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Message from the Superintendent
Kathy Wickline
Friday, July 30, 2021

CUSD #7 2021-2022 Plan for Safe Return to In-School Instruction and Continuity of Services 

Maintaining the Health and Safety of Unit Seven Students and Staff: 

ISBE has put forth the following declaration regarding remote instruction: "Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, all schools must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days, provided that, pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/10-30 and 105 ILCS 5/34-18.66, remote instruction be made available for students who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, only while they are under quarantine consistent with guidance or requirements from a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health." 

The CDC/IDPH/ISBE recommends that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older regardless of vaccination status. These agencies recognize local control during Phase 5 as stated:  "Together with local public health officials, school administrators should consider multiple factors when they make decisions about implementing layered prevention strategies against COVID-19. Since schools typically serve their surrounding communities, decisions should be based on the school population, families, and students served, as well as their communities". THIS INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY MOMENT.

Based on the current conditions in our towns and counties, Unit 7 will begin the 2021-2022 school by following CDC guidelines. We will continue to monitor the health and well-being of our students and staff, adjusting accordingly if needed. Everyone should be prepared to wear masks if our local metrics warrant that need. The district will be prepared to adjust academic, co-curricular, extracurricular, and athletic programming as necessary throughout the year.  

All schools will begin the 2021-2022 school year in-person, five days a week. 

  • Athletic, music, and other extracurricular activities will be held. Admission to events will be charged as in a typical school year. 

  • Field trips and fundraisers will resume.

  • Locker rooms will be utilized for PE and students in 6th -12th grades will wear required PE uniforms.

  • Students will be issued individual devices (Chromebooks or IPads).

  • Student meals will be free for the 2021-2022 school year in accordance with USDA reimbursements. Students purchasing milk/ juice only, an extra milk or ala carte (high school only) will be charged for these purchases.

  • Sensor-activated water bottle fillers at drinking fountains have been installed in all buildings. Students are encouraged to bring reusable, non-breakable water bottles to school.  

  • Unit Seven will contract with a third-party vendor, Educere, to provide all-remote instruction for parents who wish to make this choice for their student(s). 

Masking: 

  • Per CDC guidelines masks are strongly recommended for all individuals in Prek-12 school settings. 

  • All passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses. Bus drivers are not required to wear a mask when driving a bus with no one else present. 

  • School staff is to model support for and encourage students to be supportive of people who continue to wear a mask as a personal choice or because of a personal medical reason. 

Physical Distancing:

  • Physical distancing will be maintained across settings and to the greatest extent feasible. 

  • School staff is to commit to helping students maintain social distancing in an equitable manner that does not perpetuate academic, racial, or other tracking while across school settings. 

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: 

  • Handwashing and overall good hygiene will be strongly encouraged at all grade levels.

  • Good respiratory etiquette as indicated in CDC guidelines will be modeled and encouraged. 

Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantines: 

  • No individual will ride the bus or enter/ attend school if have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms: Fever over 100 degrees, new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body ache from an unknown cause. When parents send their student to school , they are certifying that their student is fever-free and COVID-19 symptom-free. Yellow symptom-free cards have been discontinued. Daily temperature checks are not required.  Please contact the school nurse.

  • Unvaccinated individuals who have been in direct close contact with a person who has a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result must not ride the bus or attend school. Quarantine guidelines per public health must be followed.  Parents and students should contact the school nurse for the most up-to-date guidelines. 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who have been in direct close contact with a person who has confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, but are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms do not have to quarantine. 

  • Please see building-level student handbooks for the list of other Health Guidelines and Exclusionary Policies provided by school nurses as to when students should be kept at home. 

Testing and Vaccination Information:  

  • COVID-19 Rapid Testing for symptomatic individuals will be offered. Consent is required.

  • The Unity Rocket Center was a vaccine site during summer 2021. If you missed this opportunity, please contact the school nurse if you need assistance locating a vaccine clinic in our area. 

Facility Cleaning and Ventilation:

  • Buildings will continue to undergo increased cleaning/sanitation.

  • Maintenance will continue to regularly replace school ventilation systems filters with high-efficiency particulate air filters. 

Disabilities and Other Health Care Needs: 

  • Students and staff employees who need accommodations, modifications or assistance related to COVID-19 safety protocols, disabilities, underlying medical conditions, or weakened immune systems should contact school administration or Special Education Coordinator, Jannah Sudduth-Mottola. 

Visitors: 

  • In keeping with CDC guidance, non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations who are not fully vaccinated are discouraged from visiting schools. 

Collaboration with Public Health Officials:

  • School nurses and district officials will continue to consult with county health officials throughout the pandemic. 

Plan Review:

Through September 30, 2023, this plan will be reviewed frequently, no less than every six months and revised as appropriate after seeking and considering public input. Revisions will address the most updated safety recommendations by the CDC, provided in an alternative format accessible to parents who are individuals with a disability as defined by the ADA, and made publicly available on the school website. 

THIS INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY MOMENT.