Metrics Update 11/23/2020

Update From the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team
Posted on 11/23/2020
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
847-512-6000
www.wilmette39.org

Metrics Team Update:
Our District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team conducts a weekly meeting to study important school-relevant metrics of COVID-19 and the District’s Reopening Plan in order to guide adjustments to reopening efforts and improvements in health and safety protocol. Friday morning, the Team reviewed the most recent D39 Metrics Dashboard and full report, and discussed the ongoing efforts to its subcommittees.

Below are some of the important topics discussed by the Metrics Team on Friday.

  1. The team continues to see community COVID-19 transmission metrics in the substantial red zone. COVID-19 Positivity Rates and New Cases per 100k Population indicate substantial risk of COVID-19 within the region, the Township and Wilmette. You can monitor these data by reviewing the charts on our D39 Metrics Dashboard or by accessing the live data links under the Sources for Relevant Metrics and the Live COVID-19 Metrics Update sections of the dashboard. Increased awareness, monitoring and vigilance throughout our community is needed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, along with close adherence to the mitigation procedures advised by the Governor’s office at the Cook County Department of Public Health.
  2. The team received an update from each of the subcommittees working to support ongoing improvements to healthy and safe operations of our schools. These subcommittees are focused on a review of operations and operational metrics, a review of staffing and preemptive substitutes, and consideration of COVID-19 testing.
  3. The Team supports the adaptive pause of in-person instruction scheduled for the week immediately following Thanksgiving Break, the week of November 30th. This recommendation is informed by review of both external and internal metrics and is based on a combination of factors including substantial rates of COVID-19 throughout our community, increasing quarantine restrictions and ongoing concerns regarding our ability to safely staff and operate our schools as we have done successfully over the last 10 weeks. The external metrics lead us to anticipate increased, unavoidable challenges to our internal staffing and operations.

 

Below are some of the important next steps identified by the Team.

  • Throughout this week, the District will continue to monitor metrics and opportunities for in-person instruction in the two weeks that follow the current adaptive pause. The district will be closely monitoring COVID-19 positivity rates, cases, district staffing and quarantines. The district also continues to closely monitor guidance from the Governor’s Office and the Cook County Department of Public Health regarding stay-at-home orders, travel guidance and quarantine restrictions. These factors will be considered in the district’s evaluation of its ability to provide in-person instruction during the weeks of December 7th and 14th.
  • The Team will meet again on the morning of November 30th at 7:15 am to consider external and internal metrics, and discuss the weeks of December 7th and December 14th in light of these metrics. Currently, the district is scheduled to resume in-person instruction the week of December 7th, pending this metrics review. A recommendation regarding in-person instruction for the weeks of December 7th and December 14th will be considered by the Board of Education at a Special Meeting on November 30th at 7:00 pm. An agenda for this meeting will be posted here this Friday.
  • The District is continuing to explore options for additional COVID-19 testing.
    • The Board of Education approved expanded access to PCR COVID-19 testing through its contract with Ambry for students who have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or possible exposure. Testing kits will be available through the school nurse office beginning in December. The district is planning to host an onsite test collection event on Thursday, December 3rd. Parents will receive an email on Monday, November 30th with details on how to access testing and registration steps.
    • The District is continuing to explore options for screening testing similar to the rapid testing being conducted with students and staff at New Trier High School. If implemented, this testing could be available to all students and staff regardless of symptoms and exposure.

 

District 39 implores everyone to continue to remain vigilant in demonstrating healthy habits throughout our community. Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, families are reminded of the travel restrictions as well as the guidance from our government and health officials to limit gatherings. Anyone traveling outside of our state from more than 24 hours will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return. In addition, anyone who is in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 must also quarantine for 14 days. All are advised to avoid close contact with individuals outside of one’s immediate household. Throughout our community, please continue to be vigilant in in adhering to the three Ws to keep our community and one another healthy: Watch your distance, Wear a mask, and Wash your hands.

Please stay safe throughout the week ahead.

For more information regarding our ongoing COVID-19 metrics review, please visit our D39 Metrics Dashboard page.

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