COVID-19 Update 10-22-2020

COVID-19 Update 10-22-2020
Posted on 10/22/2020

Dear East Prairie Community,

I hope you are doing well and your family is staying healthy and safe. Given the changing nature of the pandemic and its impact on our school community, I wanted to provide an update on our process to continuously monitor the safety of in-person learning.

As of today, preschool through first grade have students working in-person and remotely. Second and third grade families have made their election for in-person and remote learning which will begin Monday, October 26. Our Board-Parent Subcommittee which includes input from staff and administration will meet on Tuesday, October 27 to discuss in-person learning for students in fourth and fifth grade as well as middle school.

On a frequent basis, we are reviewing several factors to make determinations about in-person learning for the students and staff who are onsite as well as to consider bringing more grade levels onsite. As we have from the beginning, we will consider the totality of the information before us to make the best possible decisions for our students, staff, and community. The factors we use are as follows:

• Case rate per 100,000 people in Cook County

Availability of adequate testing and diagnostic testing turnaround time
• W
orkplace considerations
Successes and challenges in other districts

We continue to monitor other relevant epidemiological factors including rapid increases in cases, outbreaks, or significant shifts in demographics of cases. Please be aware that there remain potential scenarios that could cause us to revert to full remote learning for a period of time:

Local, regional, or state metrics could, at any time, require that we revert to a full remote platform for a period of time.
A surge in metrics could require that we pause our phase-in process and delay a start date.
Positive cases that are deemed a “cluster” could result in school having to revert to full remote for anywhere from 1–10 days.

A positive case in a classroom–based on the results of contact tracing–could result in a classroom reverting to full remote for a period of time.

• Lack of access to teachers, paraprofessionals, and/or substitute teachers due to illness or absence could require that a classroom or the school revert to a full remote platform for a period of time.

You may have seen in the news that nearby county health departments are recommending that all districts in those counties revert to a full remote learning model. This has not happened for suburban Cook County, but if it should, we would follow the county or Skokie Health Department recommendation. We would also revert to full remote learning if Governor Prtizker moved our region to phase three of the Restore Illinois plan. 

I feel so fortunate to work with a community of students, staff, parents, and community who are taking this virus seriously and putting the safety of themselves and others first. Thank you for continuing to do your part by wearing masks, washing your hands, maintaining social distancing and reporting illnesses and symptoms to our nurse. Our continued success will be a shared one that we can only achieve together.

If there is anything we can do to support your student or family, please let us know.


Paul Goldberg