We are excited to welcome you back for the 2021-22 school year! I hope everyone has a fantastic summer. Around here, there was a lot going on in the summer. As you know I am new to the district as well as Mr. Marcum, our new principal.
Below you will find our back-to-school plan adopted by our Board of Education. We did not expect any changes to our district’s reopening plan; however, as always we continue to monitor the situation and update you on any changes or developments. As you all know Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced masks will be required for students, teachers, and staff at pre-kindergarten- 12th-grade schools. The new measure is part of the state’s ongoing effort to combat a new surge as the Delta variant rapidly spreads.
The masking requirement will include the youth sports and activities, with masks now required for all indoor extracurriculars and sports. In line with CDC guidance, masks are not required for activities outdoors where transmission risks and rates are lower.
We look forward to seeing all the students back at school on Tuesday, August 17. Doors will be open at 8:00 a.m. Students must be here by 8:20 a.m. As nonessential visitors are discouraged from entering the building, we ask parents not to enter. Staff will be available to walk students to breakfast and/or the classroom.
ODIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT #722
Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction 2021
Odin Public School District #722 will be open fully for in-person learning for all student attendance days for the 2021-22 school year, in accordance with Governor JB Pritzker announcement on Wednesday, August 4 2021 an Executive Order that supports safe in-person learning and requires that masks be worn indoors by all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Masks are required indoors for students, staff, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. Mask use is required in indoor sports activities.
ALL passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses.
To the extent possible within school and classroom structures so that it does not exclude students from full-day in-person learning, school staff are to help students commit to physical distancing as much as possible by:
arranging furniture, play spaces, and naptime materials to model and reinforce physical distancing of at least 3 feet (at least 6 feet for those who are not fully vaccinated) and movement;
providing assigned seating for students and encourage students to remain in these seats to the greatest extent possible; and
School staff will maximize physical distance as much as possible when moving through food service lines and while eating indoors. Physical distancing measures are to be done in an equitable manner that does not perpetuate academic, racial, or other tracking (e.g., separating people into fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cohorts).
Physical distancing measures are to be done in an equitable manner that does not perpetuate separating people into vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
School staff will monitor and reinforce frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette by
continuing to teach handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
assisting young children with handwashing;
reminding everyone in the facility to wash hands frequently;
using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (for teachers, staff, and older students who can safely use hand sanitizer) when hand washing is not possible;
continuing to teach respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes); and
providing adequate handwashing and hand sanitizer supplies that are safely stored (up, away, and out of sight of young children and used only with adult supervision for children under 6 years of age).
Facility and Transportation Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation
School custodial staff and transportation staff will continue to clean surfaces daily. To further reduce the risk of spreading infection, these staff will also use disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 “List N” to disinfect spaces occupied by someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours.
Maintenance staff will continue to regularly replace school ventilation system filters by using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Although regular tests indicate a high quality of indoor air in our schools, aged ventilation systems are being replaced by new systems to improve the control and reliability of air circulation.
When possible, staff will open doors and windows, use child-safe fans, and have activities, classes, or lunches outdoors when circumstances allow.
When it does not pose a safety risk, transportation staff will keep vehicle windows open at least a few inches to improve air circulation.
Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated are discouraged from visiting schools.
Collaboration with Public Health Officials
District officials will continue to collaborate and consult with Marion County Health Department officials throughout a pandemic on various logistics and decision-making including, but not limited to, school health and safety protocols, contact tracing, vaccine clinics, and emergency school closings.
Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantine
Students and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and contact their healthcare provider for testing and care.
Individuals in our school environments who show symptoms of COVID-19 are to immediately report to or be escorted to the school’s health care professional’s office to be either sent home or be quarantined in the school’s supervised safe area while awaiting pickup/evaluation. Students and staff are required to wear masks while in the safe area. Parents should ensure that ill students are picked up from school within 30 minutes of being notified. Ill students will not be allowed to utilize the school bus to return home.
Students and staff who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine after recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but does NOT have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or be tested.
Student absences related to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded as excused. To ensure continuity of services, school work missed during such an absence can be requested and made up in accordance with the school’s policy (refer to the student handbook); social, emotional, mental health, or other needs will be provided in accordance with a student’s IEP or 504 Plan.
Remote instruction will only be made available for non-vaccinated or vaccine-ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Staff absences related to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded in accordance with the district’s sick leave policy and related contract.
To the extent allowable by privacy laws and other applicable laws, the school will continue to collaborate with Marion County Health Department officials to confidentially provide information about people diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, including making notifications to staff and parents as soon as possible regarding those who were in close contact of someone in the school who tested positive for COVID-19.
The school will inform the school community of outbreaks while maintaining student and staff confidentiality rights.
Following quarantine, students and staff returning from illness related to COVID-19 are to provide release documentation from the local health department.
In Conclusion, Odin Public School District #722 is committed to providing students and staff a safe, in-person learning environment. The strategies outlined within this plan will be implemented to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread within our school. These strategies will be reviewed periodically (at least every 6 months) based upon the COVID cases within our schools, community, and any new research/evidence that becomes available.
Do I have to wear a mask?
YES, indoors for students, staff, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. In all areas of the school indoors; for example, classrooms. Mask use is required in indoor sports activities. ALL passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses.
If you do not comply with the mask mandate, it will be addressed individually by the administration.
Why do I have to wear a mask on the bus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all passengers and drivers must wear a mask while on school buses or in other school-provided forms of transportation.
Will breakfast and lunch be provided?
YES, we will provide breakfast and lunch. You have the option to bring your own lunch. However, please remember to bring lunch in the morning because no outside food delivery will be allowed. All meals at Odin Public School District #722 are FREE.
Will there be assigned seating?
YES, in the classroom, on the bus, and in the cafeteria there will be assigned seating to assist in physical distancing and contact tracing when needed.
Will we return to regular school hours?
YES, Odin Public School District #722 will operate on a traditional school day from 8:10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The building will be open at 8:00 a.m.
Can I do remote learning?
There will be no remote instruction offered unless a student is quarantined as directed by the school district, local health department, or the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Will there be temperature checks entering the building?
Families will be encouraged to screen students for COVID symptoms, and follow the guidance regarding testing and quarantine. Students or staff who are sick, stay home. According to the Odin PSD #722 handbook, students and staff must be fever-free for 24 hours (without medication) before returning to school. If cases arise, on-site symptom checks may be reinstated for everyone entering the building.
Will my absence be excused?
The attendance policy will return to five absences per semester. After five absences the student will need to provide medical documentation from a physician to make their absence excused. Absences will be considered unexcused if documentation is not provided within 24 hours. If a student brings in a doctor’s note or is placed in quarantine by the school or health department, those days will not count toward the five call-in days.
Will water fountains be open?
Water fountains will be reopened only to fill water bottles.
Can I come to visit or volunteer at the school?
Again, nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated are discouraged from visiting schools.
Can the kids play on the playground?
Yes, surfaces will continue to be cleaned daily.