2021-2022 Plan for Safe Return to School

2021-2022 Plan for Safe Return to School
Posted on 08/24/2021

Central Community High School District #71
Plan for Safe Return to School
August 5th, 2021

Maintaining the Health and Safety of Students, Educators, and Other Staff

In accordance with the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools July 9, 2021 declaration, Central CHSD #71 will be open fully for in-person learning for all student attendance days for the 2021-22 school year. Remote instruction will only be made available for vaccine ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. Absent an order from the Illinois State Board of Education and/or the Illinois Governor’s Office, Central CHSD #71 will be in operation in accordance with the CDC’s updated (July 9, 2021) Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Kindergarten (K)-12 Schools, also adopted by the IDPH on July 9, 2021. These guidelines include the following:

 1. Mask Use

  • Mask use is required indoors for students, staff and visitors.

2. Physical Distancing

  • To the extent possible within school and classroom structures so that it does not exclude students from full day in-person learning, school staff are to help students commit to physical distancing as much as possible by:
    • arranging furniture and materials to reinforce physical distancing of at least 3 feet;
    • providing assigned seating for students and encourage students to remain in these seats to the greatest extent possible; and 
  • School staff will maximize physical distance as much as possible when moving through food service lines and while eating indoors. Aside from the cafeteria, additional spaces for mealtime seating will be utilized when available and feasible (e.g., weather permitting). Students and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to distance while eating.
  • Physical distancing measures are to be done in an equitable manner that does not perpetuate academic or other tracking (e.g., separating people into fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cohorts).

3. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

  • School staff will monitor and reinforce frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette by
    • continuing to teach handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • reminding everyone in the facility to wash hands frequently;
    • using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when handwashing is not possible;
    • continuing to teach respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes)

4. Facility Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation

  •  School maintenance staff and transportation staff will continue to clean surfaces daily. To further reduce the risk of spreading infection, these staff will also use disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 “List N” to disinfect spaces occupied by someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours.
  • Central High School will use a state of the art air ionization and filtration system to clean the air building-wide.
  • Maintenance staff will continue to regularly replace school ventilation system filters by using high-efficiency particulate air filters.
  • When possible, staff will open doors and windows, use child-safe fans, and have activities, classes, or lunches outdoors when circumstances allow.
  • When it does not pose a safety risk, transportation staff will keep vehicle windows open at least a few inches to improve air circulation.

 5. Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantine

  • Students and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and contact their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • Individuals in our school environments who show symptoms of COVID-19 are to immediately report to or be escorted to the school’s health care professional’s office to be either sent home or be quarantined in the school’s supervised safe area while awaiting pickup/evaluation. Students and staff are required to wear masks while in the safe area. Parents should ensure that ill students are picked up from school within 30 minutes of being notified. Ill students will not be allowed to utilize the school bus to return home.
  • Students and staff who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine after a recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. “Exposure” is classified as inside of 3 feet for longer than 15 minutes.
  • Fully vaccinated people who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but do NOT have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or be tested.
  • Student absences related to a COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded as excused. To ensure continuity of services, school work missed during such an absence can be requested and made up in accordance with the school’s policy (refer to student handbook); social, emotional, mental health, or other needs will be provided in accordance with a student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Parents of students who have social, emotional, mental health, or other needs outside of an IEP or 504 Plan should contact Dr. Ketchum to discuss needs. Remote instruction will only be made available for vaccine ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • To the extent allowable by privacy laws and other applicable laws, school health care professionals will continue to collaborate with Clinton County Health Department officials to confidentially provide information about people diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, including making notifications to staff and parents as soon as possible regarding those who were in close contact of someone in the school who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The school administration will inform the school community of outbreaks while maintaining student and staff confidentiality rights.
  • Students and staff suspected of having COVID-19, whether they were tested or not, are to follow the CDC guidelines to determined when they can return to school.

 6. Promoting Vaccination

  • Working with the Clinton County Health Department, Central has provided multiple vaccine clinics for our students and the community. We will continue to support this effort.
  •  Those who want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can visit vaccines.gov to find out where they can get vaccinated in our community.
  •  Although Central supports the County’s vaccination efforts, we will in no way implement systems that may be used to identify students and staff based on their vaccination status. We will always be respectful of peoples’ varying levels of vaccine confidence.

 7. Disabilities or Other Health Care Needs

  • 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 need(s).

 8. Visitors

  •  Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated are discouraged from visiting schools.

9. Collaboration with Public Health Officials

  • District officials will continue to collaborate and consult with Clinton County Health Department officials throughout a pandemic on various logistics and decision-making including, but not limited to, school health and safety protocols, screening testing, contact tracing, vaccine clinics, and emergency school closings.

 10. Plan Review

  •  Through September 30, 2023, this plan will be reviewed no less frequently than every six months and revised as appropriate after seeking and considering public input. Revisions will address the most recently updated safety recommendations by the CDC, provided in an alternative format accessible to parents who are individuals with a disability as defined by the ADA, and made publicly available on the district’s website.
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