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An Update from Superintendent Harkin: Weekly COVID-19 Update, Health Requirement Reminder

Published: October 11, 2021

Good Afternoon Parents,

We have completed the first quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. I would like to thank all students, parents, and staff for your continued support as District 300 continues managing the complexities of safely providing our students with core instruction, extra-curricular activities, and community-building events during a pandemic.  

Today’s message includes a COVID-19 update, a health requirement reminder, and a recap of some recent engaging school activities. 

COVID-19 Update:

Last week, our total number of positive student cases increased, with a total of 42 positive cases (compared to 28 cases the previous week), and our total number of close contacts increased to 159 (compared to 129 the previous week). The District will continue to follow and evaluate our mitigation strategies to keep our students safe in our classrooms. 

Parents and guardians can access the District 300 Data Dashboard to see positive cases and close contacts numbers. The dashboard is updated daily, Monday through Friday.

From August 9 through October 7:

  • 37 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19

  • 12 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 12 through October 7:

  • 250 students have tested positive for COVID-19

  • 1,512 students have been identified as close contacts to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in a District 300 building 

From August 30 through October 7:

  • 2,167 tests were administered to staff and students to successfully return them to their classrooms through our Central Office Testing Program

If elevated cases are identified within a school, the District works with our local health departments to review and modify our mitigation strategies to keep our students and staff safe.

Reminder to Monitor Children for COVID-19 Symptoms Prior to Start of School Day: 

As you are likely aware from previous messaging, Hampshire High School (HHS) has been placed on an Adaptive Pause as a mitigation strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Since September 28, a total of 37 HHS students have tested positive COVID-19. As a result, HHS students will not be allowed on campus for in-person instruction and will transition to remote learning until October 22. 

District 300’s mission from the beginning of the school year has been to safely keep our students in our schools. The Adaptive Pause at Hampshire High School reminds us of the importance of following our COVID-19 mitigation strategies. I would like to remind all parents and guardians to monitor your children for COVID-19 symptoms each morning before sending them to school. Please keep your child home if they exhibit any COVID-like symptoms. This mitigation strategy minimizes the spread of COVID-19 within a school building and reduces the likelihood of students and staff members being identified as close contacts. 

According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Again, this information is being shared to help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools and ensure we can continue offering in-person instruction. 

Health Requirements:

(Please disregard this section if you previously submitted your child’s physical examination and immunization requirements forms during the summer [or earlier this school year]).

As a reminder, District 300 students who are currently in preschool (if this is their first-year school), kindergarten, 6th grade, 9th grade, and 12th grade must be up-to-date with their physical examinations and immunization requirements by October 15, 2021. For complete details, please visit this page (Please note: these immunizations are NOT related to COVID-19 vaccines. Instead, these are the immunizations that have historically been required at the beginning of each school year).

Students missing required physical examinations and/or immunizations will not be able to attend school after October 15 until all the necessary health information has been submitted to the District 300 health office.

Conclusion:

In my previous message, I discussed how wonderful it has been to watch students engage with each other in our classrooms. Our schools are full of energy, and District 300 staff have worked hard to create exciting community-building experiences for our students. Examples include:

I love these types of events. They provide students with opportunities to build strong relationships with their peers and with school staff. They generate positivity and can serve as foundational moments that help define what it means to be a Golden Eagle, a Charger, a Whip-Purr, or the mascot of your child’s school. 

As we continue through October, District 300 will continue doing everything we can to adhere to our mitigation strategies to ensure we can continue providing core instruction and offering community-building activities for our students.

Sincerely,

Susan Harkin

Superintendent