• School Opening Plan 2022-23

    Introduction

    District 28 developed this school reopening plan in collaboration with the other township school districts and updated Guidance of Schools on the Prevention of COVID-19 issued on June 23 and July 5 by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health.  The district reserves the right to update protocols and policies as warranted throughout the school year.

    Defining Transmission

    The community-level transmission levels as defined by the CDC will be used to guide mitigation strategies. The CDC community-level transmission rate includes local cases, hospitalizations and hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. If the community level changes to high, the district may change mitigation and safety practices.

    Prevention

    The district will continue to follow prevention strategies that remain important in protecting students, staff and community members as identified by the CDC, IDPH and Cook County Department of Public Health, including:

    • enhanced ventilation and filtration;
    • handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
    • cleaning and disinfecting;
    • encouraging students and staff to stay up to date on vaccinations;
    • having students and staff stay home when sick and get tested, 
    • isolation for positive cases, 
    • quarantine or test to stay for close contact of unvaccinated individuals, and
    • contact tracing when possible in coordination with IDPH and CCDPH guidance.

    SHIELD At-Home Testing

    District 28 will offer voluntary take-home SHIELD tests for students. Students will bring home the test kits for specimen collection and then drop in collection boxes on the designated day.  Lab results will be available in 24 to 48 hours.  This new procedure will be less disruptive to the instructional day while still providing continued security for our District 28 families and staff. Specific instructions for opting in students and staff for the tests and on administering the test will be forthcoming.

    Social Distancing

    The district will balance the benefits of effective learning environments with student and staff mitigation safety measures. The district will return to normal classroom setup and the regular use of cafeterias and gyms. If the area experiences a high transmission period, the district may need to consider other mitigation measures including a return to social distancing and highly recommending the use of face masks.

    Face Masks

    Face masks remain optional for anyone who wishes to wear them. Schools no longer require universal face masks while the community-level transmission is low or medium as defined by the CDC. If the community level changes, the district may again require face masks. Masks are required, however, in health offices of schools.

    COVID Dashboard

    The District 28 COVID Dashboard is updated daily when school is in session.

    Quarantine & Isolation

    The What to do if…  diagram illustrates the decision tree for quarantine and isolation.

    Staff or students who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for 5 days after onset of symptoms, or from the specimen collection date if no symptoms are present.

    This practice aligns with CDC guidance for P-12 schools. People who are in isolation should separate from others or wear a well-fitting mask when they need to be around others. People in isolation should stay in a specific room or area and use a separate bathroom if available.

    Staff or students may return to school after five days if asymptomatic or fever-free without medication for 24 hours, diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours, and other symptoms have improved.

    Anyone who continues to have a fever or whose other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation should wait to end isolation until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours and their other symptoms have improved.

    To calculate the 5-day isolation period, day 0 is the first day of symptoms or specimen collection date if asymptomatic.

    All Staff or students returning after 5 days must:

    • wear a well-fitting mask around others while indoors for 5 additional days after release from isolation; and
    • when masks are removed to consume food, maintain a minimum of 6 feet from others.

    Staff will continue to receive COVID-19 leave as granted by the State of Illinois.

    Please visit the Quarantine & Isolation page for additional guidance for positive cases and close contacts.

    Remote Learning During Quarantine

    Please review the philosophy and expectations for remote learning when children are quarantined.

    Travel Guidance

    Please review travel guidelines for domestic and international travel for vaccinated and unvaccinated students.

    Visitors

    Vaccination is the current leading public health prevention strategy to prevent adverse outcomes related to COVID-19. The state guidelines continue to require school personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.

    Northfield Township is part of a Cook County region designated by the CDC. As long as a low or medium transmission level is maintained, volunteers who come to school will be allowed in the schools:

    • who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines or
    • can produce an at-home negative test within 24 hours of coming to school or
    • a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours.
    • Please show a photo of the test results when signing in at school. If the transmission level moves to moderate or high, this modification will be rescinded and reverted.

    Community Testing Sites

    The Cook County Department of Public Health provides an updated list of community testing sites that are open to all regardless of symptoms and do not require an appointment.