New Year Reminders

New Year Reminders
Posted on 01/08/2021

Welcome to 2021! We hope you and your family enjoyed a safe and joyful winter break, and that your children’s first week back has been filled with connection and learning.

As we look forward with excitement to the year ahead, we also reflect on last year. Since March of 2020, each of us, our children, our families and our communities have battled a pandemic that has changed everyone's lives in myriad ways. Ongoing political, racial, and economic unrest has continued to impact each of us and our children in formidable ways. Wednesday's events at the Capitol adds additional stress. As educators, we do not take a political stance with our students; yet, we cannot ignore current events and the impact each has upon our lives as human beings. District 39 remains resolute in its condemnation of violence and hate in all forms, and we remain committed to inclusivity, kindness, respect for one another, and safe school communities. We appreciate the many individuals throughout our communities who are working hard to uphold these values, and we thank you for your ongoing support for safe, caring, and inclusive communities for our children and one another. In these challenging times, we need and benefit from the support and kindness of each other. Thank you for your support.

Below are a few reminders for the new year...

Reminders for Healthy Habits and School Expectations
As we move into the new year, we continue to be diligent in practicing healthy habits at school and throughout our community. Wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of distance with people outside of one’s household, staying home when sick, and washing hands are all critical to keeping ourselves, our families and our community healthy.

For our students returning to in-person instruction next week (and the parents who help them to prepare for success), please remember and review the following requirements.

  • Wear a snugly fitting mask – Please take a few moments to ensure that your child’s masks for school fit snugly around the nose and mouth. Wearing a clean, snugly fitting mask that does not require frequent adjustment helps students to remain focused on learning while also helping to maintain a safe, healthy learning environment for all.
  • Review and practice six-feet distancing– Maintaining six feet of distance between people helps to reduce the risks of virus spread and quarantines. Reviewing and practicing distancing at school and outside of school increases awareness and everyone’s ability to maintain distancing as a regular part of our daily interactions outside of the home. Please review and practice six feet of distancing with your child.
  • Handwashing– Handwashing and hand sanitizing are also important ways to mitigate risk. Remind your children about the importance of frequent handwashing for 20 seconds or more. Hand sanitizer is also available in school.
  • Daily symptom checks– Monitoring health symptoms and staying home when an ill, exposed or after travel are important ways to help keep everyone healthy and safe. Students will need to bring a completed health self-certification ticketto school with them each day of in-person schooling. Please print and carefully review the updated D39 health self-certification ticket.

Response to Illness
Our District 39 Response to Illness Booklet has been updated with new information from the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) regarding response to illness, quarantines and COVID-19 testing. Please review these important updates.

Travel Quarantine
The  CCDPH travel guidance was updated and shared just prior to break. If your child traveled over break, quarantine is required before returning to in-person instruction. The CCDPH allows the  option of a shortened 10-day quarantine length in accord with the recommendations of the CDC. In order to return to school in-person on January 11, students must have returned home from travel no later than December 31 with quarantine initiated on January 1. The updated D39  health self-certification ticket reflects this update.

COVID-19 SafeGuard Screening Registration
We strongly encourage all in-person students to register to participate in D39’s SafeGuard Screening program. More than 65% of in-person students are already participating. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to register your child to participate beginning January 15th via this COVID-19 Screening Registration Form. For more information, please visit the  District 39 COVID-19 testing website.

Fully Remote Parent Webinar
We will be hosting a parent webinar for parents participating in our Fully Remote Learning Program for second semester on Wednesday, January 20th at 7:00 pm. Please join us to discuss our D39 Fully Remote Program, hear updates for second semester, and ask questions of our team. We are planning for a brief presentation of updates in the beginning followed by a facilitated town hall format with opportunities to ask questions in real-time. Please register here to join us. You are invited to submit questions in advance through the registration process, too.

Metrics Dashboard
Our District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team hosts regular meetings 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. This morning, the Metrics Team reviewed the most recent D39 Metrics Dashboard and  full report. The Metrics Team discussed COVID-19 testing access for students and staff, reviewed updated internal metrics for staffing and operations, and considered external metrics for community spread of COVID-19. The district resumes in-person instruction next week and continues to remind all school community members of the importance of healthy habits and ongoing adherence to our mitigation procedures to help keep our students, staff, schools and community staff.

We wish you and your family continued health and wellness in the new year ahead!

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