Dear District 58 Families,
Today, the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) released current metrics on community transmission of COVID-19, which show the County has moved into the Substantial Transmission Level based on the number of cases per 100,000. The DCHD officially releases COVID-19 data on Mondays at 10 a.m. and this is why staff and families are being notified today (the District cannot share unofficial data as numbers often change).
In keeping with the health department guidance, if we see multiple consecutive weeks of the metrics not improving in the “Substantial Community Transmission” (red) levels, we may need to move back to a fully remote learning environment. While the District hopes it will not have to make a change, the updated plan allows the District to switch from in-person to remote while keeping the same teachers and cohort. Please note, the District will continue to review a number of criteria before a decision is made to switch models. These criteria include the current metrics from the DCHD on a county level, local levels by zip code, actual positive cases in District 58 and our ability to staff, and the impact on the educational process (i.e. student absences).
Based on our conversations with the DCHD, we believe our current Hybrid Plan with a full remote option remains as safe as possible for students and staff to return to in-person learning. As a result, we plan to move forward and welcome students onsite with our hybrid learning model tomorrow (Oct. 20). The DCHD made it clear to all school districts on Friday (Oct. 16) that the mitigation efforts implemented by schools have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the school setting. However, a continued negative trend of the community metrics or an increase in school-related cases could lead us to change course.
The District will continue to emphasize the importance of following the strict safety protocols and measures called for by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the DCHD. All students and staff must wear masks, maintain social distancing, and frequently wash and/or sanitize their hands. These preventive measures are effective and are closely followed by our entire staff. We assure you that we will instruct students to adhere to them too. In many ways, schools are more stringent than most other places (public and private). A dashboard with the specific number of confirmed and possible COVID-19 cases for students and staff will be included on the District website under the About tab in the coming days and updated every Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
In this statement, DuPage County Health Department also reminds the community that we are reliant on everyone to slow the spread of COVID-19 to allow our students to fully return to school. Please continue to wear a mask, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and frequently wash/and or sanitize your hands to slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you have any questions about your child’s placement or safety protocols, you may contact your building principal.
Dr. Kevin B. Russell
Superintendent of Schools