Bremen High School District 228 released a 12-paged digital packet outlining current plans for the upcoming 2021-22 school year, subject to change per the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Students and staff can expect to see/adhere to the following, according to the plan:
- Students and staff should expect to return to school in person this fall.
- All students and staff members who are vaccinated will not be required to wear masks.
- D228 classrooms and buildings will maintain three feet of social distancing when possible.
- District 228 may request voluntary submission of vaccination verification.
- All individuals who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine when exposed to a positive close contact for COVID-19 and showing no symptoms. COVID-19 testing is also no longer recommended for vaccinated individuals.
The CDC, IDPH, and ISBE, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals who are not fully vaccinated. According to the current plan, COVID-19 prevention strategies can be adjusted or changed based on outbreaks, increasing trends in the school/community, local vaccination levels, and the feasibility of these strategies.
If a student’s vaccination status is shared with the district, it will be kept confidential, like all other health information, according to the plan.
“Similar to how other businesses are operating, and in accordance with guidelines provided by the CDC, IDPH, and ISBE, District 228 strongly recommends all students, staff members, and visitors wear a mask in any of its buildings if they are not vaccinated,” the plan states. “Masks are not recommended to be worn by those who are vaccinated, but vaccinated individuals may continue to wear a mask if they would like to.”
Per CDC guidance, masks must be worn by everyone on the school bus, regardless of vaccination status, as it is part of the transit mask mandate currently in place.
The following steps will be taken to prevent disease transmission, according to the plan:
- School water fountains will remain disabled. Students and staff
members should plan to bring their own water bottles for the day. Water refill stations will remain open.
- School restrooms will still be available for use. Hand dryers have been disconnected as they have been proven to spread germs in small spaces. Instead, non-touch, pull-down paper towel dispensers have been made available.
- The district has purchased an iWave Air Purification system for each of
our schools. The purification system is attached to each school’s air handling system and helps to eliminate polluted air, germs, and viruses such as COVID-19.
- Hand sanitation stations will still be available throughout Oak Forest High School and other district schools.
- District 228 will not require self-certification for any of its students or staff
- Students and/or staff members, who are unvaccinated and displaying COVID-19 symptoms, must quarantine for ten days or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
The district released the following information regarding sports:
- Vaccinated students do not need to wear a mask while participating in athletics or activities. It is strongly recommended that unvaccinated students continue to wear a mask.
- Vaccinated students may refrain from quarantining if they have zero COVID-19 symptoms. Vaccinated students displaying COVID-19 symptoms will need to quarantine for ten days or provide a negative COVID-19 test result.
- Unvaccinated students must quarantine for ten days or provide a negative COVID-19 test when displaying COVID-19 symptoms or coming in contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Due to increased exhalation that occurs during physical activity, some sports and/or activities can put players, coaches, trainers, and others who are not fully vaccinated at increased risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. High-risk sports and activities may be canceled in areas of high community transmission unless all participants are fully vaccinated. Therefore, the athletic and/or activity departments may ask for proof of vaccination.
For questions or concerns regarding the current plan, reach out to D228 public relations specialist, Jamie Bonnema at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the entire plan here.