2021-22 School Year FAQ

General

Why can’t students choose to stay remote?  (updated 8/10/21)

“On May 19, 2021, the Illinois State Board of Education unanimously adopted a Resolution Supporting In-Person Learning that supports the Illinois State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala in making the following declaration after the conclusion of the current academic school year, subject to favorable public health conditions at that time: Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, all schools must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days, provided that, pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/10-30 and 105 ILCS 5/34-18.66, remote instruction be made available for students who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and are under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health.”

Are vaccinations required for age-eligible students?  (updated 8/10/21)

“No. Students are not currently required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. ISBE encourages families to use the summer months to ensure that eligible children get vaccinated. The vaccines are safe, effective, and proven to protect recipients from getting sick. Vaccines are widely available throughout the state. ISBE is also encouraging school districts to host vaccination clinics for eligible students and families.”

Will self-certification continue?  (updated 8/10/21)

The current plan for the 2021-2022 school year is based on transmission level. During low transmission levels, parents will self-certify their children annually. This will change to quarterly in moderate transmission, monthly in substantial transmission, and may increase as necessary in high transmission.

Will volunteers be allowed in schools?  (updated 8/10/21)

The plan for the 2021-2022 school year is that parent volunteers will be allowed in school buildings as necessary. All volunteers entering the building must follow all school COVID mitigation procedures, which may include wearing a mask, whether vaccinated or not. During high transmission levels, volunteers will not be allowed to have contact with students.

What happens if schools do not follow ISBE mandates or health department guidance? (updated 8/10/21)

The State Superintendent and ISBE can remove our recognition status which would impact our funding from the state and our ability to play sports.

Schools that do not follow local health department guidance can be shut down by the health department, as well as experience liability concerns if they neglect to follow the guidance.

Are masks required? (updated 8/10/21)

Per Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s announcement on August 4, 2021, masks are mandated for all those entering P-12 schools. When the governor’s mask mandate is no longer in effect, we will re-evaluate our masking policies based on current community data and transmission levels.

What type of masks are appropriate? (updated 8/13/21)

Masks should have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. The mask should cover your nose and mouth completely, fit snugly against the sides of your face without any gaps, and have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.

Masks that are inappropriate include those made of nonbreathable fabric (for example vinyl), have exhalation valves, are made of mesh or beads, or only have one layer of fabric which allow virus particles to escape.

Can I request a vaccinated teacher for my child? (updated 8/10/21)

No, we will not be sharing individual teacher vaccination status with families. The teacher-student placement process is a long process that attempts to set up students for success based on many points of information.

Can my child be in a classroom with only masked students? (updated 8/10/21)

All students and staff will be masked according to the recent Governor executive order. 

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required for students who are eligible to receive it? (updated 8/10/21)

Illinois state law requires certain immunizations for children and adults enrolled in child care, school, or college. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is not included in the required list of immunizations for students.

Will the district ask for proof of vaccination? (updated 8/10/21)

The district is looking at requesting vaccination status to assist in streamlining quarantine procedures and understanding the percentage of vaccinated students by building.

What is the protocol for student quarantines? (updated 8/10/21)

When the school becomes aware of a person who is COVID-19 positive, the district contact tracing team will gather information to determine if any other persons were in close contact with the positive person during the infectious period of time. Close contact is defined as anyone who is within three feet of a person who is COVID-19 positive while both are wearing masks.   

How will the district conduct contact tracing? (updated 8/10/21)

If a student is identified as a close contact, a person from the district contact tracing team will be contacting any parent of a child deemed as a close contact, and providing specific information.

If community transmission rates rise, will remote learning be an option for my child? (updated 8/10/21)

The Illinois State Board of Education has deemed in-person learning to be necessary, so remote learning is not being considered at this time.

Are masks required on the bus? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes, masks will be required for students riding the bus. This is a federal mandate.

Will masks be required for students who participate in sports? (updated 8/10/21)

At this time, masks will be required for indoor sports. Masks will not be required for outdoor sports.

