D89 Back to School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

D89 Back to School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Over the course of the 2020-21 school year our district offered in person learning for families who chose that for their children. In-person learning was possible due to a strict adherence to safety protocols. As we emerge from the pandemic, we look forward to a school year that more closely resembles school before the pandemic. However, we do anticipate that our schools will need to continue to adhere to safety protocols and guidance recommended by federal, state and local health officials. Below are some questions and answers regarding safety protocols for this school year, 2021-2022.

Q: Will D89 offer a remote learning option for the 2021-22 school year?
No, however, any student who meets the medical requirements as outlined by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) can participate in an at-home learning option. Families should contact their school principal if they would like to discuss an at-home learning option for your child. Decisions regarding at-home learning will be based on the requirements outlined by the ISBE.

Q: Will families be required to complete a daily self-check for COVID symptoms with their child(ren)?
No. Given the low positivity rate and the wide availability of vaccines, we will not require a daily self-check. However, parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their child for symptoms and communicate any illness to the school. Please note that any child who presents an illness while at school will be sent home. The district does offer, with parent consent, the option to test students for COVID-19 using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test.

Q: Will I receive a communication if there is a positive COVID case at my child’s school?
Yes. There will be a general communication sent to families if there is positive case at the school – continuing our past practice. Additionally, if you have a child who was considered a close contact you would receive additional information.

Q: Will students be required to wear masks next year?
Due to the state-wide mask mandate for PreK-12 schools, all students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a face mask when inside our schools. Likewise, students will be required to wear face masks when traveling on district buses.

Q: What about sports and extracurricular activities for the 2021-22 school year?
Sports and extracurricular activities will run as expected this year. However, depending on the activity and the guidance from the Illinois Elementary School Association and the Illinois High School Association (the organizations that oversee middle school athletics) certain safety protocols may be put in place for either participants, athletes, and/or spectators.

Q: Will students be required to quarantine next year and, if so, what are the quarantine periods?
Yes. If unvaccinated students are symptomatic, have a positive COVID test, or have been a close contact to a confirmed case of COVID, they will be required to quarantine. When universal masking is used, a “close contact” is anyone who has been less than 3-feet from a COVID positive individual for a cumulative 15-minutes over the past 24-hours. Quarantine periods range depending on an individual’s circumstance, vaccination status and guidance from public health officials.

Q: How will my child access school if required to quarantine?
Students will access their work through their learning management system (Clever) and through communications from the teacher. Teachers will be available for support at various times throughout the school day asynchronously.

Q: Will the district require or track COVID vaccination status?
No. The decision to vaccinate is a personal one and we will not require parents to disclose the vaccination status of their child(ren). However, vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine if exposed to an individual with COVID. In this case, we may ask for vaccination status to avoid having to quarantine your child(ren).

Q: What should I expect regarding lunch?
We expect students will eat in our lunchrooms and/or other large areas in our schools while observing social distancing. Student dining areas will continue to be cleaned after each use.

Q: Will the district continue the extensive cleaning and hand hygiene protocols?
Yes. We will continue to clean high-touch surfaces and have hand sanitizer available for all students.

Q: What will the social distancing requirements be in 2021-22?
Social distancing will be a minimum of three feet or as much as possible in accordance with the guidance provided by health officials. Please note that social distancing may be adjusted if state or local health guidelines are changed.

Q: Will the district resume its early release Tuesday?
Yes. We will resume our normal school schedule and calendar. The first early release Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, August 31st. Elementary school students will be released at
2:20pm and Middle School students will be dismissed at 1:30pm on early release Tuesdays. Our calendars, as well as, additional information, can be found on our website at:
District 89 – Family Resources (maywood89.org)

Q: What are the layered mitigation strategies the district will implement to keep students and staff safe?
Over the course of the last year and a half, we learned that no single mitigation strategy is effective to ensure safety. A thorough plan layers several mitigation strategies on one another. To that end, the district will continue to require face masks by all, social distancing, testing symptomatic and close contacts, promoting vaccinations, hand and respiratory hygiene, ventilation, cleaning and disinfection, and encouraging sick individuals to stay home.

Q: What are my responsibilities as a parent?
We ask that all families provide a face mask for their children. Likewise, we ask that families keep children home if they are experiencing symptoms or may have been a close contact to a confirmed case. Please also be patient with the schools as we continue to navigate the ever-changing guidance from state and local health officials.

Q: Will the district continue to offer free lunch and breakfast for all students?
Yes, the district applied for and received the free meals grant so we will be able to offer free lunch and breakfast to all students.

Please note that guidance from the federal, state and local health officials is constantly evolving and, as such, we too will adjust our practices throughout the school year as required. We appreciate your patience and understanding.