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District Communications About Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Superintendent

March 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
March 17, 2020
March 16, 2020
March 15, 2020
March 13, 2020
March 10, 2020
March 4, 2020
January 29, 2020

What preventative measures is District 68 taking for Coronavirus (COVID-2019)?

(The Coronavirus situation is fluid and we will provide updates as new information becomes available.)

While the District does not have any identified cases of coronavirus in our schools, we are taking this precautionary measure to help protect our students, their families, and our staff.

What cleaning procedures are in place to disinfect and sanitize schools?
Daily disinfecting and sanitizing of frequently touched classroom surfaces (including door knobs, desks, light switches, etc.); and common areas including hallways, restrooms, health offices, junior high locker room, conference rooms, gym, multipurpose room/cafeteria, libraries, etc.

What cleaning products are being used?
The cleaning products used are EPA approved disinfectants rated to kill a wide variety of bacteria and viruses, including the Coronavirus. The cleaning products include: Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfectant for restrooms and touch surfaces, and Diversy Oxivir for floors and other hard surfaces.

What cleaning procedures are in place to disinfect buses?
At the end of each day, bus drivers will use disinfectant wipes to sanitize bus seats and handrails in all buses. Seatbelts are sprayed with Lysol Disinfectant Spray at the end of each day.

What are we doing to promote indoor air quality?
In order to ensure clean air quality, all District facilities are equipped with mechanical equipment that continuously pumps outside air into our schools. The automated system continuously monitors and adjusts to maintain air quality.

What handwashing guidelines are in place for students and staff?
All classrooms and cafeterias are equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers. Elementary classrooms also have sinks and soap dispensers.  Signage encouraging hand-washing is posted in bathrooms and Cover Your Cough guidelines are posted in common areas as well. We have also asked teachers to remind students about hygienic hand washing, coughing, and face-touching practices.

What guidance are you providing parents and staff?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-2019 infection so the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDHP) recommends that the best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to the virus, which are similar to the precautions you would take to avoid the flu. The IDHP always recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  •     Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  •     If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  •     Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  •     Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •     Stay home when you are sick.
  •     Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  •     Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Is the District taking steps to limit non-essential public gatherings?
Yes, the District is cancelling all large group school/District-sponsored evening events at our schools until further notice.
This does not include after-school activities with students at this time.

Will schools close for a period of time?
Some schools in the Nation and State of Illinois have closed when confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been reported. At this time, no cases of Coronavirus have been reported in our community so there are no imminent plans to close schools. However, we are making contingency plans in the event of school closures.

Who decides if schools will close and how long would schools close for?
Direction for school closures will come from the local, state, or federal health departments.

How will we be notified if schools close?
Similar to a school closing for inclement weather, notification will be sent via email, emergency phone calling, text messages, and posted on the District’s website.

Will District 68 provide online instruction in the event of school closure?
District 68 will provide online resources for parents that want to promote continued learning at home in the event of an extended school closure. These will be optional resources and will not replace instruction or the need to make up days at the end of the school year, similar to school closures for inclement weather. In the event of an extended closing you will be notified about how to access available resources for students.

What happens if I choose to keep my child home from school as a preventative measure?
The current recommendation from the Skokie Health Department is that we hold classes as usual.  As a parent you have the right to make the decision to keep your child home.  If this is your choice, you must follow regular absence procedures and call your child in absent and clearly explain that you are keeping them home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you communicate this choice to your child’s school, your child’s absence will be excused, and they will not be dropped after a 10-day window or required to re-enroll.

Please note, if you make this choice on behalf of your child, the school will not be able to provide schoolwork for lost instruction.

 

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