Updated School Guidance

Updated School Guidance

The following letter was sent on Jan 14, 2022 from Superintendent Paul Enderle regarding updated guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

School District 123 Community:

On January 11, 2022, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provided new guidance on quarantine and isolation to schools across the State of Illinois. The new guidance reduces the minimum length of quarantine/exclusion under specific situations for students and staff who are close contacts or recovering from COVID-19 to five days. Additionally, the IDPH/ISBE also updated the definition of a close contact, and provided additional guidance regarding test to stay opportunities for unvaccinated students.

Currently, District 123 is reviewing all students and staff who are currently isolated/excluded based on their status as a close contact or as a positive case. If the eligible return date for any student currently in isolation or quarantine requires changes because of the new guidance, we will be reaching out to families as soon as possible. Additional changes from the newly released guidance are listed below.

5-Day Isolation

  • Isolation occurs when a person is diagnosed positive for COVID-19
  • Positive students and staff can return to in-person instruction when at least five days have passed since symptom onset or specimen collection
  • Individuals must remain asymptomatic or symptoms must be improving.
  • Fever free for 24 hours

5-Day Quarantine

  • Quarantine occurs when a person is exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes.
  • Fully vaccinated students are exempt from quarantine if asymptomatic.
  • Close contact quarantine for a period of five days.
  • Following the end of the exclusion period, a student may return to school if they remain asymptomatic.

Close Contacts

  • Students in a classroom setting (indoors or outdoors) between 3 and 6 feet who are both consistently and correctly masked should not be considered close contacts.
  • Students who have completed COVID-19 primary vaccine series (and booster doses if applicable) and remain asymptomatic, and those with documented COVID19 infection within the past 90 days, are exempted from quarantine or exclusion.

Test to Stay

  • Unvaccinated school-day close contacts who remain symptom-free may continue to attend school if they participate in a test to stay program.
  • District 123 is currently awaiting BinaxNOW antigen tests from the State of Illinois to begin the test to stay program. Additional information about the test to stay program will be communicated to District 123 families as soon as the district receives the necessary testing supplies.

Facial Coverings

  • All students must continue to wear a face covering while at any school or any school activity.
  • Facial coverings should consist of:
    • Two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
    • Completely cover your nose and mouth
    • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps.

Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 will continue to prioritize in-person instruction in accordance with guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Please continue to remain vigilant with all COVID-19 protocols so that our children can remain within District 123 classrooms where we know they are served best.


Paul J. Enderle, Ed.D.

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