID-19 surveillance screening for all students and staff who plan to return for in-person learning on January 4 and January 5. The results of those tests showed that 0.25 percent of students and staff (3 students, 1 staff member) had clinically significant results. Those students and staff members were referred for further testing to confirm a diagnosis.

When schools open for in-person learning, all health mitigation practices (masks, social distancing, frequent sanitization, hand washing/sanitizing, self-certification tickets) will be required. Families are encouraged to continue following heath recommendations outside of school as well.

Students or staff who are positive for COVID-19; anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and anyone who has been in contact with a person who was positive for COVID-19 will continue to be temporarily excluded from school, based on the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. Families should report these situations to their school nurse.

The district will continue to monitor local health conditions. If health conditions require a change in learning conditions, information will be shared via email and the district’s website.

Learning schedules

Elementary students will be on a hybrid schedule, attending in-person classes in either their previously assigned morning session (8:50 to 11:15 a.m.) or afternoon session (1:10 to 3:35 p.m.). Preschool students will attend their previously assigned morning session (8:30 to 10:45 a.m.) or afternoon session (12:45 to 3 p.m.) There will be no lunch or recess at school. All health and safety protocols will be followed.

Middle-school students will participate in a full, nine-period day. Grade levels will be split into two groups, A and B. Students in group A will attend school in-person on Mondays and Thursdays, and participate in the same classes through live video on Tuesdays and Fridays. Students in group B would attend school in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays, and participate through live video on Mondays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, students will participate in a variety of asynchronous learning activities, including independent practice, small-group instruction, and conferencing. 

Students who are learning remotely will participate in class through live video where they will be able to see their teacher, ask questions, participate in discussions, and work in small groups. (View a video explaining in-person and remote teaching: https://youtu.be/PJaivjQ4Tws)

Families can change from remote to in-person learning if they meet health requirements and contact the school.

What to bring to school

Students who return to school for in-person learning will need to follow the same health protocols that were in place during the fall, including: mandatory masks at all times; temperature checks and self-certification forms prior to entering school; and social distancing.

If students take the bus, they will need to put a mask on prior to getting on the bus. They will take the open seat closest to the back. They will sit by themselves or with a sibling. 

Each day, students will arrive at a pre-assigned door and present the self-certification form, indicating that neither they nor any household members are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. 

Students will then go to their class where desks will be appropriately spaced. Students should bring their charged Chromebook or iPad to and from school each day. 

If a student needs to quarantine, they will participate in the same class as though they were a remote learner.

Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504s will continue to receive services.

Free lunches are available to both remote and in-person learners. In-person students can bring lunches home. Remote learners can pick up five free lunches and five free breakfasts from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays, or 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Meals are available at all CCSD 89 schools and families can go to whichever school is most convenient for them.

Health and cleaning protocols

All students and staff will wear masks and maintain social distance whenever they are indoors. The district has measured each classroom and removed some furniture to meet social distancing requirements.

Students will not share school supplies. Kid-safe wipes will be available in each classroom, as well as hand sanitizer.

Between groups of in-person students, each classroom will be cleaned. The district has hired additional custodians to provide more cleaning during the school day, with a focus on high-touch surfaces. During the day, classrooms and bathrooms will be cleaned with an electrostatic spray that can sanitize the room in a few minutes while students are out. Air will be circulated through the room at least four times each day in every classroom.

Students and staff who show COVID-19 symptoms will be removed from the classroom. The district will follow the Illinois Department of Public Health exclusion guidance for returning to the classroom. Anyone who has been a close contact (within six feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes) with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 at school will be contacted.

Surveillance screening

All in-person students and staff will participate in surveillance screening on Monday, January 11, or Tuesday, January 12. Students or staff who have a clinically significant finding would be quarantined out of the building and would need a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for a diagnosis. This can help reduce spread within schools.

The SafeGuard tests will identify persons who have a clinically significant finding as potentially positive for COVID-19. The CDC does not use surveillance testing as a diagnosis, so it cannot be used to confirm a person as positive or negative for COVID-19.

After January 12, all middle-school students and all staff would be tested every week. Elementary students may not be screened after January 12 because they do not eat in the building and are in static groups that don’t mix during the day.

Cumulative results will be posted on the district’s website throughout testing. 

More information about testing is available here: http://bit.ly/2J0CQKq

Posted: January 6, 2021