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COVID-19 Dashboard, User-Friendly Documents, Messaging Update, and SHEILD Testing

Published: August 27, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we conclude our second full week of school, I would like to thank all parents and guardians for your continued support of our district and students. As shared at our recent Board Meeting, I have observed our parents, guardians, and staff working tirelessly to support our student’s instructional and emotional needs during the most challenging time I can ever remember. I cannot express how grateful I am for everyone’s extra hours and work they have put into supporting our children through each challenging phase of this pandemic.  

In this message, I’d like to provide an update on the following COVID-19 topics:

  • Website dashboard 
  • Messaging update
  • User-friendly guidance documents
  • Opt-in Illinois SHIELD Saliva Testing Program

COVID-19 Website Dashboard

The District 300 COVID-19 website dashboard is now live on our website and can be accessed at www.d300.org/COVID19DASHBOARD.The dashboard contains both the cumulative and ten day totals for students and staff positive cases and close contacts.

From August 9th through August 26th:

  • 3 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • 0 staff members have been identified as a close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in a District 300 building.  

From August 12th through August 26th:

  • 59 students have tested positive for COVID-19.

  • 468 students have been identified as close contacts to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in a District 300 building.  

We are keeping a close eye on and working closely with our local health department in schools with elevated cases. We will communicate any updates from the health department if there are any further directives for the schools affected.    

Going forward, the COVID-19 website dashboard will be updated daily (Monday through Friday). 

COVID-19 Messaging Update:

Beginning on Monday, schools will only send targeted messages to the parents and guardians of students who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as close contacts. Parents and guardians who want to remain informed of their school’s total number of positive cases and close contacts should refer to the COVID-19 dashboard. As a reminder, the COVID-19 dashboard will be updated daily. Lastly, messages will be sent to all parents and guardians within a school if a school encounters a significant or notable COVID-19 scenario.

User-Friendly COVID-19 Guidance Documents:

In my August 23rd email, I mentioned our local health departments had updated their guidance, and District 300 staff were compiling the new information to produce user-friendly documents. These documents and health department updates have been added to the District 300 COVID-19 Back to School Handbook. All the latest updates are indicated in red font, along with a date stamp. 

Three user-friendly documents have been added to the handbook to clarify guidance for families. For your convenience, these documents have also been included below: 

  • My Child is Impacted by COVID-19? What Do I Do Now? - This document summarizes how a COVID-19 positive, close contact, or symptomatic student may be impacted. The chart allows parents to select their child’s COVID-19 situation and determine how the health department may handle the case. Please note, each individual case will be evaluated on its own merits, and the health department has the final say on all cases.  

  • Quarantine Details for an Unvaccinated Close Contact - This document provides the return to school options for an unvaccinated close contact student.

  • Timeline Comparison for an Unvaccinated Close Contact - This document highlights the quarantine timelines for an unvaccinated close contact student when choosing a 10-day quarantine period, a 7-day quarantine period, or the Test-to-Stay program. 

We hope these resources help simplify the very complex nature of managing our COVID-19 positive, close contact, and symptomatic cases.  

Opt-In SHIELD Illinois Saliva Test:

District 300 is pleased to work with SHIELD Illinois to provide OPT-IN saliva-based screening tests. The SHIELD Illinois Saliva Test allows parents the opportunity to monitor their child’s health during the school year by providing access to regular COVID-19 tests. Testing will be available starting September 14, 2021, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at three locations: 

  • Tuesdays at Dundee-Crown High School
  • Wednesdays at Hampshire High School
  • Thursdays at Jacobs High School

The District will provide additional information about the SHIELD Illinois program in the near future.

Lastly, I just want to remind everyone that none of us asked for this pandemic. As it stretches into another season, and the number of positive cases rises both nationally and locally, and health department guidance from multiple entities changes, it can become increasingly easy to grow frustrated. 

During times of heightened stresses and anxieties, it is more important than ever that we pull together and support one another. To approach each other with empathy and compassion. To have an understanding that our staff, our parents, our neighbors, our co-workers, and our friends all share the same frustrations we do, whether we are overworked, overstressed, or struggling to balance childcare, school, and work.

I would like to thank you for your support and patience as we endure this pandemic and adapt to address changes in health department guidance. Please know, regardless of any future modifications to guidance, District 300 will maintain our focus on ensuring the safety of all our students and staff. 

Sincerely,

Susan Harkin
Superintendent