Return to Headlines

SHIELD Testing Results, Updated COVID-19 Guidance, Free Meal Program Update, Parent Education Opportunities, Curriculum and Instruction Update, Summer School Registration, and Upcoming Events

January 7, 2022

Dear District 31 Community,

Thank you to everyone who helped make our transition back to school smooth despite the many unknowns and growing anxiousness. A special thank you to our students and staff for doing a wonderful job supporting our mitigation strategies and keeping each other safe. 

Earlier today, District 31 received our Shield Illinois Testing results from Wednesday.   We had 54 students and staff test positive for COVID, which is a positivity rate of 7.3%.  Thirty-six of the positive tests were Winkelman staff and students, while eighteen were from Field. These positive tests were from every grade level. This is in addition to individuals who were already home because they had tested positive earlier this week, or were still home because they tested positive over winter break. We appreciate all of the families that kept symptomatic students home this week. Our positivity numbers are comparable to the positivity rates in our community. This communication takes the place of my standard communication about covid positive cases.  Please note, that due to the number of positive cases that ride the buses, we are not able to conduct contact tracing. We are asking bus riders to monitor for symptoms and to take advantage of the extra testing opportunities (see below). If you would like to view our updated dashboard please click here.

I have been in contact with the Cook County Department of Public Health today.  They continue to prioritize in-person instruction and feel that because of our layered mitigation strategies, which includes testing, masking, and social distancing, that District 31 should remain in attendance in person. We may only enter an adaptive pause if, in collaboration with the CCDPH, it was determined that it was not safe to reopen during an outbreak situation or if we did not have sufficient staff to safely operate our in person program (either partially or fully). We would notify parents and staff as quickly as possible if any such situation should occur. Please also note, that ISBE does not permit school districts to replace days of attendance with remote learning days except in limited and specific situations

However, in light of the surge of positive cases in our community, we are working to add an additional day of testing each week for the foreseeable future. We are developing a partnership with Ravinia Health to send home a PCR test kit (nasal or oral swab) every Thursday. This test will be completed at home and brought back to school on Fridays, with results anticipated over the weekend. This is free for our students and staff. More information will be available next week as we finalize our work with Ravinia, as well as with our Shield Illinois Testing partner. Please note that all students will be testing weekly with Shield whether or not they are vaccinated, unless they have been opted out by a parent.

Earlier today, District 31 received communication from Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) that new IDPH/ISBE Isolation and Quarantine Guidance will be released that aligns with the updated CDC guidance that shortens the isolation and quarantine periods for students and staff. The communication from IDPH is available here. District 31 expects to communicate the updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance early next week once it is released. However, until the IDPH/CCDPH procedures, decisions trees and FAQ has been officially updated, we have been directed to continue to follow the existing guidance. Once we receive updates, we will adjust any current quarantines accordingly. 

Finally, we were excited to see that a booster was approved for 12-15 year old who are beyond five months from their initial vaccine. As was shared earlier in the Northfield Township Coronavirus Task Force communication, Northfield Township has once again partnered with the Village of Northbrook to offer a booster clinic at the former Grainger facility on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 17, 2022. Please look for information on this clinic along with opportunities to sign up for the limited number of boosters next week. We continue to encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to keep our community safe and schools open. Vaccinations are readily available through local healthcare providers, state-sponsored vaccination sites, and a variety of commercial venues. 

We are hopeful that the surge will be on the downward trend in the next couple of weeks. It is very important to stay home if your student or a family member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild. And, as a reminder, the best way to minimize your child’s quarantine requirements, and ensure their safety, is to get them vaccinated.

Sincerely,

Dr. Erin K. Murphy 
Superintendent of Schools

Free Meal Program Update
Field will begin providing free take-home breakfast on Friday, January 14. Five days of breakfast meals will be distributed to students as they leave the building each Friday. These meals are intended to provide breakfast for the following week’s five school days. Winkelman breakfast will continue to be served at Winkelman before school each day from 7:50 a.m. - 8:10 a.m.
Learn more about the free meal program here.

COVID-19 Information and Vaccination Reminders

Looking for a Vaccine or Booster? We 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. 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 Monday, January 10.

Connect 31 Parent Education Opportunities
This week, Erin Kranz, an instructional coach at True North, shares an Inclusion Practices video about an IEP and when a child qualifies. View the helpful video here

Learn more about the education series and find other helpful resources at www.district31.net/ParentEducation

Curriculum and Instruction Update
District 31 participates in a comprehensive, local benchmark assessment program that measures student achievement and growth, and provides needed information for instruction and curricular efficacy. Please click here to see the district assessment plan and schedule.

District 31 students participate in NWEA MAP and aimswebPlus this month. In order to assist students in completing NWEA MAP in a timely manner, the district provides additional support for students who take longer than 90 minutes on either or both of the MAP tests. Refer to the weekly principal messages for additional building-specific details.

Each spring students in grades 3-8 participate in federally-mandated assessments: the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA).  These tests were originally scheduled to take place in March of 2022. In order to allow for more instructional weeks prior to the testing, they have been moved to late April.  The specific dates can be found on the district assessment plan and schedule linked above.

Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder Summer School Registration Open
Registration is 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
Glenbrook South Special Education Department Informal Session to Discuss Process and Opportunities Available
Wednesday, January 12 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Register for Webinar here.

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
CATCH Presents Parents Connect
When your child is struggling with their mental health, one of the things you can do to help them is find support for yourself. Join Parents Connect and meet other parents and caregivers who are facing similar challenges.
Learn more and sign up here

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

Community Partner Programs
View information from District 31 Community Partners including the North Suburban YMCA (School Days Out Camp and Summer Camp), Northbrook Girls Softball, and Northbrook Action Baseball.
View Information