Return to COVID-19 Page
Return to Health and Safety Guidance
Q. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, how long do they need to quarantine in District 45?
From IDPH Decision Tree – Stay home at least ten calendar days from onset of symptoms or date of positive test AND for 24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) AND improvement of symptoms. Day 0 is onset of symptoms/date of test. Day 1-10 should be spent at home in isolation, and return on day 11.
Q. If a student is a close contact, how long do they need to quarantine in District 45?
From DCHD website:
It is safe to end quarantine when at least 14 days have passed since your last contact with a person with COVID-19 and you remain healthy, with no symptoms. In case symptoms develop, contact your healthcare provider. If a close contact tests positive, then they are considered a COVID-19 case and need to isolate accordingly.
Close contacts who test negative for COVID-19 during their quarantine period must still complete their quarantine period with symptom monitoring through 14 days from their last exposure to a COVID-19 case. In other words, a close contact cannot “test out of” their full 14-day quarantine period after exposure.
Q. What is an in-school transmission?
In-school transmission is transmission that occurs in the school, when transmission in other settings is ruled out during an investigation by DCHD.
Q. What is a close contact compared to an in-school transmission?
CDC defines a close contact as an individual not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. According to the new CDC close contact definition, classroom students who were within 3 to 6 feet of the infected student are not treated as close contacts as long as both the infected student and exposed student were engaged in consistent and correct use of a well-fitting mask and other K-12 school prevention strategies (such as universal and correct mask use, physical distancing, increased ventilation) were in place in the K12 setting. In other words, only classroom contacts within 3 feet require quarantine even if both the case and the contact were consistently masked. If they were not consistently masked, then close contacts are classroom students who were within 6 feet of the infected student for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
An in-school transmission is a case that has been confirmed to have been spread at school, not in any other setting.
Q. Does District 45 have any confirmed in-school transmissions?
District 45 does not currently have a confirmed in-school transmission or outbreak. However, that does not mean it is impossible for it to happen.
Q. Who determines if there has been an in-school transmission?
The DCHD confirms in-school transmission and will inform District 45 of their findings.
Q. Are there confirmed in-school transmissions in DuPage County?
The DCHD does not share publicly in-school transmission numbers. They do, however, record and report outbreaks publicly. There have been outbreaks in schools in DuPage County.
Q. Why isn’t District 45 notifying families with more specific information of a positive case or of the location where a close contact occurred (ie. classroom, bus, lunchroom, etc.)?
In order to not violate Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), District 45 does not provide any identifying information regarding a confirmed or suspected case.
The U.S. Department of Education cautions districts to ensure that in releasing facts, they do so in a manner that does not disclose other information that, alone or in combination, would allow a reasonable person in the school community to identify the students or staff who are absent due to COVID-19 with reasonable certainty.
Q. What type of face coverings will be required?
According to ISBE’s Part 3 Transition guidance, “ Ensure that the face covering fully covers the mouth and nose, and that the covering fits snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps.” Parents are free to have children wear their own face covering as long as they meet the guidance from ISBE and IDPH.
Q. Will students be required to wear face coverings at all times?
Yes while indoors, per Governor Pritzker’s mandate on August 4, 2021. Face coverings will not be required during lunch, outdoors, and designated face covering break time when social distancing guidelines are adhered to. All persons on school grounds including students, teachers, school nurses, administrative and secretarial staff, food service personnel, custodial staff, public safety personnel, etc., must wear a face covering at all times when in school or in transit to and from school via group conveyance (i.e., school buses), unless a specific exemption applies.
In accordance with the District’s Return to School Guidelines, and the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education guidance, there may be students in our schools who are unable to wear face coverings due to medical or disability related reasons. In these cases, the District will be taking additional health and safety precautions, including increased social distancing to the extent possible, use of dividers, and additional cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas.
Q. My child has a medical condition that would prevent them from wearing a face covering all day. Can he or she be excused from the face covering requirement?
Individuals who have a condition or medical contraindication (e.g., difficulty breathing) that prevents them from wearing a face covering are required to provide documentation from the individual’s healthcare provider. These persons may wear a face shield in lieu of a face covering; however social distancing must be strictly enforced. Measures to reduce risk of exposure for these persons should be implemented where possible. The District will require physicians notes and authorization for exchange of medical information for students and staff who are not able to wear a face covering.
