Dec 1, 2023
Dear CCSD21 Parent or Guardian,
CCSD21 continues to closely monitor developments related to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This is a dynamic situation with new information coming from local and state authorities on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis.
We have developed a COVID-19 (coronavirus) resource page on the district web site: www.ccsd21.org/coronavirus. The page includes links to the Cook County Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). I invite you to visit those pages for up to date public health information.
Please continue to encourage your child to practice healthy habits throughout the day, including frequent proper hand washing; we are encouraging the same at school.
At this point, CCSD21 has no known cases of COVID-19 in our school community. As such, schools are open.
Before & After School Activities and Events
The CDC is now advising that schools should consider adjusting or postponing large gatherings and activities. With that in mind, CCSD21 is cancelling before- and after-school clubs, field trips, sporting events, evening meetings or activities, assemblies that bring in outside people and other activities with outside visitors.
If your child is in the before- and after-school care programs offered by the Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, or Wheeling Park Districts at one of our schools, or Flying Falcons at Frost – those programs are not cancelled.
Parent-teacher conferences at Twain on March 12 will continue as scheduled.
As you know, we have a scheduled Institute Day next Tuesday for Election Day (March 17), a decision we made years ago for safety concerns. The Board of Elections has selected 10 of our schools to serve as polling places and only a small area of those schools is open to voters. Those areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected that evening after the polls close.
COVID-19 Preparedness in CCSD21
I want to reassure all parents and community members that our staff have been in active preparation for several days and that we have a District Closure Plan should that become necessary. Any decision to close CCSD21 schools will be made in conjunction with local health authorities and based on the facts on the ground at that time.
The Illinois State Board of Education has advised districts across the state to include preparations for distance learning as part of any district closure plan.
During the 2018-2019 school year, our district began organizing for distance learning in the event of inclement weather or other emergencies. Based on changes in legal requirements at the state level we did not continue to pursue a distance learning program for the current school year. However, as a result of the Illinois State Board of Education’s recommendation, we have reactivated our distance learning plans and will utilize them in the event of a district closure due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Detailed information on our District Closure and Distance Learning plan will be posted on the district’s website in the coming days and will be distributed immediately to all CCSD21 families if and when school closure becomes necessary.
In the meantime, our fantastic custodial and maintenance department has been working proactively to increase high-touch surface disinfection and protocols are in place to conduct additional deep cleaning of classrooms and other areas as the need is indicated by student and staff absence data. These measures are in addition to our rigorous daily cleaning routine.
Planned out of state travel
As we approach Spring Break, we respectfully request that parents consider sharing their family’s plan with school offices if traveling out of state. Families are not required to share this information and it will be kept strictly confidential. Knowledge of travel during Spring Break will support our school office in efficiently seeking guidance and resources from local health officials should your child become ill after returning to school.
Per the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health, if anyone travels to an area of the world that has a CDC Level 3 designation, which now includes the European Nations included in the travel ban announced last evening by President Trump, they must complete a 14 day self-quarantine period upon their return to the United States. Students who complete such travel may resume school after completing the self-quarantine.
Our goal is to continue to keep all CCSD21 families updated with the best information we have and as our preparations and planning evolve. With the rapidly evolving nature of the outbreak, we may not be able to answer all parent questions nor fully predict next steps, particularly as it relates to possible school closures. We will do our absolute best to proactively communicate with all families and provide as much advance notice as possible should the situation warrant school closure.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal if you have any questions.
Dr. Michael Connolly