Dear Bluestreak Family,
For many of us, this Thanksgiving will mark the first time we have celebrated without our extended families around us. As we go into our holiday break, I am personally grateful for our staff for their ability to adapt to incredibly difficult circumstances, for our parents who have changed their schedules and for our students who have demonstrated tremendous patience and understanding over these last months.
While many rumors have made the rounds about schools shutting down, it does not appear that Governor Pritzker has plans to force another shut down of all schools as he did in the spring. Rather, these decisions will be left up to the districts in conjunction with their local health departments. Our school district strongly believes that keeping school open is vital to our students and our community. Therefore, we will remain open as long as we are allowed to and as long as we have enough staff members to keep going.
In an effort to provide you with more information, the district has started posting COVID-19 statistics on our webpage. The stats can be found under the “District” tab and are broken down by Elementary, JH/HS, and Staff. We will post updates on a regular basis. So far this year, we have not seen any school-based transmission of COVID-19. All positive cases have been traced to outside sources. While no one enjoys having to quarantine, those quarantines added to the protective measures we have in place in the buildings have done exactly what they were designed to do: stop the spread of COVID-19.
Also, at the November board meeting, the school board approved the district’s participation in a COVID-19 rapid testing program. Once all of the state approvals are in place, the district will be able to offer the option of a rapid test to students and staff displaying symptoms in order to help them find out more quickly whether or not they need to isolate or seek further testing or treatment with their own provider. While the district will be able to offer these tests for free, no one will be required to let us test them. It is simply a service we will offer. More details and permission forms will be sent out at a later date.
As we let out for Thanksgiving break, we will be sending home some Chromebooks, math books, and English language arts books with our students to give them a jump start on their work in the event that they would need to quarantine after Thanksgiving or in case we are forced to go remote. Should either of those occur, students will be required to attend school virtually each day they are out unless they are actually too sick to participate. That said, we fully intend to be here with doors open on Monday, November 30th.
Please help us keep our schools safe and open. If your student is sick, keep them home. If your student is supposed to be in quarantine, keep them home.
While this school year has not been what anyone would wish for, I hope each of you can find gratitude and something you are thankful for this holiday season.
Jill Rogers, Superintendent