Update on Covid-19 preparations

Dear OPRF Students, Staff, and Families,

As we continue to monitor the rapidly changing Covid-19 issue, our goal is to continue our students’ academic days as normally scheduled with no interruption. However, we also are proactively preparing for the possibility of a school closure in case that becomes warranted. Please see below for answers to some commonly asked questions that we have received.

What are you using to guide your planning and decision-making?
We are following the recommendations of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has given direction for schools both with and without Covid-19 identified in their community. Those guidelines are available by clicking here.

What are you doing to prevent coronavirus?
Our Buildings & Grounds staff has continued the increased level of cleaning and sanitization that we began in December in response to incidents of pertussis. We have posted reminders about hand-washing and other illness-prevention measures on our bathroom doors and digital signage throughout the building. We are planning to put hand sanitizer and tissues in each classroom and office space as soon as possible, though unfortunately many suppliers are experiencing shortages of these items.

We also have lifted the 12-day limit for absences due to illness for the rest of the semester. Students and staff should stay home if they are ill, including if they have a fever of 100 degrees or more. Do not return to school until you’ve been fever-free without medication for 24 hours. If you have any questions about whether you are healthy enough to be at school, please contact your physician.

Can the school nurses test for Covid-19?
Following the CDC’s guidance, we are not screening for Covid-19. 

Are you planning to close school?
The Illinois Department of Public Health does not recommend closing schools at this time. If local conditions change, the CDC advises schools to collaborate with their local health department before making a decision to close school or cancel large events.

Do you have a plan for e-learning if school has to close?
ISBE has updated its guidelines for e-learning in light of the concerns about Covid-19. OPRF administrators, the Educational Technology department, and Faculty Senate are working together to create a plan that follows these guidelines in the event that we need to implement e-learning days due to closure for Covid-19.

What about meals for students who receive free and reduced lunch?
We are making plans to provide 10 days of prepacked, shelf-stable meals for these students if school needs to close. 

What about Spring Break travel?
We have canceled our school-sponsored trips to China, Italy, and France. If you plan to travel over break, we recommend monitoring the travel section of the CDC website, which includes up-to-date travel information about specific locations. Click here to visit the site. 

Ideally, anyone who travels to an area deemed a level 3 or level 4 travel risk would self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. However, we want to be clear that as a school district, we cannot exclude or deny enrollment or education to students who are residents of the district due to travel considerations. Any decision to quarantine students must be made by state or local public health officials, and districts must not apply standards that may be discriminatory for only one group of students.

We will continue to closely monitor the status of Covid-19 and public health recommendations and will provide updates as they become necessary.

Sincerely,

Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams
Superintendent