Fall Learning Plan
On July 9, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health, (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) updated their guidance for the opening of schools for the 2021-2022 school year. Please take a moment to review this information as we will be following this guidance as we begin school this fall. We will continue to work closely with the Lake County Health Department (LCHD) as they are the health authorities in the local area. As always, guidance from these organizations can change anytime, and we will continue to update our processes as this occurs.
No Masks for Vaccinated Individuals
The good news is that students and staff who are fully vaccinated will not need to wear a mask in school. The exception to this rule is that everyone will be required to wear a mask while riding a bus, as school buses fall into the mass transit type of transportation, and all mass transit operations require riders to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. I encourage every eligible student who is able to get vaccinated to please do so as soon as possible so they are fully vaccinated by the start of school.
Guidelines for Unvaccinated Individuals
Following the CDC guidance, students and staff who are not fully vaccinated will need to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that face masks can be safely worn by all children 2 years of age and older, including the vast majority of children with underlying health conditions, with rare exception. Masking, along with our other mitigation efforts including improved ventilation, handwashing, social distancing, and sanitation, were highly effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 last year. This year, we will provide an optional weekly testing program for unvaccinated individuals. With these mitigation efforts, the guidance states that students may not have to quarantine if they are considered a close contact. Without these mitigation efforts, unvaccinated individuals will need to quarantine for the required 10 days. Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine regardless of the mitigation efforts. I am confident that these efforts will continue to prevent COVID from spreading in our schools. The slide presentation from the July 13, 2021 Board meeting discussion summarizes the guidance and mitigation efforts District 103 will follow.
No Masks Outdoors
When students are outdoors masks are not required.
The District is working with the new guidance this summer to revise our procedures for the return to school. We will communicate these new procedures in mid-August. Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing our students return on August 19!