Beginning of the year information
Good Afternoon District 122 Community,
Last evening at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting it was shared that Ridgeland 122 will be moving to a remote learning model for the beginning of the 20-21 school year. This decision was not made lightly. The district staff has worked tirelessly over the summer to prepare for in person instruction. As a district team, we were proud of our plan to return students to some semblance of an educational normal. On Wednesday, August 12th the Illinois School Board and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued revised guidance for school districts to follow. Listed below are the significant changes to the IDPH guidance.
- All students and staff sent home with COVID-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested. Students and staff should remain home from school until they receive the test results.
- Students and staff who are confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.
- If a student is sent home with suspected COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., runny nose, fever, diarrhea, etc.) all siblings and household members must be quarantined until an alternative diagnosis is made or negative test result received.
- Students and staff exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptoms should be immediately isolated, and evaluated. Every symptomatic person should be evaluated by their healthcare provider on a case-by-case basis and decisions to test for COVID-19 should be based on their personal health history. Diagnostic testing is strongly encouraged whenever an individual experiences COVID-like symptoms as it is possible to have COVID-19 and other health conditions at the same time. Early diagnosis can prevent further transmission. Individuals who have undergone testing should remain home away from others while waiting for COVID-19 test results.
- Close contact is anyone (with or without a face covering) who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (with or without a face covering), for at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day. The period of close contact begins 2 calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for a symptomatic person) or 2 calendar days before the positive sample was obtained (for an asymptomatic person). If the case was symptomatic (e.g., coughing, sneezing), persons with briefer periods of exposure may also be considered contacts. Close contacts to a confirmed case of COVID-19 are required to remain in quarantine at home for 14 calendar days starting from the last day of contact with the confirmed case.
- Exposure in a classroom should be limited to everyone with whom the confirmed or probable COVID case had close contact, within 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day. Exposure on a bus must include everyone who sat within 6 feet of the confirmed or probable COVID case for 15 minutes or longer. A possible approach to identifying close contacts on a bus would be to include persons who sat 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind the confirmed or probable COVID .case.
- Contact tracing will be performed by the Local Health Department. (Since Oak Lawn, Bridgeview and Chicago Ridge do not have their own health department, RSD122 falls under the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and they will be responsible for contact tracing.) Currently (CCDPH) is understaffed and not prepared for any increase in contact tracing cases.
- Contact tracing is performed for a confirmed case (laboratory confirmed positive) or a probable case (person with clinically compatible COVID-like symptoms and epidemiologically linked (known exposure) to a confirmed case or testing positive by an antigen test).
- Two confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections occurring within 14 calendar days of each other in individuals in the same classroom would meet the case definition for an outbreak. This is because the cases would be epidemiologically linked (known exposure to) with respect to place (same classroom) and time (within 14 calendar days). This would prompt an investigation by the LHD that may result in recommendations for testing and quarantining all students/staff in the affected classroom.
After analyzing the new guidance it was determined that we would not be able to properly staff our buildings or successfully keep students in classrooms on a regular basis.
Currently 85% of the south suburban Cook County school districts and many of the surrounding Will County have opted for full remote learning, which led to an increased amount of resignations, and FMLA leave requests.
District 122 will continuously monitor COVID-19 data and information in the hopes that we can return students to our classrooms when guidance or a COVID treatment allows.
Attached you will find the district's remote learning handbook for staff and students.
Material and Device pick up will be;
Thursday August 27th 9 a.m. -2 p.m.
Friday August28th 9 a.m. -2 p.m.
Saturday August 30th 9 a.m.-2p.m.
Building principals will be sending detailed information about the pick up process.
There will also be periodic material pickups throughout the semester to replenish consumables.
Breakfasts and lunches for all students will be available. Pick up details will be provided next week.