Approved by the Board of Education: August 12, 2021
CUSD #6 has prepared its plans and protocols based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) and the Edgar County Public Health Department
U.S. Congress made emergency funds available to local school districts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Funds through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act require that school districts develop a Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services.
The school will continue to work with the health departments to share information, and students and staff will be quarantined based on health guidelines. We recognize that this plan will not align with the personal philosophies of every family in our district.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 situation in our state and country, guidance from ISBE, IDPH, and other higher officials is changing at a rapid pace. As a result, this plan can and will change to be in compliance with up to date guidance. CUSD #6 will communicate changes with its families as this occurs.
All Edgar County CUSD #6 schools will be open fully for in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year, with full school days releasing at 2:50 (ELE) and 3:05 (JH/HS) unless otherwise noted on the district calendar. Remote instruction will only be made available for non-vaccinated or vaccine ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the Edgar County Public Health Department.
We will use the following guidelines while in school:
– Per the mandate by Governor Pritzker, masks will be required while indoors for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are recommended outdoors during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission.
– Masks will be required by all, regardless of vaccination status, while riding a school bus. Students are expected to bring a mask every day while riding a bus or when going to and from extracurricular activities on a bus.
– Masks will be required by all students during indoor extracurricular activities, including sports practices and games.
– To the greatest extent possible, staff and faculty will help students commit to social distancing while in and around the school building and during extracurricular events.
– This will be done by arranging desks and other furniture 6 feet apart and providing assigned seating as well as marking paths of travel in the hallways. Logistical changes will be made to bus loading & unloading, hall passing periods, mealtimes, bathroom breaks, etc. to ensure student and staff safety.
Staff and students should abstain from physical contact, including, but not limited to, handshakes, high fives, hugs, etc. Teacher workrooms will be arranged to facilitate social distancing.
– Social distancing will be practiced as much as possible when in cafeteria lines and eating indoors.
– Locker assignments in the JH & HS will be staggered and rearranged to promote social distancing and to discourage clustering during passing periods
– Locker Rooms will be used for JH & HS PE classes, a change of clothing will be required for students to participate in PE.
Hand washing&Respiratory Etiquette
– School staff and faculty will teach hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and assist young children with hand washing.
– Staff will remind everyone to wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer provided by the school when that is not possible
– Staff will teach and remind students to cover their coughs and sneezes.
– School custodians and transportation staff will clean surfaces daily. Further, more rigorous cleaning will be done to areas occupied by someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours.
– When possible, staff will open doors and windows and have outside classes or lunch, when circumstances allow
– Water fountains have been transitioned into touch less water bottle filling stations. Students are encouraged to bring their own bottles.
Contact Tracing, Isolation,&Quarantine
– Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, or any other illness, should stay home. If COVID-19 symptoms, a negative test will be required before returning to school. There will be no penalty for missing school due to quarantine or isolation.
– Individuals at school who show COVID-19 symptoms are immediately to report to the office to receive a COVID-19 test (with parental consent), be sent home, or be quarantined in the school’s supervised safe areas while awaiting pickup or evaluation.
– Students and staff who are unvaccinated and are exposed to someone with COVID-19 should quarantine. Those who are fully vaccinated and in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 do not need to quarantine unless they begin to be symptomatic themselves. Quarantine decisions will be made by the Edgar County Public Health Department. Return to school will be determined by the Edgar County Public Health Department.
– Exposure examples can include any of the following circumstances, however are not limited to:
– Within 6 feet of the COVID+ person for more than 15 minutes cumulatively in a 24 hour period
– 3-6 feet of distance will be used for contact tracing IF both people were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks, regardless of vaccination status
– Having direct skin-to-skin contact with the COVID+ person
– Within 6 feet of the COVID+ person for any amount of time in an enclosed space with poor air ventilation (school bus)
– Student absences due to isolation or quarantine will be recorded as excused absences. School work missed during such an absence can be requested and made up during or after the absence. Any other needs will be provided in accordance with a student’s IEP or 504 Plan.
– Teachers at the Junior High and High School buildings will livestream many, if not all of their classes in the event students are in quarantine. Students are highly encouraged to participate in these video sessions, in order to ensure no academic time is lost during the absence. If a family has no internet access, contact Mr. Huber and the school will provide it if requested.
– School administrators will inform families and the community of outbreaks while maintaining student and staff confidentiality rights.
– As an alternative to remote learning, the CDC & IDPH have allowed a Test-to-Stay strategy, where if a person is identified as a close contact to someone COVID-19 positive, they can be given a COVID-19 test on days 1, 3, 5, & 7 of exposure.
– This option is only available if both people were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks, regardless of vaccination status.
– Students engaged in the program will be classified as ‘in quarantine’ by the Edgar County Public Health Department, but will be allowed to continue going to school, in-person as long as they continue to receive negative tests in each of the days. At the conclusion of the 7th test, their quarantine status will be removed.
– The Test-to-Stay program is only for academic purposes, and does not apply to extracurricular activities. Students will not be allowed to participate in or attend any extracurricular activities and will be in quarantine outside of normal school hours.
– If at any time the student tests positive or becomes symptomatic, they should be immediately isolated and sent home, and the local health department notified.
– Any staff member or student may request a COVID-19 test by the school’s nurse if they have any symptoms. This test is free of charge and if negative, the student or staff member may return to class immediately afterwards.
– The Edgar County Public Health Department is sponsoring regular COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
These can be found at https://ecphd.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-sign-up/.
– One such clinic will be hosted at Chrisman HS/JH, August 21st from 12:00-1:30 pm.
This will be available for anyone in our area 12 years of age or older. Sign up on the website above.
– Additional vaccine clinics are available at https://www.vaccines.gov/
Disabilities orOtherHealth CareNeeds
– Parents of students who need accommodations, modifications, or assistance related to COVID-19 safety protocols, disabilities, underlying medical conditions, or weakened immune systems should contact their student’s case manager to discuss the needs. Staff members with similar needs or a sincerely held religious belief or practice should contact their school’s principal to discuss the need.
– Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated are discouraged from visiting schools. IEP, 504, or other parent meetings can be held virtually or in-person, depending on the preference of the teacher or parent/guardian.
Collaboration with PublicHealthOfficials
– District officials will continue to collaborate with the Edgar County Public Health Department throughout the pandemic on decision-making including, but not limited to, quarantines, school health and safety protocols, screening testing ,contact tracing, vaccine clinics, and emergency school closings.
– All meals, both breakfast and lunch, will be free of charge to all students all year.
– Social distancing will be maintained when possible. Seating and standing spaces will be clearly marked to prevent clustering.
– Student grade levels will be arranged in different locations to keep spacing and to keep under the maximum limit of people in one space. Students will go outdoors whenever possible
– Meals will be individually plated or packaged, there will be no a la carte or optional items offered.
– No cash will be accepted during lunch periods, all payments will need to be made before or after school in the office.
– Areas where students consume meals will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Food service personnel will use appropriate PPE, including gloves and face coverings, while preparing and distributing food.
– Hand hygiene will be promoted prior to and after eating a meal or consuming any food items, and hand sanitizer will be available at food service locations.
Approved by the Board of Education: August 12, 2021