Weekly Update - March 12, 2021
Surveillance Testing Reminder
The deadline to complete the signup form to participate in Surveillance Testing is by 11:59 p.m. this Sunday, March 14.

Studies have shown that weekly surveillance programs have driven down transmission rates in the areas they cover. With weekly testing, we will have a more accurate assessment of overall COVID-19 rates and risks at D181 schools, providing an extra layer of reassurance for providing in-person instruction in addition to the many safety measures the school already has in place.

  • Families can sign up their students via Skyward under the "Forms" tab.
  • Staff can sign up through the Google form here.
  • You can view the Surveillance Testing information booklet via our Reopening page.
Reopening Plans - Informational Updates
Last week, we shared our Updated FAQ Document, which is available on the Reopening website and linked again here. We hope you find this document helpful as questions arise regarding the plans for a return to full in-person. We will continue to update the FAQ as new information becomes available. 

We have recently received a few questions regarding the timeline and processes of the plan and requests for more details. This information is included below: 

What is the District’s process for establishing social distancing in classrooms?
  • Room Configurations: For the past several weeks, including weekends, our hard-working and dedicated buildings and grounds team has been going room by room to remove all unnecessary furniture and reincorporate previously used furniture. While the classrooms are not yet in their final configuration, we want to thank our buildings and grounds crew for the incredible job they have done all year as they manage increased cleaning schedules in addition to the current work of reopening for full in-person.  
  • Master Schedules: The completion of the master schedule will determine how many students will be in each classroom, which will further define the work of our buildings and grounds team. Master scheduling is a time-consuming and complex process. Typically, it is prepared through the summer and often with the assistance of our student data management program, Skyward. However, with the detail needed for a master schedule that takes into account safety guidelines, social distancing requirements, and maintaining student cohorts, master schedules must be prepared primarily by hand during this time. 
  • Desk Configurations and Room Designs: Some classrooms are now set up with their previous classroom size configurations as a starting point for their final setup. Please note that the current desk placement and distancing in these rooms are not finalized. Desk configurations within classrooms take into account the following:
  • Maximizing social distancing
  • Minimizing close contacts
  • Optimizing seating configurations in rooms that have an atypical shape (i.e. not rectangle- or square-shaped)
  • Student Pod Limitations: The requirement of and our commitment to a minimum of 3 feet of social distancing between students makes the concept of student pods counterproductive in some circumstances. (Note: Pods are different from cohorts. Pods would mean that, for example, three students sit at a 6-foot long table, to minimize close contacts should one of those students test positive.) While we’ll always consider various desk configurations, our focus will remain on maximizing social distancing and minimizing the number of potential close contacts for students.

Are there unused rooms within schools that can be used for splitting classrooms and maximizing social distancing where it may be less than 6 feet between desks? We expect to use all available spaces in the schools to their full capacity and any classes that can be split have already been split. Additionally, some art and music classes have been displaced and extra spaces have been utilized to meet social distancing requirements for lunch.

How have staff been incorporated into this process? We are grateful for the incredible work our teachers and staff have done to achieve the many successes of this school year, both in terms of safety and academics. Their voices in this plan are represented by members of the D181 Transition Team, Working Groups, and their union leadership. The Transition Team met on February 25, 2021, and Working Groups are meeting the week of March 15. D181 administration has met with union leadership regularly throughout the year, and recently twice weekly.

What plans are being made for elementary school recess? Outdoor recess will be less than 15 minutes and social distancing risks will be mitigated by increasing the number of supervisors outdoors. At the building level, schools are making plans such as outlining the fields to designate recess areas for groups of students and/or giving the students colored bracelets to help identify which students are a part of which recess groups.

How will middle school students who are leaving for lunch be supervised to avoid gatherings? We encourage parents to supervise students who are not eating lunch at/inside the school.

How is the District preparing for the 2021-22 school year? We are utilizing this spring as a time to evaluate our procedures and identify opportunities to increase safety at our schools for the return to school in the fall. We are also taking the necessary steps to prepare for additional guidance that may come from health authorities or any potential changes in internal and external safety indicators.
Interest Survey: Before and After School Care
-- A Message From The Community House --

