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December 30, 2022

Dear District 31 Community,

I hope you all have had a restful break and that you have remained healthy this holiday season.  As we turn our eyes to safely welcoming our students and staff back in 2022, especially in light of the increasing Covid-19 metrics in our state and local area, we want to share with you some reminders and information.  

Although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has adopted new guidance for quarantine situations, today the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) shared that schools should continue to follow the existing (pre winter break) 
guidance for schools.  Thus, reduced quarantine times have not been extended to schools at this point.  You can read the IDPH press release here.    

As we prepare for a return to school on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, I want to highlight a few important notes and recommendations:

  • We encourage students to get tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to school/work, although we understand that it is challenging to find tests. A list of some testing locations can be accessed here.
  • Our Shield Illinois testing resumes on Wednesday (Field students and pm preschool students will have samples collected on Tuesday.  As a response to the increasing rates, we will be testing ALL students -- vaccinated or unvaccinated.  This is a change from the information shared before break. If you would like to opt your student out, please let your school nurse know.  If a student was previously opted out they will remain on the opt out list unless we are informed that you would like them to test. 
  • If your child had Covid over break, please make sure that you let our nurses know so we can update our records and ensure that they are not being tested.
  • We continue to encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccinations are readily available through local healthcare providers, state-sponsored vaccination sites, and a variety of commercial venues.  Once vaccinated, please notify the school of your student’s vaccination status by sending a photo of the vaccination card to your school nurse. 
  • If your student or a family member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild,  please do not send them to school, and report your status to the appropriate school as soon as possible.
  • Upon our return next week, we will be emphasizing our mitigation strategies such as masks, maximized physical distancing in school, frequent and on-going cleaning and disinfecting of the school environment, and frequent hand washing.
  • Although we are NOT planning to move to remote learning currently or issue an adaptive pause, I have received a number of questions about the topic.  We would move in this direction if we were directed to pause in person learning by the Cook County Health Department due to an outbreak situation or if we did not have sufficient staff to safely operate our in person program.  This could be at a classroom, grade, or school level. We would notify parents and staff as quickly as possible of any such situation.

Thank you for your on-going support of our COVID-19 prevention and response protocols.

Sincerely,

Dr. Erin K. Murphy 
Superintendent of Schools

SHIELD Testing Update
Given the rising positive COVID-19  rate, all students, vaccinated or not, will be included in SHIELD testing. If you had previously opted out your child, they will still be opted out. If you would like to opt your child out of testing, please let the school nurse know by noon on Tuesday.

Tiger Athletics Update
All Field Middle School athletics are cancelled for the week of January 3 - January 7.

Illinois Department of Commerce Office of Employment and Training Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Expanded
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Employment and Training is collaborating with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to highlight the expansion of the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). This program offers 3 months of free child care coverage to eligible parents who are unemployed and looking to enter the workforce. Learn more about the program in this flyer. To apply visit Illinois Network of Child Care website or call 877-202-4453. 

For assistance with your job search, visit your local Illinois workNet American Job Center. Find your local Center using the Service Finder.

COVID-19 Information and Vaccination Reminders
Looking for a Vaccine or Booster? Find convenient locations to receive a vaccine or booster shot and other important information at www.vaccines.gov.

Please remember to send a picture/ copy of your child’s vaccine card to the school nurse after they receive their second shot. Students are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot.

View the latest District 31 COVID-19 information
here. The health and safety dashboard will be updated after winter break.

Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder Summer School Registration Open
Registration is now open for Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder at Winkelman School.  Register here through February 28 for an early registration discount. 
View Flyer here

Important Dates and Upcoming Events
Academic Curriculum Meeting for 8th Grade Parents @GBS and @GBN
Thursday, January 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School
Monday, January 17

PTO Meeting
Tuesday, January 18 at 7 p.m.

Board of Education Meeting
Thursday, January 20 at 7 p.m.

PTO Restaurant Fundraiser - Viccino’s Pizza Company
Thursday, January 20, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. 

PTO Magical Math Night
Friday, January 21 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Virtual event for K - 8th 

Counselors meet with 8th grade students @ GBN and GBS
Wednesday, January 26 from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Incoming Student Athletics/Activities Night @ GBS
Wednesday, January 26 at 7 p.m.

Graduation Pictures at Field 
Thursday, January 27 

PTO Restaurant Fundraiser - North Branch
Tuesday, February 8 

Community News and  Events
GBS’s Annual Arts in the Community Workshop
Saturday, April 9 (Register by January 11)
Learn more and register here

COVID-19 Testing Available at Flick Park
M-F 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Weekends: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Northshore Clinical Labs is extending the Flick Park COVID-19 testing site until June 1, 2022. This site remains open to all regardless of insurance and continues to have same day availability. They offer PCR tests and occasional rapid testing (based on supply).
COVID-19 TESTING Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Lasagna Love
Ongoing Effort
Lasagna Love connects neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery. The mission is simple: feed families, spread kindness, and strengthen communities. Learn more at www.lasagnalove.org.