August 14, 2020 – The following is a letter that was sent from Superintendent Paul Enderle to the District 123 community regarding updated health guidance for the start of the school year.
District 123 Families and Staff:
I hope this message finds you and your families well and enjoying the summer. On August 13, 2020 all Illinois school districts received updated guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regarding the reopening of schools.
Over the summer months, District 123 has been hard at work planning for our Return to School and carefully using requirements from our local health departments as a guide in keeping our schools safe. Along with our current preparations, this newly updated IDPH guidance will continue to inform our path forward as we move closer to the start of the 2020-2021 school year next week.
This additional guidance from IDPH addresses a number of topics including the management of ill students and staff, face coverings and PPE and their use in special situations, how to identify close contacts, alternative strategies for school closures, as well as communicating and reporting public health information. As a result of this new guidance, we have updated our Together Again Community FAQ document to reflect these additions.
The essential back to school health and safety requirements that ISBE and IDPH have established for all public and private schools in Illinois have gone unchanged. They remain:
- Face coverings are required.
- Students and staff must stay six feet apart as much as possible.
- No more than 50 people are allowed in one space at a time.
- Schools must conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are symptom-free before entering school buildings. Anyone experiencing symptoms must stay home.
- A required increase in cleaning and disinfection within school spaces, as well as time for students to frequently wash hands.
- Schools may implement creative scheduling or a combination of in-person and remote learning.
As we prepare for our first days of school on August 19th and 20th in District 123, we will remain deeply committed to sharing frequent communication and timely updates about the new school year.
Thank you for your continued partnership in helping us keep our schools and our children safe and healthy as we continue to work together as a school community.
Paul J. Enderle