Superintendent's Message: 1/5/22
Dear Indian Prairie Staff and Parents/Guardians,
We are preparing for the return to school on Monday, January 10th. We have seen the positive impact our return to in-person learning has had on students both academically and social-emotionally. We want to continue this work in the safest way possible. With the rising COVID-19 cases, I want you to be aware of the following as we prepare to start school on Monday.
First, we are planning to have in-person learning on Monday. As a school system in Illinois, we are not allowed to move to remote learning across the whole district. We are only allowed to provide remote learning at a specific school or at specific schools due to the number of positive cases of COVID-19 within a school or across some schools. As I have shared with parents who have asked for the district to move to remote learning, that is an option that the state has not made available to us at this time.
Second, we are closely monitoring any staffing issues in our schools or transportation providers. Obviously, we need to have a full complement of staff in our schools and running our buses to ensure the safety of our children. If there are any issues impacting our schools or our buses, we will inform you of the impact.
Third, we are asking all people to monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and either not go to school or not send your children to school if you are aware of any symptoms. We are not able to require you to take a COVID-19 test before returning to school on Monday. We are also aware of the difficulty to even acquire a test due to the shortage. That is why we ask that you monitor carefully before Monday.
Fourth, guidance released on December 27th from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shortens the length of isolation and quarantine from ten days to five days, does not apply to schools. The CDC is expected to issue updated guidance for isolation and quarantine in school settings soon and we will communicate those updates to you when we receive them. Until then, we will continue to follow the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Exclusion Guidance for Schools.
We know that most of our staff have been fully vaccinated. We also know that many of our children have been vaccinated and that the latest data has shown that children in the hospital are mainly those who are not vaccinated. The latest data from the DuPage County Health Department that was shared on Monday, January 3, 2022 reflects that an unvaccinated person is 10 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and is 20 times more at risk of dying from COVID-19 than someone who is vaccinated and boosted. I continue to recommend that everyone get vaccinated and boosted to protect yourself and others.
Our continued goal is to have our students in school learning. Our ability to continue to meet that goal is based upon the very hard work of our staff. Without their continued commitment and dedication, we would not be where we are now.
I also appreciate all of the parents and families for their support throughout this process. Without your partnership, we would not be able to do the work we are doing.
We will continue to keep you informed if anything should change before the start of school on Monday.
Adrian B. Talley, Ed.D.