D200 Return to Learn Health Protocols

  • Health Protocols  • (Haga clic aquí para ver la versión en español)

    Updated 05/24/21 

    In planning for the safety and health of students and staff, the following District protocols for returning to school will be followed. Students will also be given school specific instructions for maximizing the health and safety of all students upon return to the classrooms. Protocols and school procedures may be revised throughout the school year as health risks in our community decrease or increase. The following protocols are in place for all staff and students whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.

    If you’re sick, stay home

    Staff and students should not enter campuses or district buildings if any of the following apply. The individual is:

    • Sick with symptoms that could be COVID-19. Symptoms to watch for: fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body aches from unknown cause.
    • Has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals must follow all isolation and quarantine guidelines from the local health authority or physician.
    • Has a household member who has symptoms of COVID-19, is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who is awaiting their own test results.

    International Travel Guidelines

    District 200 will be following CDC recommendations for International Travel

    International Travel Recommendations for Unvaccinated Individuals:

    • Get tested 3-5 days after travel, stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days.  Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.  Prior to returning to school or work notify your School Nurse
    • If your test is positive, stay home and isolate yourself for at least 10 calendar days from either onset of symptoms or specimen collection date, and 24 hours with no fever.  These measures will protect others from getting infected.  Prior to returning to school or work notify your School Nurse.
    • ​If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.  Prior to returning to school or work notify your School Nurse
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.        


    International Travel Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated Individuals:

    • Get tested 3-5 days after travel.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms and notify your School Nurse.

    PowerSchool Self Assessment

    Parents must complete the District 200 Safety Self-Assessment for their student(s) certifying they are fever-free, do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, and have not tested positive for COVID-19.  This step must be completed via the Powerschool Parent Portal each morning before sending the student to the bus stop or entering the school building.  This form must be completed daily for all in-person students.  If a staff member or student answers “yes” to any of the health screening questions, they should remain at home and notify their physician and the School Nurse.  If one household member has COVID-19 symptoms, the other household members must also stay home.  

    Student Attendance

    Parents/guardians are required to inform the school of their student’s absence.  In order to monitor illness trends and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is imperative that the school is notified if your student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.  

    If your student has an unexcused absence, the school will be sending an automated  message to parents/guardians daily at 12:30 pm.  The school must receive a return phone call the same day with a reason for your student’s absence in order to attend school the following day.

    Wear a face covering

    All individuals in school buildings must wear face coverings at all times unless they are younger than 2 years of age, have trouble breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.  

    Face coverings must be worn at all times in school buildings even when social distancing is maintained. Fabric masks with two or more layers must fit snugly on the face without gaps and cover both mouth and nose. Gaiters, face shields, and masks with valves will not be allowed. Students are encouraged to bring two face coverings to school each day. For more guidance on face coverings please see D200 Face Covering Guidelines.

    Wash your hands often

    You can help yourself stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

    • Entry into the school building (use hand sanitizer) — all students will sanitize their hands upon arrival to school
    • Before entering the health or main office (use hand sanitizer)
    • Before entering the LRC (if space is being used in your building for students)
    • After using the bathroom (wash hands)
    • Before eating (washing hands with soap and water is preferred, hand sanitizer is approved as well) — all students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before meals and snacks at school.
    • Before, after, and during food preparation (food service, culinary classes) (wash hands)
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (wash hands or use hand sanitizer)  
    • Hand sanitizer will be available at every school and accessible throughout the building.

    Breakfast and Lunch for Students

    Students will be kept 6 feet apart during meal periods.  The food service tables will be cleaned and disinfected per standard protocols.  Face covering storage is available for students to use during meal periods and during outdoor face covering breaks.

    Cleaning Procedures

    Classrooms will be disinfected and deep cleaned nightly with EPA-approved products using electrostatic sprayer and microfiber surface cleaning systems. Restrooms will be disinfected routinely throughout the day as well as deep cleaned and disinfected nightly. Sanitizer wipes will be available in all classrooms. Drinking fountains will be out of service. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Each school has a sensor activated filtered water bottle filler for student and staff use. These stations will be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. 

