COVID-19 Resources

Preliminary Pandemic Health and Safety Plan – 2021-2022

With the most recent school guidance released from the CDC, as well as IDPH and ISBE, School District 123 has developed a Pandemic Health and Safety Plan for the 2021-2022 school year.  Throughout the pandemic it has been demonstrated that school systems who implement layered prevention strategies have been able to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open.  As community transmission rates remain at safe levels, keeping our school open will remain a priority.  The plan provides for the safe delivery of in-person instruction in District 123 schools through the integration of key prevention and control components which include:

  • Consistent implementation of layered prevention strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission in schools
  • Consideration of community transmission indicators to reflect levels of community risk
  • A phased prevention approach based on levels of community transmission

This plan emphasizes the implementation of layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together) to protect students, teachers, staff, and other members of their households, as well as the regular monitoring of community transmission.  District 123 has selected a series of recommended prevention strategies to safely guide our learning environments through COVID-19 precautions as levels of community transmission of COVID-19 may fluctuate over time.  Guiding this plan is the CDC’s Science Brief on Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K–12 Schools which summarizes the latest evidence on COVID-19 transmission among children and adolescents and what is known about preventing transmission in schools.

District 123 will continue to monitor the levels of local community transmission and school district conditions when implementing prevention strategies.  Prevention strategies will be intensified if community transmission worsens (i.e., moving from low to moderate to substantial to high community transmission). Intensifying prevention may also involve imposing additional restrictions on band, sports and extracurricular activities to protect the delivery of in-person learning.  To make decisions about preventive actions, School District 123 will take the following information into account:

  • The numbers of COVID-19 cases among students, teachers, and staff, and number of people in quarantine
  • Compliance with prevention strategies
  • Local community transmission rates
  • Updates and new information from public health agencies and/or governmental entities

It is important to note that the transmission levels may change over time and will be reassessed every 7-14 days to maintain situational awareness and inform future decision-making.  A phased prevention plan is meant to supplement, not replace any federal, state, or local health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply. The implementation of this guidance will be done in collaboration with regulatory agencies and state, and local public health departments, and in compliance with state and local policies and practices.

The table below provides a base operational plan to keep our schools open and operating that emphasizes a continuum of layered prevention at all levels of community transmission. Prevention strategies may change over time in response to the conditions around the pandemic, as well as new guidance from federal, state, and/or local authorities.  School District 123 maintains the right and responsibility to adjust and communicate specific response plans with additional layered prevention strategies deemed appropriate for higher transmission rates as conditions may change.  Present preventative measures include, but are not limited to the following:

COVID-19 Community Spread Conditional Metrics:

The following metrics will be used to determine the level of community spread.  The tables following also lists possible prevention strategies that may be used within all Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123 schools.The numbers of COVID-19 cases among students, teachers, and staff, and number of people in quarantine

All District 123 schools will implement 5 key universal prevention strategies throughout all levels of community spread. 

  • Required use of correct face coverings in all buildings and required use of face coverings for all individuals riding school buses.
  • Regular monitoring and proper communication of local transmission rates
  • Enhanced cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation
  • Hand-washing hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine

Based on current pandemic conditions and guidance from public health authorities, we are asking our school community to:

  • Properly wear face coverings while indoors in all District 123 schools and on all District 123 school buses.
  • Return to in-person learning, including regularly scheduled extracurricular programs.
  • Take the advice of health experts to be vaccinated against COVID-19, if eligible.
  • Wear a face covering inside District 123 school buildings. The CDC and IDPH advise that individuals should wear masks indoors. We require that all individuals in school buildings wear masks. Given the current COVID-19 metrics in our community, masks are not a requirement at this time. The requirements for face coverings could change if our area or schools experience an increase in cases or the guidance from governmental or public health authorities change.
  • Stay home if you have signs of any infectious illness and see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance as much as possible within classroom and school settings.
  • Follow all other important layers of prevention that School District 123 will implement, such as COVID-19 screening and testing, hand-washing and respiratory etiquette, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures, as well as the use of cohorting and regular temperature checks.
  • Opt into the District’s forthcoming COVID-19 testing program that will allow for the regular monitoring of transmission levels directly within our school buildings. 

As the school year begins, we will commit to regularly monitoring conditions and making timely communications to the community.  In School District 123 we believe in staying connected to our community and prioritize regular two-way communication.  We will keep the community informed in a timely fashion if transmission levels shift or public health authorities issue new or update guidance that impact our plan.  Many of the data metrics we use will involve rolling 7 day averages which will help us reassess and monitor trends on a regular basis, allowing us time to be responsive to the fluid nature of the virus and provide the community advance notice of any changes at least a week in advance.  As we embark upon the school year the community is invited to share questions or request specific information using the email address or contacting us directly at 708-423-0150.  We are here to support our entire community in making this school year both safe and successful for everyone.

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