Q. Younger children may have a difficult time keeping face coverings on. How will this be addressed?
We will address this by creating a culture of safety and awareness in our schools. We fully understand that children and adults may need some time to adjust to wearing a face covering during the school day. We will work with students on an individual level to help them stay safe. Our community can help students adjust to face coverings as well. Parents can talk positively to their children about the need to wear a face covering in school to help keep people safe and healthy. They can practice wearing face coverings for increasing amounts of time during the remainder of summer break to prepare students for wearing face coverings at school.
Q. Will our students be required to keep face coverings on the entire time they are in school?
Face coverings may be temporarily removed at school at the following times:
When eating or drinking.
When outdoors and physical distancing can be maintained.
Q. What if a student forgets to bring a face covering?
Disposable face coverings will be available for all students, staff, or visitor who may forget their face covering.
Q. Will students need to take a COVID-19 test every time they exhibit one or more symptoms?
The family will be contacted by the District nurse to discuss specifics related to the child’s symptoms and will work with the DCHD and CDC to determine next steps.
Q. Will schools be offering COVID-19 testing?
No. We will not be testing students for COVID-19. At this time, COVID-19 testing should be conducted at a licensed medical facility.
Q. Should children be kept home if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19?
Children exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19 should remain at home. If your child has seasonal allergies or something that could mimic any of the symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you reach out to the school directly with documentation from your medical provider indicating the alternate diagnosis.
Q. What if a parent sends their child to school with a fever? How would you know?
If a student arrives at school or develops a fever at school the student will be separated and evaluated by the Health Office. The school will contact parents immediately and have the parents pick up the child.
Q. If a student has year-round allergies and sneezes frequently, will that be problematic?
No. Documentation of other health conditions will be taken into account when assessing student symptoms.
Q. Will there be markings for distancing on the sidewalks around the building and/or in classrooms and hallways?
The need and format for markings inside and outside of buildings will be made based on the specific needs of individual buildings and classrooms.
Q. How will arrival and dismissal be managed considering social distancing requirements?
Arrival and dismissal procedures will be designed to maximize social distancing within each building.
Q. What procedures will be used for arrival, dismissal, restroom breaks, class changes, face covering breaks, etc.?
These specific procedures will be developed at the building level and will align with District guidelines regarding social distancing.
Q. Where will students put their belongings?
This will be determined at the building level with the intent to limit high-touch areas.
Q. Will there be hand sanitizers in each room?
Q. How often will cleaning/disinfecting occur?
High-touch surfaces in classrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Bathrooms, hallways, cafeterias, gyms, and entryways will be cleaned on a regular basis or as used/needed. Buses will be cleaned by the transportation company.
Q. Will students be permitted to have water bottles at school?
Students are able to bring individual water bottles from home. Bottle-refilling stations will be available, but water fountains will not be available.
Q. Will frequent hand-washing be mandated?
Students and staff will have frequent opportunities to use hand sanitizer or to wash their hands with soap and water.
Q. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, what is the protocol? Do all need to quarantine?
Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 must be quarantined for the amount of days recommended by the IDPH and the DCHD. Quarantine measures for others are dependent upon many factors. Please see the following guidance (IDPH Decision Tree).
Q. What are the protocols for when a family member of a student tests positive for COVID-19?
The student will be quarantined and may return after 10/14-days from the date of last contact (depending on the circumstances) with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Please see the following guidance (IDPH Decision Tree).
Q. If a family member tests positive, will families be required to share that information with the school?
In order to work collaboratively to ensure the safety of all stakeholders in our District 45 community, we ask that you let us know if your child has had close contact with a family member or friend who is either exhibiting symptoms of or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Examples include siblings, parents, grandparents, other relatives, babysitters, etc. whether they reside in your home or not.
Q. How will parents and staff be notified of a COVID-19 positive student?
While ensuring individual privacy to the extent required, the school health office will inform parents and staff of the steps we are taking to address the situation.
Q. If there is an outbreak of COVID-19, at what point will the schools shut down again?
In addition to reviewing the CDC and DCHD guidance, the administration will assess the unique circumstances of the situation and will determine if shutting down a particular building or the District is appropriate. We will communicate any changes as they are decided.
Q. What happens if a teacher tests positive for COVID-19? Will there be substitutes?
Substitute teachers will be available, and the District is pursuing the addition of permanent substitute teachers.
