District 123 – Back to School Reminders
Good Afternoon District 123 Families:
We are excited to welcome all of our students back to school this Wednesday, August 18th. We look forward to a successful and safe school year as we continue to take all reasonable measures to keep our students, staff, and visitors safe.
To ensure that our students and staff are safe, we want to remind you of a few important preventative measures that are in effect for the beginning of this school year. Please note that these are all subject to review and revision based on updated guidance and community COVID-19 metrics.
All families are expected to monitor their students’ health and are directed to keep students home if any COVID-19 symptoms are present, including a cough or fever. Students will NOT certify they are symptom-free each day, as was done last year. However, we cannot stress enough the importance of STAYING HOME when not feeling well. By sending your student(s) to school, you are “certifying” they are symptom-free. We will continue to conduct temperature checks as students enter our school buildings.
Masks must be appropriately worn by everyone while inside the school building. There are a few exceptions to this mandate, such as while eating or during outdoor activities such as recess or mask breaks. Students will NOT be allowed to attend classes without properly wearing a mask. If necessary, the school discipline system will be used to enforce Governor Pritzker’s executive order that requires the wearing of masks in schools throughout the State of Illinois.
This year, all District 123 students will have an opportunity to be screen-tested weekly for COVID-19 via the Shield Illinois program, sponsored by the University of Illinois. The testing procedure is quick, simple, and non-invasive, with students providing a small amount of saliva that is tested at a professional lab and results provided in less than 24 hours. The program offers students the opportunity to reduce or waive quarantine requirements in the event of close contact with a positive case or if the student demonstrates symptoms.
We want all students to participate in the testing program, regardless of vaccination status. Parents will be asked to opt their students into the program.
You can submit questions regarding the District 123 Shield Illinois program to WeGotThis@d123.org.
Thank you for your continued partnership in helping us keep our schools and our children safe and healthy as we navigate yet another new school year. We look forward to seeing our students and families on our first day of school on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021.
Paul J. Enderle
University of Illinois Shield Program FAQ
What is a COVID-19 screen testing program through SHIELD Illinois?
School District 123 has partnered with the University of Illinois to conduct weekly tests for students, teachers, and staff members for COVID-19 infection. Families will be asked to opt their students into the testing program in order to have your student tested for COVID-19 infection.
When will the program start and how often will your child be tested?
Testing is scheduled to begin the week of September 6, 2021. We are arranging for our Testing Partner to test the students at least 1 time per week
What is the test and why is District 123 implementing this program?
Your child will receive a free diagnostic COVID-19 test conducted by collecting saliva (spit). Participating in the testing program will help prevent the virus spread in the school setting by identifying and isolating asymptomatic and positive individuals as early as possible. The testing program will allow students with symptoms and/or a “close contact” with a positive case to reduce or eliminate quarantine requirements, via the IDPH “Test to Stay” protocols. This is an important strategy to minimize unnecessary student absence.
How will I know if my child tests positive?
You will receive access to your child’s test results via an online platform. We will share information about this platform in a future correspondence. District 123 will also receive test results and will notify you of any positive result.
What should I do when I receive my child’s test results?
If your child’s test results are positive, please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results and discuss next steps. Typically, infective individuals need to be isolated for a 10-day period. If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the COVID-19 virus was not detected. Tests sometimes produce incorrect negative results called “false negatives” in people who have COVID-19. If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call your child’s doctor.
Who will receive my child’s test results?
In addition to you receiving your child’s test results, School District 123 and the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) will also receive your child’s test results, consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code.
Do I need to take any other action?
No other action is required if you consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection pursuant to the above terms. If you DO NOT consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection, and complete the OPT-IN process in Skyward Family Access your child will not be tested.