August 13th, 2021

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August 13th, 2021

August 13th, 2021

Dear District 57 Families,

As we prepare for the first day of school next week, I’d like to share our District 57 Safety and Operational Guidance regarding masks, social distancing, isolating and quarantining, lunchroom procedures, and more. You can find this information at this link, which will also be available under the COVID-19 section of the D57 website.

 My administrative team and I have developed these protocols and plans based on direction from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Our protocols are intended to keep everyone as safe as possible so that we can sustain in-person learning this school year. Please note that future guidance changes may be made based on COVID transmission rates and adjustments to state and federal recommendations.
 
Masking
Executive Order 2021-18 requires all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to PreK-12 Illinois schools to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Having a mask-required environment is the key to the District’s goal of keeping students in person, every day, in the safest environment possible. In addition, it allows the definition of close contact in schools to be those who are within 3 feet (rather than 6 feet) in the majority of cases. Masks are not required when students and staff are outdoors. 
 
SHIELD Covid-Screening Testing
District 57 will be partnering with the University of Illinois to conduct optional weekly COVID-19 screening testing for students and staff members. At this point, we anticipate that testing will begin in mid-September. The SHIELD test is a PCR, saliva-based test that enables early detection of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, which decreases the chance of spread in schools. Results are available within 24 hours of samples being received by the lab. District 57 strongly encourages participation, particularly for those not vaccinated; however, parents will have the opportunity to opt out their child from testing. More details about SHIELD testing will be provided to all D57 in the days and weeks ahead as more information is available. No specific action is required of parents/guardians at this time. 
 
New Visitor Management System in D57 Schools
Beginning next week, we will be implementing a new visitor management system called Raptor in all D57 schools. The Raptor system helps us track visitors (including parents), contractors, and volunteers in our schools to provide a safer, more monitored environment for students and staff.
With Raptor in place, all visitors, including parents, will be required to present valid state-issued identification that will be entered into our system before gaining access to the school beyond the main office. In addition, the Raptor system provides alerts about people who may jeopardize the safety of the campus, including registered sex offenders who are not allowed entry into schools. 
 
As we have done in the past, all parents and visitors will be asked to wear a visitor lanyard. In addition, a visitor badge will be printed and placed inside the plastic sleeve on a lanyard. The visitor badge will include the visitor’s name and photograph.
 
We believe this safety procedure will keep our schools safer and provide instant information about who is in our schools in the event of an evacuation. We ask for your cooperation as we implement this new system. While visitors will likely take a bit more time to check in with our schools’ front office teams, we know that this system will add another important layer of security. 
 
Next Week
 We are thrilled that we are able to welcome students back in person next week! We look forward to seeing grades one to eight on Aug. 18, kindergarten on Aug. 20, and early childhood on Aug. 24. We know that all of our families, students, and staff will be vigilant about following our COVID protocols so that we have a safe and smooth start to the year. Thank you very much for your cooperation and support as we kick off this exciting return to the school buildings!
 
 My best,
 

 
Dr. Mary Gorr
Superintendent of Schools 
Mount Prospect District 57
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