Hoopeston Area CUSD #11
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
July 27, 2021
Maintaining the Health and Safety of Students, Educators, and Other Staff
In accordance with the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools July 9, 2021 declaration, all Hoopeston Area CUSD #11 schools will be open fully for in-person learning for all student attendance days for the 2021-22 school year. Schools will operate on a regular dismissal 3:05 Maple and John Greer and 3:20 for HAMS and HAHS unless otherwise noted on the district calendar. Remote instruction will only be made available for non-vaccinated or vaccine ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. Absent an order from the Illinois State Board of Education and/or the Illinois Governor’s Office, Hoopeston Area CUSD #11 schools will be in operation in accordance with the CDC’s updated (July 9, 2021) Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Kindergarten (K)-12 Schools, also adopted by the IDPH on July 9, 2021.
The CDC/IDPH/ISBE recommend masks be worn by those who are unvaccinated. They also 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".
Based on the current conditions in our towns and counties, the Hoopeston Area CUSD #11 21-22 school year will begin with a mask optional policy. We will continue to monitor the health and wellbeing of our students and staff and adjust accordingly if needed. Everyone should be prepared to wear masks if our local metrics warrant that need. These guidelines include the following:
Mask use is recommended for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Mask use is recommended outdoors during activities (e.g., participating in outdoor play, recess, physical education, sports, extra curriculars) that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission.
School staff are 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.
These are recommendations in line with CDC guidance. Ultimately, it is the discretion of parents/guardians to determine whether or not to follow said recommendations.
Unless exempt by CDC Order, passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses.
To the extent possible within school and classroom structures so that it does not exclude students from full day in-person learning.
Effort will be made to social distance students when feasible. However, it is understood that education is a collaborative process, and best educational practices sometimes call for students to be in closer proximity to each other.
arranging furniture, play spaces and naptime materials to model and reinforce physical distancing.
providing assigned seating for students and encourage students to remain in these seats to the greatest extent possible; and
developing marked paths of travel in classrooms and corridors.
Physical distancing measures are to be done in an equitable manner that does not perpetuate academic, racial, or other tracking (e.g., separating people into fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cohorts).
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
School staff will monitor and reinforce frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
Share proper handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
assisting young children with handwashing;
reminding everyone in the facility to wash hands frequently;
using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (for teachers, staff, and older students who can safely use hand sanitizer) when hand washing is not possible;
continuing to teach respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes); and
providing adequate handwashing and hand sanitizer supplies that are safely stored (up, away, and out of sight of young children and used only with adult supervision for children under 6 years of age).
Facility and Transportation Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation
School custodial staff and transportation staff will continue to clean surfaces regularly. To further reduce the risk of spreading infection, these staff will also use disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 “List N” to disinfect spaces occupied by someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours.
Maintenance staff will continue to regularly replace school ventilation system filters by using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
When possible, staff will open doors and windows, use child-safe fans, and have activities, classes, or lunches outdoors when circumstances allow.
When it does not pose a safety risk, transportation staff will keep vehicle windows open at least a few inches to improve air circulation.
Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantine
Students and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and contact their healthcare provider for testing and care.
Individuals in our school environments who show symptoms of COVID-19 are to immediately report to or be escorted to the school’s office to be either sent home or be quarantined in the school’s supervised safe area while awaiting pickup/evaluation. Students and staff are required to wear masks while in the safe area. Parents should make efforts to pick up ill students from school within 30 minutes of being notified. Ill students will not be allowed to utilize the school bus to return home.
Students and staff who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine after a recent exposure to someone with COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but do NOT have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or be tested.
Student absences related to a COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded as a COVID day. To ensure continuity of services, school work will be provided to students missing during such an absence and made up in accordance with the school’s policy (refer to student handbook); social, emotional, mental health, or other needs will be provided in accordance with a student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Parents of students who have social, emotional, mental health, or other needs outside of an IEP or 504 Plan should contact their child’s principal to discuss needs. Remote instruction will only be made available for non-vaccinated or vaccine ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Staff absences related to a COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded in accordance with the district’s sick leave policy and related professional negotiations agreements. To ensure continuity of services, staff members should contact their principals to discuss support for social, emotional, mental health, or other needs.
To the extent allowable by privacy laws and other applicable laws, school health care professionals will continue to collaborate with Vermilion County Health Department officials to confidentially provide information about people diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, including making notifications to staff and parents as soon as possible regarding those who were in close contact of someone in the school who tested positive for COVID-19.
The school’s Administrative team or School Health Coordinator will inform the school community of outbreaks while maintaining student and staff confidentiality rights.
Students and staff suspected of having COVID-19, whether they were tested or not, are to follow the CDC guidelines to determine when they can return to school.
Following quarantine, students and staff returning from illness related to COVID-19 are to call to check in with the school’s administrative team.
Hoopeston Area CUSD #11 will perform temperature and symptom checks on individuals entering busses or buildings.
Hoopeston Area CUSD #11 will participate in the Shields saliva testing program. Consent forms will be located at registration and in each building office.
Working with the Vermilion County Health Department and the National Guard, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, available to anyone in our area 12 years of age and older, was held at Hoopeston Area High School on May 18 and June 8 .
Respectful of peoples’ varying levels of vaccine confidence, those who want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can visit vaccines.gov to find out where they can get vaccinated in our community.
Disabilities or Other Health Care Needs
Parents of students who need accommodations, modifications, or assistance related to COVID-19 safety protocols, disabilities, underlying medical conditions, or weakened immune systems should contact their student’s case manager to discuss the need(s).
Staff members who need accommodations, modifications, or assistance related to COVID-19 safety protocols, disabilities, underlying medical conditions, weakened immune systems, or a sincerely held religious belief or practice (covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) should contact their school’s principal to discuss the need(s). Staff members with weakened immune systems are advised to contact their healthcare professional about the need for continued personal protective measures after vaccination.
Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated are discouraged from visiting schools.
Collaboration with Public Health Officials
District officials will continue to collaborate and consult with Vermilion County Health Department officials throughout a pandemic on various logistics and decision-making including, but not limited to, school health and safety protocols, screening testing, contact tracing, vaccine clinics, and emergency school closings.
Continuity of Services
The district will continue to provide the necessary services to meet the needs of students, including academic, social, emotional, mental, health, and nutritional needs.
Students will be supported academically through each school’s RtI process. Parents/guardians who feel their child needs assistance should contact their building principals.
Social workers and counselors are available in every school to meet students' social, emotional, and mental health needs.
All students will be provided with access to free breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. Students who are excluded from school due to being placed in quarantine or isolation may have meals picked up for them or meals sent home. Parents should contact building secretaries to make arrangements.
Through September 30, 2023, this plan will be reviewed no less frequently than every six months and revised as appropriate after seeking and considering public input. Revisions will address the most recently 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 district’s website.