What will happen if my child doesn’t wear a mask or refuses to wear a mask? (updated 8/10/21)

Students who fail or refuse to comply with health/safety requirements (including mask wearing) may be subject to disciplinary measures including exclusion from school and school-related activities until compliance is achieved.

Will my child continue to receive instruction while they are quarantined? (updated 8/10/21)

Students in quarantine will receive instructional and social emotional support based on individual needs while greatly influenced by the courses each student is enrolled in and by what is planned in each class at the time of the absence. Adult support will be provided.

If a student is not feeling well and does not participate in instructional activities, the student will be marked absent.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine? (updated 8/13/21)

Isolation occurs when a student tests positive for COVID-19 or when someone is showing symptoms, and the cause of those has not yet been determined. The person needs to isolate away from others to protect them.

Quarantine occurs as a precautionary measure when a student has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person. If the person who has been exposed is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, then the person would not need quarantine.

High School

Will lockers be available for students? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes. Students will have access to hallway and PE lockers.

How will extra-curricular events be handled? (updated 8/10/21)

Extra-curricular events are allowed. They will adhere to the required mitigation strategies. For indoor events, this entails maintaining a safe distance between individuals and wearing masks. In order to maintain physical distancing, capacity limits may be in place reducing the number of spectators or guests allowed. 

How will band be handled? (updated 8/10/21)

When playing instruments indoors, masks designed for band must be worn and bell covers supplied by the district must be used. No masks or bell covers are required outdoors.   

Will my child continue to receive instruction while they are quarantined? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes. Google Classroom will be the most important source of information for high schoolers while on quarantine. It will house their assignments along with the expectations and instructions for completing those assignments. It is also where students will find information on how to access livestreams when teachers are offering them. Therefore, students must check their Google Classroom daily.

Students will be able to communicate with their teachers via email if they have questions. In addition, students will have virtual access to interactive academic support with designated educators. They will be able to ask specific questions and receive help in real time. These times will vary by building. Students will be made aware of the schedule if and when they are assigned to quarantine.

If a student is not feeling well and does not participate in instructional activities, the student will be marked absent. 

Will hot lunches be available? (updated 8/13/21)

Limited hot lunches will be available, with main entrée stations open to provide hot dogs, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. Cook to order options will not be available.

Middle School

Will lockers be available for students? If not, can my child carry their backpack? (updated 8/10/21)

Lockers will not be available to start the year. This is due to the physical layout of locker banks and extremely limited space available for students. Students will be able to use their backpacks and teachers will be working to reduce the amount of materials needed to carry in the backpack.

If my child is scheduled for an early or late lunch, will he/she be allowed to eat a snack? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes, schools will be working with teams to schedule snack times for students in lunch periods that are either very early or very late in the day.

Will my child continue to receive instruction while they are quarantined? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes. Students in middle school will have access to classroom streaming when available and appropriate, receive assignments through Google Classroom, and have designated support times.

If a student is not feeling well and does not participate in instructional activities, the student will be marked absent.

Will hot lunches be available? (updated 8/13/21)

Limited hot lunches will be available, with main entrée stations open to provide hot dogs, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. Cook to order options will not be available.

Early Childhood and Elementary School

Will hot lunches be available? (updated 8/10/21)

No, due to the amount of space it takes up inside the cafeteria. Grab and go lunch and breakfast will be available. Grab and go lunch increases the amount of space available to physically distance students during lunch.

If masks are required, will my child be allowed to eat a snack? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes. Students may eat a snack in the classroom this year as physical distancing requirements have been reduced. Masks will remain on other than when actively eating/drinking. Staff will structure snack breaks to reduce the number of students with their masks off at the same time and take students outside for snack when possible.

Will my child continue to receive instruction while they are quarantined? (updated 8/10/21)

Yes. Students in early childhood through 2nd grade will have access to choice boards. 3rd - 5th grade students will receive assignments through Google Classroom. Classroom teachers will check in with students during quarantine and a dedicated adult will be available to provide instruction to students each day with an emphasis on literacy, math and social emotional learning.

If a student is not feeling well and does not participate in instructional activities, the student will be marked absent.