Diamond Lake District 76

July 23, 2021: Family Update

Dear D76 Families and Staff,

I am writing to share that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has fully adopted the updated guidance for schools issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is based on the latest scientific information about COVID-19. All Illinois schools, both public and nonpublic, will use the CDC guidance released on 7.9.21 to start the 2021-22 school year. You can read more in IDPH’s press release.  As always, guidance from these organizations can change anytime, and I will continue to update our processes as this occurs.

Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals
Students and staff who are fully vaccinated will not need to wear a mask in school. The exception to this rule is that everyone will be required to wear a mask while riding a bus, as school buses fall into the mass transit type of transportation, and all mass transit operations require riders to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. I encourage every eligible student who is able to get vaccinated to please do so as soon as possible so they are fully vaccinated by the start of school.

Guidelines for Unvaccinated Individuals
Following the CDC guidance, students and staff who are not fully vaccinated will need to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that face masks can be safely worn by all children 2 years of age and older, including the vast majority of children with underlying health conditions, with rare exception.  Masking, along with our D76 mitigation efforts including improved ventilation, handwashing, social distancing, and sanitation, were highly effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 last year.  With these mitigation efforts, the guidance states that students may not have to quarantine if they are considered a close contact. Without these mitigation efforts, unvaccinated individuals will need to quarantine for the required 10 days. Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine regardless of the mitigation efforts. I am confident that these efforts will continue to prevent COVID from spreading in our schools.

As I shared in my last communication, we plan to return to daily in-person instruction next school year for all students upon the first day of school, Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Remote learning will only be available for students who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine AND are under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health.  If this applies to your child(ren), please contact your school’s principal as soon as possible.  

Thank you for your continued patience, support and understanding. I am confident that we will start the school year with heightened excitement and energy to welcome our students safely back in person.  I hope you and your loved ones enjoy the rest of the summer.  

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