December 16, 2020
To Our District 115 Families and Staff:

Following our District 115 Board of Education meeting on December 7 and the determination that LFHS students would continue in remote instruction for the balance of the calendar year, I committed to providing an update regarding our future plans (following Winter Break) on Wednesday, December 16.

Based upon a review of the District 115 COVID-19 metrics and consultation by the District 115 COVID-19 Metrics Advisory Council in a meeting earlier today, that update is as follows:

  • Monday, January 4 - Wednesday, January 6: COVID-19 gateway testing available (free of charge) for LFHS staff in the LFHS Field House. Testing is voluntary for staff but strongly encouraged.

  • Wednesday, January 6: School resumes following Winter Break. Staff return to the building and all LFHS students begin in remote learning.

  • Thursday, January 14 - Friday, January 15: COVID-19 gateway testing available (free of charge) for LFHS students in the LFHS Field House. Students opting to participate in e-hybrid, in-person learning will be required to test for COVID-19 before returning to the building.

  • Tuesday, January 19: LFHS e-hybrid, in-person students (all grade levels) return to the building following the Martin Luther King holiday. This will allow our school community to quarantine for 14 days following the holidays.

Keeping Our Building Open
Our goal is to return students to our buildings for in-person learning for all students. It is encouraging that a vaccine is on its way, but we must remain vigilant in our efforts to deter the spread of the virus by continuing to practice the 3 Ws (wearing a mask, washing hands, and watching our distance - 6 feet is still the guideline) if we are going to reopen our schools and keep them open. 

If you travel over the holidays, we strongly encourage you and your family to practice the 3 Ws along the way. If you are not able to (or choose not to) adhere consistently to these mitigation efforts, we ask that you and your family quarantine for 14 days after returning home. We need to do everything we can to mitigate risk in our building for the health and safety of all.

Expectations for a Safe Return to School
On Thursday December 17, Dr. Holland will send a detailed communication to students and their families about plans following Winter Break. That message will include a survey in which students will be given their choice of second semester instructional modalities (e-hybrid in-person or remote). To be clear, remote learning is the default. All LFHS students who select e-hybrid, in-person learning and/or are participating in extracurricular activities are committing to:
  • Participate in COVID-19 gateway testing with a negative result before returning to the building
  • Use the LFHS symptom screener 
  • Quarantine for 14 days following travel that does not adhere to IDPH health and safety guidance
  • Refrain from participating in activities (including athletics) that do not follow IDPH guidelines
  • Refrain from from congregating in large groups while in or out of school
  • Adhere consistently to risk mitigation strategies of wearing a mask, frequently washing hands, and maintaining 6-feet physical distance from others while in and out of school
  • Cooperate with contract tracers as needed throughout the balance of the school year

In this letter to our school community, District 115 Director of Safety and Security Mr. Lane Linder shares more about the mutual effort that is required to keep our students and staff in school.

COVID-19 Gateway Testing
As referenced above, in addition to encouraging strict adherence to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, COVID-19 gateway testing is required and free of charge for all e-hybrid, in-person students and available free of charge for all staff. The schedule for District 115 COVID-19 testing for staff and students is currently planned as follows: 
More information and a link to online registration will be shared by Friday, December 18.

If you have questions about testing or our health and safety protocols, please visit The Map or contact Mr. Lane Linder (llinder@lfschools.net) who leads risk mitigation for District 115.

Thank you,
Michael V. Simeck
Superintendent