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Dear District 31,

Happy New Year! Although I was yearning for a year that we would not have to discuss Covid protocols, 2022 is keeping the questions and concerns about Covid forefront in everyone’s minds. The administrative team and I are urging patience and support as we transition back to in-person learning on Tuesday. District 31 has multiple layers of mitigation in place and we are committed to keeping school safe for students and staff as we follow the Illinois State Board of Education and IDPH guidance for safely prioritizing in-person school for our students.  

The CDC’s new guidance regarding isolation for positive cases does not currently apply to schools in Illinois according to the IDPH and the Illinois State Board of Education. For now, our protocols for positive cases remain the same as before break.  If we are issued additional guidance, we will adjust our practices accordingly.

Please help us keep our District 31 community safe --if your child has symptoms DO NOT SEND THEM TO SCHOOL! If someone in your home has symptoms or has Covid, follow the protocols that have been sent by our nurses and always err on the side of caution. If you have questions, please contact our nurses or review information on our website.

  • Winkelman Nurse - cnielsen@district31.net  
  • Field Nurse - tgastelum@district31.net 

Our best chance of remaining in-person and avoiding quarantine is to have a large percentage of our school population fully vaccinated. 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.  As a student becomes vaccinated, their opportunities for participating in school, even when found to be a close contact, increase!

Our Shield Illinois testing resumes on Wednesday (Field students and p.m. 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.

This week might prove to be a challenge since some families are waiting for private PCR test results. See below for guidance and some of the most common scenarios:

1. Vaccinated Individuals

  • Symptomatic:  Do not send to school. Stay home until PCR results are received.
  • Close contact outside of school:
    • Asymptomatic: May come to school (but monitoring/testing frequently is recommended)
    • Symptomatic: Do not send to school. Stay home until PCR results received

2. Unvaccinated Individuals

  • Symptomatic: Do not send to school. Stay home until PCR results received
  • Close contact outside of school: Stay home for ten days 

Some people have inquired about testing just because of travel (regardless of vaccination status). Testing is optional and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  If your student is symptomatic, do not send them to school.

As we move into 2022, I am confident that we will meet the challenges that lie ahead.  I’m looking forward to starting the second half of the year together, and will continue to communicate as we carefully monitor Covid cases in our buildings. Thank you for your grace, patience, and continued support. The resilience and support of the District 31 community never ceases to amaze me!

Sincerely,

Dr. Erin K. Murphy
Superintendent