I hope this finds you well. I wish I had more information about the status of negotiations between CPS and the teachers’ union. Unfortunately, I get most of my updates at the same time information is released to the media. I can only suggest that you keep an eye on the local news over the weekend to see if in-person classes will begin for K-8 on Monday, February 1.
The remaining information in this update is specifically for parents who opted to have their children return to hybrid, in-person learning.
- Daily Health Screener All parents must complete the daily health screener for their children each day prior to the child’s arrival at school. We ask that you complete the screener by 7:45 am daily. This will help with the flow of student entry each morning. Screeners that are not completed prior to arrival at school will delay your child's entry into the building. An employee will be assigned to each entrance to check that the screener was successfully completed and to take student temperatures. Students who do not pass the screener or who have an elevated temperature (over 100.4) will be sent to the Care Room and their parents will be asked to come to school to take them home.
- Assigned Entrances Students can arrive at 8:15 am for entry. Supervision is not available so please do not drop your children off early and do not leave your children unattended. Please note: the playground equipment is off limits for before, during and after school play. We are trying to provide the safest environment for everyone. Upon arrival, students are to follow the instructions of the employees at their assigned door. We will share a staggered start time that will be shared with all families. Students must wear their masks at all times and remain socially distanced. Parents will not be permitted to accompany children into the school.
- Door 1 - 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th grade entry Main entrance off of Campbell
- Door 3 - Kinder, 1st, 2nd grade entry Entry just north of gym doors
- Door 4 - 3rd and 8th grade entry Located on the south side of the new annex
- Winter Clothing Please make sure students bring hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, boots and warm winter clothing. Whenever possible, students will play outside for recess. The new playlot equipment will not be available and each pod will be separated from others. Students within each pod will be asked to remain socially distanced at all times – even at recess. All students will be required to wear their masks at all times during recess.
- Teacher Assignments At this time, Ms. Alvarez and I continue to work through the teacher assignments. We have a large number of telework accommodations so please know it is possible that your child will be supervised by another employee. As an example: a school employee may supervise children in a classroom while their homeroom teacher continues to teach them from home. We will do our best to share teaching assignments with you this weekend as we work through the particulars. We are currently working with Human Resources to staff addtional support at Waters.
- Classroom Schedules Schedules will be shared by teachers in the upcoming week.
- Meal Service, Food Distribution Students attending in-person will have the option of eating a free breakfast and lunch at school each day. Students may also bring lunch from home. Meals are available for families who are in Remote Learning, please stop by Door 6.
- Bathroom Use, Water Because of the need to clean bathrooms regularly and between pods, grades K-8 will have scheduled times each day to use the restroom. Students will not have the ability to get up, leave the room, and use the restroom on their own or drink water except in emergencies. I suggest sending your child to school with a filled water bottle.
- Travel The daily student health screener includes questions about whether a student has traveled outside the country or state. CPS is following guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and requiring all students who have traveled to quarantine for ten days upon return. The district has taken a conservative position and does not allow students with a negative test result to shorten this quarantine requirement. Students who are required to quarantine because of travel may participate in remote learning until their ten-day quarantine is complete.
- Sickness Protocols Please continue to email your child's teacher and let them know when your child will be absent.
All students with COVID-like symptoms should be tested for COVID-19 and remain at home until they receive the test results. Students with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 must complete ten days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.
Students diagnosed with a non-COVID illness must meet the criteria for returning to school for the illness with which they have been diagnosed. At a minimum, the individual must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and have had no diarrhea or vomiting in the previous 24 hours.
A doctor’s note documenting the alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test result should accompany a student or staff member returning to school with an alternative diagnosis after experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
Students with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested for COVID-19 and who do not provide a healthcare provider’s note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete a ten-day isolation from the date of first symptom onset. They may learn remotely during this time if they are well enough to do so but may not return to in-person classes until after the ten-day isolation period.
More information about the CPS plan for in-person hybrid learning is available at cps.edu.
I will be sending out additional communication this weekend regarding the staggered entry schedule and staff assignments.
I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school soon!