07/20/2021 Important Message from District 89
July 20, 2021
Dear District 89 Families,
I hope you are all enjoying your days of summer and getting excited for the start of our 2021-2022 school year. We are thrilled to welcome all students back for five full days of in-person learning beginning on August 23, 2021. If you have not yet registered your child, please visit our website for additional information. We have added a registration day on August 11 from noon-7pm for any families that need to bring in additional documents to their school to complete registration. Save the date for our 7th Annual Back to School Picnic taking place on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at our Van Buren Education Center. Please see the attached flyer for additional information.
District 89’s Board of Education, administrative leadership team, and I are united in our goal to restore a sense of normalcy to our learning and extracurricular environments. We are committed to returning safely to pre-pandemic operations across all 9 schools this Fall.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools , and shortly after, the Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) issued a statement fully adopting the CDC guidance.
With the newly issued guidance, D89 is in the process of updating our Return to School Plan for the 2021-22 school year. At this point, we are building our plan on the following highlights:
- Full in-person learning five days a week with a return to pre-COVID-19 standard school day schedules
- Return of recess and use of playground equipment
- Regular breakfast and lunch will return following guidance from ISBE/IDPH
- Cubbies and lockers will once again be utilized by students
- Extracurricular activities and in-person events will be re-introduced
Along with these plan highlights, D89 will also continue to utilize a variety of mitigation strategies to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19-related illness. Our established strategies include:
- Observing social distancing as much as possible
- Maintaining an increase in schoolwide cleaning, disinfection, and maintenance of healthy environments
- Maintaining adherence to handwashing and respiratory etiquette
- Maintain our current mask policy, all students and staff will be required to wear a face mask regardless of their vaccination status when school resumes. All students must continue to wear masks while riding the school bus as well.
We recognize how important the safety and health of all students are as we prepare for a full return to in-person learning. Your patience is greatly appreciated as we review all guidance. In fact, it is expected that we will receive additional guidance in the coming weeks that may change our districts plans. Additionally, all plans and mitigation strategies are dependent on the level of community transmission of COVID-19 and may need to be adjusted at any time in response to our local health data. We will continue to provide ongoing updates to families as our planning is finalized and the details are ready to be shared.
One final piece that we previously shared with all families is the reminder that the CDC has approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 and older. Cook County Health continues to offer everyone ages 12 and older this vaccine free of charge at vaccination sites across the suburbs. Locations can be found by clicking on “Find a vaccine” on the Cook County Department of Public Health site. No appointment is needed, and vaccinations are free regardless of insurance or immigration status. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Individuals can still make appointments for the mass vaccination sites at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by calling 833-308-1988 (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.).
Thank you again for your ongoing support and patience with our return to school planning process. The most important focus of our work is to keep our students, families, staff, and communities as safe as possible while still offering our students the best environment in which they can successfully learn. We look forward to accomplishing that goal as we finalize our plans for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Dr. David Negron
Superintendent of Schools