Dear District 44 Families,
Our goal since the pandemic began has been to safely keep students in school for onsite learning in the most consistent way possible. As we see the impact of the omicron variant of COVID-19, we remain committed to this goal.
That being said, it is important that we remain transparent about the challenges we are facing with our school community and provide as much information as we can about our plan to keep our schools open.
Supporting Onsite Student Learning
Providing onsite learning remains the recommendation of school and health officials for our students. However our biggest challenge will be facing staff shortages given the highly contagious nature of omicron.
It is important for families to understand that the updated CDC guidance, which reduces COVID-19 quarantine from 10 days to 5 days, has yet to be adopted for schools. This is in the hands of local health officials to adopt, and until that occurs, we remain bound to the 10-day rule. This is all the more reason that we remain concerned about the number of staff who will be out for an extended period of time.
Preparing for Staffing Shortages – We Are All Hands on Deck
Right now, our greatest concern is safely staffing our buildings amidst large-scale administrative, support staff, teacher and instructional aide support shortages. We are closely monitoring any reported absence related to COVID-19, and while right now our numbers are relatively low across the district, we anticipate these could rise.
Internally, we are all hands on deck to do whatever is necessary to support student learning and provide coverage where needed. That being said, we do need substitutes and we encourage you to please call 630-827-4400 if you are able to serve in this capacity.
Keeping Our Buildings Safe
We will continue to follow all health and safety protocols to keep our buildings as clean, sanitized and as safe as possible for students and staff. This includes frequent cleaning of classrooms, common areas and high touch surfaces. We also continue to practice social distancing throughout all portions of the school day.
What Students/Staff Suspected/Confirmed of COVID-19 Should Do:
Please check our dedicated COVID-19 website for more information on quarantine or isolation requirements. We also ask that if you know your child will not be in attendance tomorrow, or any other day this week, please call in as soon as possible to your school attendance line.
Over the next few days and weeks, the universal goal is flexibility. We will continue to change and adapt our plan as necessary. I know this is going to be a challenge for all of us, but we will move forward together.