Return to Learn Parent Update-9-4-2020

District 7 Families,

Today marks the end of the third full week of student attendance.  While it is certainly not a normal year, the routines of school are kicking in for the students–whether remote or in-person.  The new procedures and protocols have proven to be effective mitigation strategies in our schools.  Mask-wearing and social distancing throughout the school day have allowed our schools to safely provide in-person instruction.  These efforts, combined with your participation and cooperation, will allow the District to continue to provide opportunities for in-person learning for our students.  Thank you for also completing the daily self- certification checks with your students and keeping students  home when they are showing any COVID symptoms. Your patience and understanding when students and siblings are sent home and quarantined due to the onset of symptoms is greatly appreciated.  The District must have strict protocols in place for in-person learning to be able to continue.

In addition to new protocols, District 7 continues to consult with the Madison County Health Department as well as local pediatricians to discuss the newest data as it relates to the transmission of COVID-19.  Within the last week, a group of over 80 local community pediatricians, pediatric infectious disease specialists, pediatric adolescent specialists, and pediatric nurse practitioners have written a letter to all of our communities advocating for in-person instruction based on the latest data.

Click Here to Read the Pediatrician Letter to the Community

Remote Planning Day with no student attendance – Friday, September 25th 

On Friday, September 25th, District 7 will have a remote planning day.  Remote planning days are used by school districts to help provide professional development and continually prepare for remote instruction.  Remote planning days are non-attendance days for all students Pre-K through 12th grade. The Illinois State Board of Education allows all school districts to have a maximum of five remote planning days throughout the 2020-21 school year as needed. Please make note of this change in the calendar for Friday, September 25th.


What sort of notification can families expect if there is a COVID positive case within a school? 

When there is a confirmed COVID positive individual (student or staff member) within a school, the following notifications will occur:

  1. If a student is a close contact of the COVID positive individual, the parent or guardian will be called by a school administrator or nurse.
  2. All families within a school where there is a positive COVID case will receive an email notification.
  3. All District 7 families will receive email notification if any District 7 school suspends in-person instruction in alignment with the metrics outlined below.

What metrics will District 7 use to determine when to suspend in-person learning and move to a remote setting? 

District 7 will suspend in-person instruction and move to a 100% remote setting under the following conditions:

  1. The community as a whole is under a stay-at-home order from the Governor or another local or state agency.
  2. The District does not have enough staff members (due to quarantine) to safely operate.
  3. There are outbreaks within at least three District 7 schools.  An outbreak is defined by the Madison County Health Department as “two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases who are epidemiologically linked to the outbreak setting, have onsets of illness within a 14-day period, do not share a household, and are not listed as a close contact of each other outside of the outbreak setting.”  Individual classrooms and schools will have in-school instruction suspended prior to the entire District moving to a remote setting.  Click here for more details regarding this metric.

After transitioning into an all remote learning setting, District 7 would remain in this setting for at least two weeks.  During this time, the District will work collaboratively with the Madison County Health Department to review COVID-19 data specific to our school district/communities and review current staffing levels to determine a date of return to in-person instruction.

The results from the parent survey that was completed in June 2020 have been posted  on the District’s website.  To review the results by grade level band, click on the link below:

Click Here to view the survey data.

Finally, even though confirmed cases in the schools remain low, the District is concerned about Madison County’s rise in positive Covid cases.  A continued increase in positive cases in our local communities has the potential to impact whether or not students can continue in-person learning.  We need everyone’s help to keep the virus out of our communities and schools.  We are hopeful that students will continue to follow good hygiene practices and strategies that keep them healthy – wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing social distancing.  Thank you for your continued patience and support.


Dr. Jason Henderson