Board of Education Adopts Reduced Mitigations Plan

Board of Education Adopts Reduced Mitigations Plan
Posted on 02/22/2022

During this evening’s special meeting, the District 39 Board of Education voted to approve the D39 Reduced Mitigations Plan. Per Board directive, this plan will be implemented tomorrow, Wednesday, February 23,  in all District 39 schools. 

A full recording of the meeting and all relevant documents from the meeting will be available on our website. We would like to sincerely thank our community for their feedback as we finalized the details of this plan and for your continued support and advocacy as we transition to a mask-optional environment.

Below are some highlights of our Revised COVID Migitations Plan:

  • The Wilmette District 39 Schools will be a mask-optional environment for students and staff beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, February 23. We recommend staff and students wear masks in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), but masks are optional.
  • The District will not be contact tracing at the individual student level nor excluding students as close contacts within the school setting. However, parents will continue to be notified when potential exposure occurs from a positive case within their child’s classroom. 
  • COVID-19 positive cases and symptomatic individuals will continue to be excluded from school in accordance with public health guidance.
  • Physical distancing during lunch periods will be maintained, pending transition to Phase 2 of our Reduced Mitigation Plan Off Ramp.
  • District 39 will continue to monitor community and local trends in regards to the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to make them publicly available through our COVID metrics webpage. Ongoing review of these metrics along with public health guidance for schools will inform future adjustments to our layered mitigation plans. 
  • D39 will continue to offer free SHIELD testing to all registered students and staff members. Note: Per SHIELD Illinois regulations, masks will continue to be mandatory for SHIELD testing.
  • Masks will continue to be required on school buses and in our school nurse’s office. Bus drivers and nurses will have masks for individuals who need one.

As we make the transition to a mask-optional environment, I want to remind everyone that our desire to support one another is of paramount importance and a defining characteristic of our community. I trust that you have already discussed what a mask-optional school day will look like and I know that you will make the decision that is best for your child(ren). Below is some important information to consider:

  • Be Honest: Explain that the rules have changed, that masks are optional and no longer required in school. Reiterate that their teacher will support all decisions and all students.
  • Communicate Empathy: Remind your child(ren) that each family and teacher can make their own decision based on what they feel most comfortable with at this time. Encourage your child(ren) to be understanding of others’ choices.
  • Reinforce Safety: Remind your child(ren) that we are safe. We wash our hands frequently, we monitor our distancing and we stay home when we are sick or not feeling well.
  • Be Kind: Remind your child(ren) that we will continue to be kind and respectful of one another within our learning community, regardless of the decision they make. Each individual is making the decision that they think is best for them. It is okay to wear a mask and it is okay to not wear one.
  • Promote Responsibility: Please let your child know what to do if they forget your family’s choice, and give them permission to do what they feel is comfortable. Please understand that teachers can neither enforce family decisions nor regulate individual student choices in this regard.

Additionally, we recognize the magnitude of this change and possible effects on the social-emotional well-being of our students. Below are a few resources that you may find helpful:

I know that there have been many twists and turns over the past two years as our district and our world have navigated this pandemic. I truly appreciate the partnership, advocacy, and support from our learning community as we work together to provide a safe and productive educational environment for our students and staff. 

Thank you for continuing to promote kindness and for your ongoing support.

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