Health & Safety Protocols

District 34’s goal is to keep all students, in person, every day in the safest environment possible. To reach that goal, the District will continue to follow guidance from the leading public health agencies (as we have done throughout the pandemic). 

On July 9, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance for schools; the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) quickly followed the CDC’s lead, and the Illinois State Board of Education adopted the IDPH guidance. You can view details of the guidance: 

The guidance covers several key areas to encourage school districts to track local conditions and have a layered strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The layered approach is necessary in an environment where not all students are eligible for vaccination, and at a time when the Delta variant is becoming more prevalent. 

Staff members and students (or someone in that individual's household with whom it is not possible to mask and distance at all times) who are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test outside of SHIELD screening should remain home until they receive a negative test result. 

A Wording Change: Quarantine to Exclusion

On Friday, September 17, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-24 concerning school exclusion for individuals with confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, as well as those who are close contacts. The Executive Order requires all schools to exclude students and school personnel who meet certain COVID-19-related criteria regardless of whether an isolation or quarantine order has been issued by a local health department.

Note that this order does not change the District's health and safety protocols; however, it does change the vocabulary that we use. The District does not quarantine students; that is an act of the local health department. However, the District is required to exclude students from school who are positive or probable COVID-19 cases, and those who are close contacts. The District will continue to provide long-term absence instruction for students who must be excluded for these reasons. 

Health & Safety Protocols

FAQs: SHIELD Testing & Test to Stay


The following chart outlines how and when students and staff may return after being diagnosed with COVID-19, after showing symptoms or after being in close contact with another person with or suspected of having COVID-19.

IDPH Decision Tree - Exclusion Guidance for Schools