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August 5, 2021
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Superintendent’s back-to-school message

Welcome back to school! We are right around the corner from the start of the 2021-22 school year and it is an exciting time. We are eager to get back to in-person classes.  I sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed their summer break and stayed healthy and safe.  As school resumes, please know that we will continue to work hard to offer engaging, safe experiences for students, as well as keep families informed of student and family supports available in and around our schools.

This week, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a state mandate that requires all students, staff and visitors  at pre-kindergarten-12th grade schools — regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status — to wear a face mask in school to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The mandate is effective immediately.

As a result of the state mandate, everyone must wear a mask in all Glenbard schools regardless of vaccination status. While everyone is wearing a mask, we have the ability to maintain a higher level of safety and reduce the number of people who miss school/work due to quarantine.

The mask requirement is inclusive of youth sports and activities, with masks now required for all indoor extracurriculars and sports. In line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks are not required for activities outdoors where transmission risks and rates are lower.  The IHSA is not making any alterations to the published sport calendars.

Contact Tracing, Quarantine Information
Per the Illinois Department of Public Health and DuPage County Health Department, while everyone is wearing a mask, contact tracing and quarantining/isolation will be as follows:

  • Contact tracing for people exposed to COVID-19 will consider anyone at high risk (and require quarantine) if they are closer than 3 feet and properly masked for 15 minutes or more.
  • Quarantine timeline will be 14 days, or more if symptoms arise, and could be shortened per health department guidelines.

SHIELD Illinois Voluntary Saiva-Based Testing
In addition, we have engaged SHIELD Illinois to offer voluntary, non-invasive COVID-19 testing at school. SHIELD has a diagnostic (PCR) test that will be available to staff and students at school each week. This saliva-based test will be available to identify positive COVID-19 cases and keep students safe. Notification of test results will typically occur in less than 24 hours. Parents/guardians will need to agree to testing for students to be eligible. More information to come.

Safety Mitigations for All of Glenbard
The safety mitigations/steps in place for all of Glenbard include:

  1. Masking for all on buses and in schools.
  2. Voluntary SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing at school.
  3. Daily health assessments at home; stay home if you have any symptoms.
  4. Hand washing and cleaning protocols.
  5. Social distancing of three feet whenever possible.
  6. Improved ventilation in buildings.
  7. Providing information about COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

The CDC and other health agencies continue to recommend vaccination as the No. 1 strategy to reducing COVID-19 (severe illness). If you are vaccinated and wish to share your student’s vaccinations status, please contact your school’s health office. If you are seeking vaccination locations/opportunities, please check with the DuPage County Health Department or your local pharmacy.

We will continue to review and consider guidance regarding safety mitigations and practices.  Any future changes will be relayed to the community.  Stay safe and healthy, and welcome back to in-person learning!

Additional resources are listed below:

CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools

IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance FAQs

IDPH County and School COVID-19 School Metrics

IDPH and ISBE School FAQ

DCHD Statement on COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in Schools

Sincerely,
David F. Larson, Ed.D.
Superintendent