Health & Safety Protocols
District 34 will follow executive orders by the Governor of Illinois, as well as any regional or local orders set by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Cook County Department of Public Health. As of February 2, 2021, Region 10 (suburban Cook County) moved back into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. We'll see a reduction of some of the restrictions on retail establishments, indoor dining, meetings and other establishments, programs and events that were in place under Tier 1 mitigations.
Protocols for Adapted In Person
Distancing/Contact Tracing: We will continue to maintain as much distance as possible given the in-person enrollment and physical space we have. Based on an early review of parent survey responses, we expect to have approximately 85% of students attending in person (compared to 80% in hybrid); given those numbers, depending on classroom size and the number of students in a classroom, distancing could be as little as 3’. Given that distancing, we know that contact tracers will be doing more work to reach out to the additional close contacts, and we are likely to see an increase in close contacts. (Again, those of you who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine as close contacts.)
Tents: The District has ordered two tents for each school to provide additional opportunities for outdoor learning, mask breaks, etc., even on rainy days.
Air Circulation: The District will continue to allow for 50% outside air, in the building, which helps exchange the air approx. 5 times per hour.
Cleaning/Custodial: Our custodial staff will continue to do their outstanding work, but the increased amount of in-person time and numbers will mean that before and after lunch, additional sanitizing wipes will be provided for staff and students to ensure cleaning of the spaces where they eat.
Lunch Distancing & Dividers: At lunch, 6’ distancing along with divider use will be strictly enforced. Building administrators and staff are working on scheduling and spacing plans to ensure that distancing, and the District has ordered dividers (see the photo below) for every in-person student in grades 1-8.
District 34 students and staff will continue to self-certify before entering school buildings. Increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures will continue at each building. We know that distancing, mask requirements, daily screening and our other health and safety protocols have proven effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our buildings, and we will continue to enforce them.
Hybrid: If Your Child Must Quarantine
Early childhood through 5th grade students who quarantine due to non-essential travel will have full access to all learning materials and asynchronous lessons. Middle school students will continue to have the option to live stream when at home in quarantine.
Cleaning & Sanitizing
District 34 custodial staff have been trained in increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and have been given a manual that outlines all procedures. They are required to sign off that they have read the manual and will adhere to the procedures.
District 34’s Food Service department follows strict guidelines for food safety and sanitation in their daily operations; those will continue. Increased procedures have been implemented in kitchens and for food service staff to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
- Staff are required to self-certify that they have taken their temperature and screened for other COVID-19 symptoms before starting a shift
- Face masks are required at all times in kitchens, cafeteria service lines and all food service work spaces
- Disposable aprons and dishwashing gloves are required when handling dirty dishes
- Physical distance is kept in kitchens and work spaces and separate defined work stations have been established
- Hygiene signs have been placed at various locations throughout the cafeteria entrance, seating area and serving area
Isolation rooms have been configured and designated as infirmaries in all schools to hold staff members or students who become symptomatic. These rooms are equipped with a negative air machine that filters and circulates air to limit the spread of contaminants . Each infirmary has a dedicated bathroom within or next to the room. The door remains closed at all times and the room is staffed with a health service employee.
Health office visitors will remain 6 feet away from Health Office employees unless otherwise instructed. Floor marking will indicate 6 feet distances.
Plexiglass dividers separate three areas with cots for staff or students with symptoms.
Proper hygiene practices, including hand washing, will be practiced by health service employees, and visitors to the infirmary will be instructed/reminded about these practices.
As we work to reach our "new normal," District 34 is committed to:
- Safety & Health: The safety and health of students, staff and families is the top priority.
- Flexibility: We have developed plans that allow us to adapt to inevitable changes.
- Equity: We will provide equitable access for all students and families.
- Connections: D34 will keep open the lines of two-way communication, and communicate consistently, clearly and with compassion.