Good Friday from the Hilltop!
We are 12 days away from the opening of school on Tuesday, September 8th! We are excited to get our students back in the classroom after a nearly 6 month hiatus. As the district has communicated and you have read, there are a great number of changes in how we are starting this school year:
- Families and schools must conduct daily symptom checks of students and staff prior to sending them to school.
- Face masks must be appropriately worn at all times on school campus.
- Schools have arranged to keep students socially distanced (6 feet apart) in classrooms.
- No visitors will be allowed in the schools without express permission from administration.
- Extra-curricular activities have either been altered or postponed.
- Increased efforts are being made in hand washing and disinfecting our schools.
- Remote instruction has become an active tool in our students learning program.
These are just a few of the big changes! We have approved the Hilltop Return to School Plan, but we must also be prepared for changes to this plan as our schools adjust to the needs and safety of our staff and students.
The biggest question I have heard, from educators and families, is “How do we know when to keep or send a student home for illness?” This is a slippery slope. The district asks parents to keep their students home if they exhibit any of the symptoms the CDC and IDPH have identified being related to COVID-19. If a student comes to school with these symptoms and is sent home, they may be quarantined for up to 14 days requiring them to participate in remote instruction only. We also ask that you report your child’s symptoms when calling in their absence so we can keep accurate records in our efforts to keep students and staff safe and healthy!
The school will take the approach of trying to distinguish between a single sneeze and a sick child, but please understand that we have specific directives we must follow to comply with the IDPH, ISBE and our LCHD. If we call to ask you to pick your child up from school, know that we have vetted the situation with a careful lens before we ever make the phone call. It is our goal to keep as many students in their classrooms as possible. Please review the IDPH COVID-19 Exclusion Guidance when making your decisions on whether to send your child to school or keep them home. We hope you and your families enjoy the last week of summer break!
Fred Lamkey, Mount Pulaski Superintendent