Kids at school with masks on

District 204 Announces Back To School COVID Protocols

August 9, 2022
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Indian Prairie School District 204 will have an updated set of COVID-19 protocols going into the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. On Monday, the district’s Deputy Superintendent, Doug Eccarius presented the new plans to the IPSD 204 school board.

COVID Protocols

One of the main changes is the pausing of contact tracing for proximity and distance to a positive case. Positive and probable cases will be represented on dashboard.

“Significant increases in a building will probably trigger additional communication, letting families know, ‘Hey, we have four cases in your child’s classroom,’ or something of that nature,” said Eccarius. “So parents know if they feel like they want to have their child wear a mask or do any of those sorts of things.”

Additional mitigations could either be recommended or put into place in the event of a notable increase in positivity levels.

Students or staff that are COVID-19 positive or with a probable positive due to being symptomatic after a known exposure will need to isolate for five days. That count starts with “zero day,” the day the first symptoms appear.

Students and staff can then return to school wearing a mask for days six through ten. Those who do not wish to wear a mask must remain isolated through day ten, to return on day 11.
Staff and students that are symptomatic and refuse testing are required to isolate for five days following the zero day. They will then follow the protocols outlined above for days six through ten.

Learning During Isolation

Students who are required to isolate will receive remote learning based on individual needs. Choice boards will be used for early childhood students to first graders and Google Classroom will be used for second to 12th graders. Students with IEP’s will get individualized support.

Test to Stay

Another change is in the test to stay policy. Last year, students and staff who were in close proximity to a positive case could remain in school if they continued to test negative during a certain period of time.

This year, test to stay is being put on hold.

Masking Not Required

Masking will continue to be encouraged, but is not required.

“We continue to be consistent with health department guidance which has kind of been our mantra for the last couple of years, and that we are continuing to say that with our actions and plans,” said District 204 Board President Laurie Donahue.

Disinfection Protocol Change

Disinfection protocols will shift back to pre-COVID standards. According to Eccarius, data showed that increased disinfection didn’t significantly impact transmission numbers.

“We are still going to be encouraging hand washing, respiratory etiquette. We are still making sure our ventilation systems are running at the best capacity that they can, and we are still promoting vaccinations as well,” said Eccarius.

Seating

Classroom seating will look a little more normal. Desks can be put back into pods. But if there is in increase in positive cases then desks could be shifted and separated.

“Our goal is to be in session and try to be as pre-COVID as possible, however COVID is still with us. We have to be very mindful of that. We are trying to protect children and staff,” said D204 Superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley.

Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench reports.

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