Huntley 158 Update on Coronavirus Preparations: March 12, 2020

Posted 3/12/20 3:30 p.m. :: At this time there have been no recommendations for closing school. However, we are following closely updates from the State and making plans in the event of an order to close. Specific information about plans for e-learning days can be found at the end of this letter. read more

Posted 3/12/20 3:30 p.m.

Huntley 158 is aware that McHenry County has announced its first confirmed case of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have received no indication that the confirmed case has any connection to our District. 

We remain in close contact with the McHenry County Department of Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Illinois State Board of Education regarding recommendations and information. 

What actions are being taken?

We are now following Health Department recommendations to avoid non-essential large gatherings. These guidelines will likely lead to some cancellations of events and field trips. Please visit www.district158.org/covid-19 for updated information. Cancellations of field trips will be communicated directly to affected groups.

At this time there have been no recommendations for closing school. However, we are following closely updates from the State and making plans in the event of an order to close. Specific information about plans for e-learning days can be found at the end of this letter.

The District continues to sanitize all high-touch surfaces nightly, reinforce the importance of hand washing and hygiene, and promote awareness of symptoms continue at all of our schools. In addition, we have contracted with our custodial services vendor to apply an ionized spray of an EPA-approved disinfectant on all contact surfaces in all facilities during the week of spring break.

The Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health have issued recommendations regarding attendance by students who have or whose close relatives have recently traveled to areas designated as “high-risk” in regard to transmission of COVID-19. Please note that a school district cannot deny or exclude students from receiving education services based on travel history.

Guidelines for students regarding international travel

In conjunction with recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health, we ask that students/families traveling to or who have recently traveled to “high risk” countries as designated by the CDC, contact your school’s main office or attendance line, prior to returning to school. We will then work with the family and McHenry County Department of Health to ensure safe and healthy learning environments for both the returning student and the entire student body. 

This recommendation pertains to families traveling to a country designated by the CDC as having a Level 3 risk assessment for transmission of COVID-19. Currently, Level 3 countries include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. Visit the CDC website for up-to-date information.

No official restrictions have been issued for other countries or locations in the United States.  However, if a student is presenting with fever, cough, shortness of breath and has been in close contact with someone infected with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact your physician, the District and the health department. As always, if your child feels ill, they should remain home from school.

Proactive planning and e-learning

As a proactive measure, the District is crafting a plan to implement e-learning for all students in the event that schools are recommended to close for an extended period of time. This plan would provide for students in all grade levels to be able to continue the learning process with relevant lessons to be completed while remaining at home during the school day. The District continues to work with staff and the Illinois State Board of Education to ensure the potential e-learning plan meets appropriate and approved learning outcomes.

Please note that this plan is being crafted only as a proactive measure. At this time, there is no significant change to our normal operations. We do ask that families begin to make preparations to secure childcare in case we are forced to cancel school.

If you have any concerns about your child’s health, please reach out to your child’s physician or the McHenry County Health Department.

Thank you.

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