August 3, 2021
Dear D88 Parents/Guardians and Staff,
We hope that everyone is enjoying Summer Break. It is hard to believe, but our students will be returning for the 2021-2022 school year in just a couple weeks! We hope that all students, families and staff are getting some much needed rest and relaxation during this time off, but we are also truly looking forward to seeing our students again on the first day of school, which is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18th.
Although our school district is looking forward to returning to 'normal' in many ways, we are also well aware of the fact that although the COVID pandemic is waning, it is not yet completely behind us. Over the past few weeks, we have been carefully studying the CDC/IDPH guidance; and consulting with our neighboring school districts, the district Transition Team, legal counsel, insurance providers and the Kendall County Health Department.
During the Board of Education meetings on July 19th and August 2nd, we discussed recent CDC guidance, along with a variety of other pandemic-related variables. The Board also discussed a Board Resolution that contains specific guidance for the school district's development of return to school plans. As always, based on local COVID data and/or recommendations from local health officials, the current situation could potentially continue to evolve and change in the days and weeks ahead. However, at this time, the Board asked that I share an update with the basic details about the plans being made for the school year ahead.
The key highlights of the Board Resolution are listed below.
All students will be provided in-person instruction five days per week.
As long as supported by local health data, mask usage is recommended for unvaccinated individuals, but there will be no universal mask mandate for students/staff.
Individuals will not be required to disclose their vaccination status to school district officials. Parents, students and staff may wish to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status to avoid a mandatory quarantine for close contact with a COVID-positive person.
The CDC & IDPH require masks for all students/staff on any school district transportation, this includes busses to/from school and extra-curricular events, driver's education vehicles and district-owned vans, cars, etc.
Remote learning will only be offered to those students under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the IDPH. Remote learning methods will be determined by the individual teacher(s).
Currently, students under age 12 are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, to reduce opportunities for virus transmission, students in grades K-6 will remain in cohorts as much as possible. Students in K-6 cohorts may be required to temporarily mask in the case of a COVID-positive case(s) within the cohort.
School district administration will continuously monitor local health data and consult with local public health officials. This health data will be periodically reported to the Board of Education and school district parents/guardians.
Should local health data require increased mitigations (i.e. mask mandate, increased social distancing, changes in lunch service, remote learning, etc.) the Board of Education and Administration will make such changes to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
All schools in the Plano School District will continue to take mitigation steps to ensure the safety & well-being of students and staff with the implementation of other CDC-recommended health and safety prevention strategies such as:
- social distancing of at least 3 feet whenever possible, to the greatest extent possible
- encouraging parents/guardians to self-check their children daily for COVID symptoms prior to school and keep them home if they display any symptoms
- mandatory quarantines for COVID-positive students and staff
- mandatory quarantines for unvaccinated individuals in close contact with a COVID-positive person
- mandatory quarantines for all individuals with any COVID symptom(s)
- encouraging and practicing proper hand and respiratory hygiene
- ensuring proper ventilation in all schools
- practicing proper cleaning and disinfection of buildings
- acknowledging that CDC guidance recommends that age eligible students (currently age 12 and older) receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Our school district is extremely grateful for the success that we experienced all throughout the challenging 2020-2021 school year. The patience, flexibility and understanding of our entire community was much appreciated as we tackled the many hurdles we faced. Please know that the safety & well-being of our students and staff will always be our number one priority in the Plano School District. We will continue working together as we finalize our plans and move ahead into the new school year. We will also continue to communicate and share any available updates as the first day of school approaches.