Metrics Update 10/19

Update from the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team
Posted on 10/19/2020
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

Wilmette Public Schools District 39
Mikaelian Education Center
615 Locust Road
Wilmette, IL 60091

Dear D39 Families,

Metrics Team Update:
Our District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team held its weekly meeting on Friday. The purpose of the Metrics Team is to study important school-relevant metrics of COVID-19 and the District’s Reopening Plan in order to guide adjustments to our reopening efforts and improvements in health and safety protocol. On Friday, the Team reviewed the most recent D39 Metrics Dashboard and full report. Below are critical updates from the Team’s review.

COVID-19 Transmission Data
Unfortunately, Wilmette and its surrounding regions have continued to experience a rise in new COVID-19 cases over the past week. The Number of New Cases per 100,000 Population has increased sharply over the past 7 days, and the COVID-19 Positivity Rate has also increased. Both of these are critical metrics that are monitored closely by our Metrics Team. These metrics help us to monitor risk throughout our community and inform our ability to keep our schools open for in-person instruction. The increases the Wilmette community and its surrounding region have experienced over the past week are concerning and give us cause for careful monitoring.

As the COVID transmission metrics shift toward the red zone on our Metrics Dashboard, we experience more substantial risk due to the community cases and we must begin to consider the need for adjustments to our programming. While the Metrics Team did not recommend changes to programming during last Friday’s meeting, the metrics are cause for increased awareness, monitoring and vigilance throughout our community. We will continue to carefully monitor transmission rates and cases as we evaluate our programming. There is a possibility that the district may need to consider a pivot to remote learning in the future if community cases and positivity rates continue to rise. We must continue to be vigilant in our mitigation and prevention strategies within our school and throughout our communities. While we do not have plans to move to remote programming at this time, we have and will continue to closely monitor the metrics to inform our decisions, adjustments and evaluation in ongoing ways.

What might cause a transition to remote programming?
There are several reasons why a classroom, a school or the district might shift to remote learning.

  1. When there is a COVID-19 positive case identified, the district works with the Cook County Department of Public Health to conduct contact tracing and determine how best to isolate the case. An identified case might lead to the quarantine of a the affected individual, the quarantine of a classroom or, in the case of a cluster or within-school outbreak, the short-term transition of a school to remote learning.
  2. As detailed within our reopening plan, the district is prepared to shift to remote learning if: 1) The Northeast Region 10 moves to Phase 3 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan, 2) Guidance from ISBE/IDPH changes, 3) The Cook County Health Department advises transition to fully remote based on single or multiple cases within a classroom or school, OR 4) We cannot safely implement the health and safety guidelines and protocol (e.g. due to limited availability of PPE or other factors).
  3. The district may make adjustments to its in-person model based on its ongoing metrics review and the recommendation of the Metrics Reopening Advisory Team. Our thresholds of mild, moderate and substantial risk have been established to help guide these considerations. The Metrics Team remains committed to ongoing review of its metrics and may need to recommend an adaptive pause to in-person instruction in the future if we do not see the metrics for community spread stabilize or decline. The most critical metrics reviewed for community spread are the Positivity Rates and the Number of New Cases per 100,000 Population. Both of these metrics help us to monitor the level of risk and transmission that is present within our community and those surrounding us.


New Metrics Data Views

In light of the critical monitoring of these important metrics, we will be publishing four new graphs to our Metrics Reopening Advisory Team web page. These graphs display some of the most critical metrics in dynamic ways that will be updated twice weekly. Additional information regarding these metrics is also provided within the full weekly report and linked to the live links on our website. (For more detailed information, an interested reader is encouraged to review the full weekly report or to go directly to the live data published to the Northwestern COVID Tracking Site, the IDPH Site or the CCDPH Site.)

Review of Response to Illness Protocol
It is critically important that families carefully review and adhere to our D39 Family Response to Illness Instructions Booklet. This Booklet compiles helpful information to assist families in responding to symptoms of illness. Thank you to families and staff for their ongoing diligence and careful adherence to best practices in healthy habits and responding promptly to symptoms of illness. These efforts help to keep our school communities healthy, safe and open. Where a case among students or staff has been identified within our schools, our teams have been able to act swiftly to isolate the case and quarantine close contacts such that transmission within school has been avoided.

Below are a few things parents can do to help.

  • Familiarize yourself with and adhere to the new D39 Family Response to Illness Instructions Booklet – If your child is experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19, is awaiting COVID-19 test results or has been identified as a close contact to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 (or if a member of your household is experiencing symptoms or awaiting testing results), your child must remain quarantined at home. The D39 Family Response to Illness Instructions Booklet will help to guide your next steps and what you can expect from the school. Careful adherence to these guidelines and the documentation requested by your school nurse will help to keep everyone healthy and safe.
  • Practice healthy habits at home and throughout our community. These next weeks will be critical to our ability to continue to offer in-person instruction. Our collective health and well-being relies upon our entire Village working together in partnership. Avoid large gatherings, social events and high risk activities where the risk of transmission is greatest. Stay home if you or a household member is experiencing symptoms. Practicing the three W’s can make a tremendous difference.
    • Wear a mask,
    • Washing your hands, and
    • Watch your distance.


Thank you again for your support as we work together to nurture the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students as well as the health of our entire community.

We are looking forward to a great week! Be well.

Your partner in education,

Dr. Cremascoli
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D,
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

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