Dear D181 Families — we understand it has been a difficult year for many families as they plan for child care needs and we always want to be there for our community to help with those needs. If you are interested in the Before and After the Bell Program being offered at your child(ren)'s school, please fill out the survey below. The results will help determine if we will offer the program in your child’s school. If there is low demand at your child’s school we will be able to host a limited number of schools at The Community House and provide transportation from school. Please fill out the survey linked below to express interest in this program. Thank you!
Join Us In Honoring D181 Teachers and Staff at the State Level!
Teacher of the Year & Those Who Excel Nominations
The success of our students is a byproduct of the outstanding teachers and staff who influence them every day. In an ongoing effort to promote their outstanding work, we are asking all individuals from our school community to please consider submitting a nomination for a D181 teacher, staff member, administrator or community volunteer for:

ISBE’s 2022 Teacher of the Year award (teachers only)
and/or the
Those Who Excel awards (staff/administrators/volunteers)

All it takes is a nomination to get the process started - and it's quick and easy! Nominations are due to the District by April 15. See more details below and submit your nomination today!
Teacher of the Year Award (Teachers)
The 2022 Illinois Teacher of the Year is selected as the top teacher from a group of Regional Teachers of the Year throughout the state. The 2022 Illinois Teacher of the Year will serve as an ambassador for Illinois teachers and as the representative for Illinois in the Council of Chief State School Officer’s National Teacher of the Year program.
Those Who Excel Awards (Staff, Administrators, Volunteers)
Our staff and administrators often work behind the scenes to provide an extra effort in helping our students succeed in a safe and caring environment. Please nominate for any of the following categories:
  • Student Support Personnel (School nurse, psychologist, social worker, school counselor, or speech/ language therapist, etc.)
  • Educational Service Personnel (Aides/paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, custodians, administrative assistants, bus drivers, resource officers, etc.)
  • Administrators (Principals, Asst. Principals, PSAs, District Office, etc.)
  • Community Volunteers
  • Teams
School Celebrations
Walker fifth-graders worked with Ozobots this week! Ozobots are small robots that blend the physical and digital worlds and teach students basic programming. Students train the robots to follow patterns on the surfaces that they roll over. Ozobots can identify lines, colors, and codes on both digital surfaces, such as an iPad, and physical surfaces, such as paper.
Ella Parker-Briones and Cooper Revord (CHMS) with their Rotary certificates.
Jake Turnbell and Diya Patel (HMS) on Zoom during the Rotary meeting.
D181 eighth-graders Jake Turnbell and Diya Patel (HMS) and Cooper Revord and Ella Parker-Briones (CHMS) received the Rotary Club of Hinsdale's Youth Merit Award on Friday, March 12.

This award recognizes extraordinary high school and middle school students for services to their community and classmates, leadership qualities, and academic achievements.

The students attended the March 12 virtual Rotary meeting and addressed club members about their activities and interests.

They also received a certificate to commemorate the occasion. Congrats students and thank you Rotary Club of Hinsdale!
Reminder: Travel Guidance
The District is following the CDC and IDPH's most recent guidance on international travel.

International Travel: Per the CDC and IDPH, anyone returning from international travel is required to:
  • Quarantine for 7 days and get a PCR test on days 5-7 with a return on Day 8 OR
  • Quarantine for 10 days if not getting tested with a return on Day 11

Note: The day you travel to return home is considered Day 0.

Domestic Travel: There is currently no restriction when returning from domestic travel.

Please note that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19 and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. Please continue to wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands when around those outside your household.
COVID-19 Report
During the week of 3/1-3/5 numbers were as follows:
  • 11 staff in quarantine, 1 staff absent due to COVID-19 related symptoms, and 0 staff out due to positive tests for a total of 12 days (2.1% of onsite staff)
  • 27 students in quarantine, 38 students absent due to COVID-19 related symptoms, and 0 student positive tests for a total of 181 days (2.4% of in-person students, including siblings)

The D181 Positive Case Report Spreadsheet is updated daily on student attendance days at 4 p.m.

To view the 03-05-21 Dashboard, click here.
2021-22 Registration Information
In keeping with our COVID-19 protocols, all 2021-22 registration processes will be completed online this year, with the following dates for the following groups. More information will be posted on our website and families will receive specific instructions as they complete each step of the registration process.

Registration Dates
  • D181 Neighborhood Preschool Registration (new students): Opened Jan. 27 at www.d181.org/prek. Applications received after March 4 will be placed on a waitlist and notification will be on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Kindergarten and New Student Registration: Opened Feb. 8 at www.d181.org/registration
  • Current Student Registration: Save the Date for April 12
Meal Pickup Schedule
D181 meal pickup for all families in the community (with children ages 0-18) will continue on Tuesdays at HMS and Thursdays at CHMS. Pickup is between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. (please note times have changed). The free meal packages include 7 days' worth of breakfast, lunch, and a snack.
115 West 55th St. Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
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