    Social Distancing

    Social distance for in-person learning is now defined as 3 to 6 feet for students and fully vaccinated staff.   The change to 3 feet allows for more students to fit into a classroom and more students into our buildings each day.  Current recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization support this range for in-person learning as well as unpublished research from the Mayo Clinic. 

    District 200 requires strict adherence to 6 feet of social distancing in the limited situations where face coverings are removed or can’t be worn:

    • When eating.
    • When outdoors and physical distancing of 6 feet can be maintained.
    • When a student is unable to wear a face covering due to medical and/or behavioral reasons.
    • While children are napping with close monitoring to ensure no child leaves their designated napping area without putting their face mask back on.
    • For staff when alone in classrooms or offices with the door closed.
    • For individuals who are younger than 2 years of age; those who have trouble breathing;  or those who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face mask without assistance.
    • Students in Life Skills Classrooms, Target classrooms or any other programs in the district who cannot wear a face covering due to medical and/or behavioral reasons should remain 6 feet apart at all times.  Staff members assigned to educate and care for these students should continue to wear PPE provided by the district.

    Please note:  students and unvaccinated staff who are within 3 feet of a confirmed case will be considered a close contact.

    Health Office Isolation/Contact Tracing Protocols 

    • For individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19, the school nurse will provide a clinical assessment in an isolation space separate from the area used to see students who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19.  If a student has one or more symptoms of COVID-19, the student will be sent home. Individuals displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow the District 200 School Exclusion protocols.  
    • Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes from the time the campus has contacted the parent/guardian.
    • Other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus (go on a walk outside, move to a different classroom, etc) so that the classroom surfaces can be cleaned.
    • If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 and additional school exposures have occurred as a result of the positive case, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until those areas have been cleaned and sanitized. 
    • District communication will be provided to the individuals who came within close contact with a student or staff member with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result. Additional communication will be shared with the entire campus community. 
    • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be permitted to return to school when:

      • 10 days have passed since symptoms began and
      • They are 24 hours fever-free without using fever-reducing medication; and
      • Improved symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, etc.); and
      • Other criteria is met per the District 200 School Exclusion Chart

    • If a student or staff member has symptoms of COVID-19 and wants to return to school prior to meeting the above criteria, they must obtain a physician’s note clearing them for return based on an alternative diagnosis with no clinical suspicion for COVID 19 or receive a negative COVID-19 test.

    In the event that you are contacted by McHenry County Department of Health officials following the results of a positive COVID-19 test or close contact to a confirmed case, please cooperate with that process. Identifying potential contacts and effective quarantine/isolation procedures are critical to containing the spread of the virus in our community. 

    School Health Office Changes

    There will be separate areas created in our health clinics — one for regular care and an isolated area for anyone who presents signs or symptoms of illness.  If you receive notification that your student was placed in the isolation area, please pick your student up within 30 minutes of the phone call.  

    Due to restrictions on visitor policies, parents will no longer be allowed to bring medications into the health clinics. If you need to provide medication for your child, a nurse will meet you in a designated area.

    You can also expect to see changes in how we administer student medication, the suspension of nebulizer treatments and suction, and new criteria for staying home from school/returning to school, based on IDPH/MCDH/CDC guidelines.

    Please reach out to your school nurse if you have specific concerns regarding your child’s medical care. 

    School Bus Health Protocols

    Although the district is implementing safety protocols and disinfecting efforts, families are encouraged to drop students off, carpool or walk with their student to school to reduce possible exposure on buses.

    • Our buses will hold no more than 50 students. Busses hold a maximum of 70 students on average without COVID restriction.
    • Drivers and students are required to wear face coverings while on the bus.
    • Buses will be disinfected.
    • Students will have assigned seats. This is important in the event that there is a positive case as it will support contact tracing and notification to families.
    • Students are expected to practice social distancing while waiting for and approaching the school bus.
    • Students will be seated starting from the back seats, then toward the front.The 
    • Students will unload at the school from the front of the bus to the back.

    Water Fountains

    All water fountains have been disabled.  Water bottle filling stations have been added where possible.  Please send your student to school with a refillable water bottle.  At the middle school and high school please send your child to school with a clear refillable water bottle.