September 3rd, 2021

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September 3rd, 2021

September 3rd, 2021

Dear District 57 Families,
 
Before we head into the holiday weekend, I have a few important updates to share:
 
COVID-19 Mitigations
 
As you’re aware, we have had some positive COVID-19 cases in the schools, as expected. Our internal metrics, which monitor COVID-19 clusters within the schools, staffing capacity, and PPE and disinfectant supplies, are categorized as “low transmission.”  We attribute this in large part to the success of the mitigation strategies that are in place. Because we have universal indoor masking, close contacts do not need to quarantine as long as the contact and infected student were 3 feet apart in the classroom setting. This has kept more students in the buildings and on track. It’s also essential that everyone is closely monitoring symptoms and staying home when necessary. Thank you, students and families, for diligently following the mitigations! I also thank our custodial crews, nurses, and all staff who have worked hard to ensure we have a successful start to the year. Every one of you is playing an important role in keeping our D57 community safe, and you’re helping us sustain in-person learning, which, of course, is what we all want!
 
We will soon add the mitigation of optional weekly COVID screening for students and staff, as we announced last week. (Find more information in my message from last week.) We are thankful this tool is being made available to us free of charge, thanks to the Illinois Department of Public Health expanding access for all Illinois schools. With recent COVID surges, this testing will help quickly identify infected people who are pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic, so we can take action to prevent the virus from spreading in the schools. 
 
We encourage everyone to participate in SHIELD Testing; however, D57 families are welcome to opt their child/ren out of testing. Families who want to opt out their child/ren should click this link
 
We ask that families opt out by Wednesday, September 8, to prepare our testing rosters and finalize specifics of the operation, which will be communicated to all families.
 
You’ve probably heard in the news that the state will be mandating vaccines for teachers and staff. Based on the high percentage of our staff who are already fully vaccinated (90 percent), we don't anticipate that this mandate will require a significant change for us. But we will be working to ensure we are in compliance.
 
We’re Hiring -- Spread the Word!
 
The District needs instructional assistants, substitute teachers, substitute instructional assistants, an assistant for Kids’ Corner (our before/after-school care program), and other positions. We pride ourselves on having a talented and devoted team, and we look forward to adding more great people to the D57 Family. If you are interested in one of these opportunities or know someone who might be, please see the information and links to apply here. Please also share our social media posts to help spread the word!
 
Thanks to everyone who attended our Back-to-School Nights. The teachers enjoyed sharing their plans with you! I’m so proud of how hard our students and staff are working to get back up to speed now that we’re together in the buildings again. We are off to a great start, and everyone has earned a relaxing long weekend!
 
Don’t forget, no school Monday and Tuesday -- we look forward to seeing students on Wednesday!
 
My best,
Dr. Mary Gorr
Superintendent of Schools 
Mount Prospect District 57
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