Q. How will children be able to physically distance in the classroom?
The ISBE guidance for schools is to physically distance as much as possible.
Q. Will the students need to remain at their desks during their entire time in the classroom?
To ensure social distancing and contract tracing, students will be in their desks the majority of the time. Students will have opportunities for various movement breaks in and outside their classroom, while still ensuring social distance.
Q. What does close contact mean?
CDC defines a close contact as an individual not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. According to the new CDC close contact definition, classroom students who were within 3 to 6 feet of the infected student are not treated as close contacts as long as both the infected student and exposed student were engaged in consistent and correct use of a well-fitting mask and other K-12 school prevention strategies (such as universal and correct mask use, physical distancing, increased ventilation) were in place in the K12 setting. In other words, only classroom contacts within 3 feet require quarantine even if both the case and the contact were consistently masked. If they were not consistently masked, then close contacts are classroom students who were within 6 feet of the infected student for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period
Q. Will schools allow visitors into the building?
Only visitors with an essential purpose will be admitted to the building. Visitors will be admitted with administrative approval. Anyone who must be on school grounds for an essential purpose is required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing.
Q. How will younger students be treated if they accidentally violate social distancing by sharing, talking too close, etc?
Through all these requirements, we know children will still be children. We will create a culture of safety with our students and use positive redirection for all of our students to be as safe as possible. Through these new requirements for students, we will evaluate each situation through educating our students.
Q. How will the school protect students’ emotional and social well-being?
This has been a trying time for students as well as adults and the social and emotional well being of our students is vitally important. The District employs social workers, psychologists, and other support personnel that will work with staff to monitor students’ well-being. Additionally, we will be working with our community mental health partners to provide assistance to our students, staff, and community. We will be providing additional services remotely and in-person.
Q. What additional resources are in place to help students, families, and teachers address the added stress and anxiety caused by the current situation?
District social workers, school psychologists and guidance counselors have met throughout the summer to plan and gather resources to support students, staff and families. They will mobilize with administrators in early August to plan for tiered supports within each school. The PBIS teams in each school will develop activities to help students transition back into school and learn the new protocols for face coverings and social distancing. Individual needs assessments will be completed with each student upon the return to school in order to determine where we can provide school-wide, grade level, small group or individual supports.
Q. Will playgrounds be open?
Yes. Playgrounds will be open for student use.
Q. How will the District accommodate high-risk students with pre-existing conditions or immunocompromised students?
Given the ISBE Declaration to return to in-person learning, the District will support medically compromised students through our Homebound/Hospital Instruction policy. Students would be assigned a teacher of record at his or her home school, and a highly qualified teacher/tutor would provide direct instruction and/or support. Homebound/Hospital Instruction to student when a physician certifies that 10+ days of school will be missed due to a medical condition. Homebound/Hospital Instruction requires 5+ hours per week of instruction unless the physician certifies a need for less.
Q. Can my child access remote learning if he or she is in quarantine?
Yes. Your child will be able to access remote instruction if he or she has not received a COVID-19 vaccine only while they are under a confirmed quarantine consistent with guidance or requirements from a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. Families will be notified by the school if their child(ren) are required to quarantine and arrangements for remote learning will be confirmed.
Q. Can my child access remote learning for non-COVID related reasons?
No. Absences that are not related to required COVID quarantine will be subject to pre-pandemic procedures in which work may be provided by teachers.
Q. Are any remote learning programs available during the 2021-22 school year if I prefer that for my child?
No. Due to the ISBE declaration to resume fully in-person learning, the District is not offering remote learning. We will support medically compromised students through our Homebound/Hospital Instruction as we have in the past.
Q. Are there any changes regarding immunizations for this year?
There are no changes to grade level immunization requirements for this year. All students must meet immunization requirements.
Q. Will the windows on the bus be opened to increase ventilation?
Yes. Weather permitting, we will open bus windows to increase ventilation.
Q. Will face coverings be required to be worn on the bus?
Yes. Face coverings are required to be worn on the bus.
Q. Will students who take the bus be health screened before they get on the bus?
Parents will self-certify the health screening before students board the bus.
Q. Will hand sanitizer be available on the bus?
Q. Will extracurricular activities or sports be allowed?
Extracurricular activities and sports are being re-evaluated on a case-by-case basis. School-based communication will be shared about available activities.
Q. Will band/orchestra/choir be offered this year?