Dear District 126 Families and Staff:
After careful consideration, the Board of Education approved modifications to the District’s COVID-19 mitigation plan at its February 22, 2022 Board of Education meeting, including modifications to the District’s universal masking, quarantine, and testing policies. These modifications are effective immediately.
Masks in Schools
After much thought and deliberation, we are recommending, but not requiring, face coverings for students, staff, and visitors in our schools as a mitigation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, in accordance with federal law, masks will continue to be required for all bus riders on school buses.
We understand that this adjustment may bring mixed feelings for students and staff. As a result, our goal will be to ensure a smooth transition while continuing to offer a welcoming, comfortable environment for everyone. Parents/Guardians, we ask that you speak to your child about your family’s mask-wearing preference. District 126 staff will be unable to monitor whether each student is following their family’s mask preference. We also ask that you speak to your child about the importance of respecting each person’s decision. Our expectation is that all students, families, and staff respect and support one another’s choices.
Testing, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine
COVID-19 SHIELD Testing
Although the District will continue to offer weekly SHIELD testing, weekly testing will not be required for unvaccinated staff.
Contact Tracing and Quarantine
The District will no longer contract trace and require quarantine for exposure/close contact to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will still be required to quarantine for up to 10 days. Individuals who test positive and are symptom free after day 5 may return to the District’s school buildings but would be required to wear a mask for days 6-10. Individuals with COVID-like symptoms will be required to quarantine for 5 days but may return early with proof of a negative COVID test result once symptoms subside.
Students who are quarantined by school or county officials due to COVID-like symptoms or a positive COVID test will continue to have access to classroom instruction through Zoom or alternative assignments.
The District recognizes that this shift may be an adjustment for students and staff. We encourage any student or staff member to reach out to our school counselors, social workers, and psychologists for additional support as needed.
As we prepare to welcome our students and staff back to our buildings under this new guidance, we thank you for your continued patience, support, and partnership as we continue to navigate this evolving situation.
Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools