Huntley 158 families,
As we near the end of the school year, our staff, students, and much of our community have had their spirits lifted by the resumption of many school, extracurricular, and athletic activities. However, along with these changes has come greater exposure to the COVID-19 virus. As a result, we have seen increases in the need for isolation and quarantines among our student body, particularly at the high school.
This situation illustrates the importance of continued vigilance and vaccination within our community. Please read below for important information regarding vaccines and the continuation of public health guidelines.
Advocating for Our Community
As you are likely aware, state guidelines were updated in March to lower the distancing requirements of classrooms from six to three feet. However, the guidelines regarding “close contact” with an infected individual continue to be based on distancing of six feet. As a result, we have seen an uptick in our quarantine numbers.
As we have all year, we will continue to work with our public health partners to ensure we are taking the right precautions in our operations and procedures. And as we have done all year, we will continue to voice our perspectives, along with those of our community members, to our public health partners.
- Just as we have done with our concerns regarding transportation guidelines, we have communicated concerns regarding the topics of distancing and quarantining to decision makers at the state level.
- We have been in contact with our state lawmakers, local representatives, industry organizations, and ISBE and IDPH leadership directly, informing them of the real impacts these guidelines are having on our schools.
While we do not anticipate an end to the realities of our current situation anytime soon, we know that the best way to speed the end of these challenges is to reduce spread in the community. This includes vaccinating as many eligible individuals as possible.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
At this time, all individuals 16 and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, and we strongly encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Remember, according to current guidance:
- Students who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine as a result of being a “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- Fully vaccinated individuals can gather without a mask (masks will still be required in school)
- The vaccine is free, safe, and available from a variety of providers in McHenry County
- Students under 18 must bring to their appointment proof of birth date, parent/guardian consent, and must be accompanied by parent/guardian
- Appointments can be found and made online at https://covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov/.
- If your high school student has been vaccinated, please share this information with the school’s health office.
COVID-19 Testing Updates
New guidance regarding COVID-19 testing has been issued by the McHenry County Department of Health. Please be advised that rapid negative tests will no longer be accepted, unless they are followed up with a negative PCR test. If getting tested due to potential exposure, children and any siblings must stay home while the PCR test is being processed. If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact your school nurse.
Examining Remote Learning Options for Next Year
Thank you to everyone who completed the Remote Learning Interest Form for the 2021-22 school year. Based on the initial data we received from this survey, approximately 10% of respondents are interested in a remote option for next year. While this number varies significantly by grade level and represents only potential interest in an option, we will use this information to help us craft options for remote learning at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. More information about these options will be shared in the coming weeks.
Food Service Information and Menus
In May 2021, food service options will be as follows:
- Students at all grade levels who are not in-person can receive free meals at the District’s curbside pickup location at Marlowe Middle School 8:00-10:00 a.m. daily.
- Middle and high school students learning in-person can receive Type A Breakfast and Lunch meals in school, in a socially distanced manner.
- Elementary students learning in-person can receive a Type A Lunch in school in a socially distanced manner, and receive a Type A Breakfast meal at the end of the day to take home.
- ALL Type A (standard) meals are free to ALL students, regardless of location or learning modality.
- May 2021 Curbside Lunch and Breakfast
- May 2021 Elementary School Lunch and Breakfast
- May 2021 Middle and High School Breakfast
- May 2021 Middle and High School Lunch
Several Huntley 158 5th grade students from Martin and Leggee Elementary Schools are completing their Bronze Award as Juniors in Girl Scout Troop 913: Olivia Bakey, Maggie Kemblowski, Danielle Marston, Abby DeRamus, Hailey Cratty, Jenna Rechul, Hannah Kozosky, Kayla Henze, and Miranda Hoeft.
The Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can earn and recognizes girls’ courage, confidence, character, and commitment to making a difference in the world around them. To earn the award, participants identify a community issue to help solve or support, research its causes, identify a solution, and work with the community to bring the solution to life.
For their project, Troop 913 made and donated more than 40 No-Sew Fleece comfort blankets to Second Bridge, a Crystal Lake-based nonprofit that supports foster children in McHenry and other surrounding counties by providing necessary items for foster children and families.
In addition, the troop is now organizing a supply drive for Second Bridge. If you are interested in supporting the effort, please consider a donation of any of the following:
- Pre-Teen/Teen – Toiletry and Hygiene products, school supplies, book, small blanket, underwear and socks, and new pillow case.
- Elementary/Toddler – Small blanket, toy, stuffed animal, book, coloring book and crayons, underwear and socks.
- Baby – Diapers, wipes, teething toys, bath items, sleepers
If you would like to support their cause, email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a donation drop off of any item listed by May 7, 2021.
Great job to these girls!
As always, I wish good health to you and yours.
Scott Rowe, Ed.D.