2022-2023 Opening of School Plan

 Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented evolving challenges for our community and the schools in
which we serve our children and families. We have handled the impact of the pandemic with a united
front in partnership with our staff, parents, students, and the overall community. The operational
practices we put in place to mitigate the risk of transmission were researched and implemented with
the help of our entire staff and in partnership with our parents and students.

Since August 2020, District 27 has implemented a layered COVID mitigation strategy, which
evolved as health advice changed. During the 2020-21 school year, we were proud to be one of the
few school districts in our area to operate a hybrid model for grades 1-8 and full in-person for
Kindergarten. Throughout the pandemic, District 27 has recognized the critical importance of
in-person learning for our children, coupled with ensuring a safe learning environment for our
students and staff.


For the 2021-22 school year, the District prioritized moving forward with as much of a normal school
experience as possible. We successfully implemented in-person instruction every day during the
school year and are proud of the sense of normalcy instilled while at the same time providing a safe
learning environment. We are very grateful for our teachers, support staff, and students whose hard
work helped maintain our in-person priority this past year. We are equally proud of the partnership
and support of our parents.

Guidance

Throughout this pandemic, District 27 and Northfield Township schools have followed health guidance universally recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH). The IDPH & ISBE Joint Guidance fully adopts the CDC Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Educational Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning. The District 27 Board of Education intends to continue this practice to the greatest extent possible.

On February 25, 2022, Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2022-05 was changed to end the universal masking requirement in schools on February 28. February 25 also updated the CDC guidance, placing Cook County in a low-COVID-19 Community Level, no longer recommending universal masking within schools. The Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders were extended on June 24 and will be considered by July 25, 2022.

The District 27 Board of Education reserves the right to update this plan continuously. The Superintendent has the authority to make temporary changes to this plan. Permanent changes to the plan will be considered and ratified by the Board of Education (e.g., a COVID-19 outbreak in a classroom or building supports temporarily requiring masks).

COVID-19 Monitoring

District 27’s administrative team will continue to update, monitor, and communicate local cases via the following dashboard:

‚óŹ District 27 COVID Dashboard

The above COVID-19 metrics, along with local health recommendations, will continue to be utilized to monitor the appropriateness of this plan and inform its evolution.

District 27’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Face Masks

  • Recommend face masks in school buildings and school buses when the region’s transmission level is designated as high
  • Require situational masking
    • In the schools’ health offices
    • Masks may be required on a limited and case-by-case basis to ensure ADA compliance with certain students and staff (e.g., a documented medical need may require staff within close proximity to wear a mask)
    • Masks may be temporarily required as special circumstances necessitate, such as a classroom outbreak
  • Athletes will follow the home school’s masking policies and follow required Illinois Elementary School Association requirements

COVID-19 Positive Cases Must:

  • isolate for a minimum of five (5) calendar days following a positive test or symptom onset, be fever-free without fever-reducing medications for 24 hours with symptoms improving, and continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five (5) additional calendar days
  • OR If unable to mask, isolate for at least ten (10) calendar days following a positive test or symptom onset, be fever-free without fever-reducing medications for 24 hours, and see improving symptoms

The District Will:

The Board of Education reserves the right to update the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan as needed.