Dear Families and Staff:
This letter is to inform you that an individual at McKinley Elementary School has tested positive for COVID- 19. We are coordinating our efforts with the LaSalle County Health Department to promptly identify and monitor individuals who have had recent contact with the COVID-19 positive individual to prevent further spread within our school and community. McKinley Elementary School students and staff’s health and safety is our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state and local health departments for best practices and procedures to protect everyone’s health. Students and staff who were not deemed close contacts are safe to return to school Monday, January 25th.
To prevent further spread of the disease, McKinley Elementary School is taking the following steps:
• Identify and notify close contacts (i.e., persons who were within six feet of a COVID-positive individual for 15 minutes or longer).
• Placing staff members and students who are identified as having prolonged close contact with the COVID-19 case(s) in quarantine for 14 days. Close contacts will also receive a separate notification from the LaSalle County Health Department.
• Ongoing monitoring of students and staff for signs and symptoms of illness and evaluation of illness reports to promptly identify possible outbreaks.
• Conducting a deep clean and disinfection of the areas impacted by potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
We will continue to enforce safe practices to prevent, promptly identify, and respond to potential COVID cases, as follows:
• Students and staff who are ill with COVID-like symptoms will promptly be placed in a separate supervised area away from others until they can be sent home.
• Students are required to wear face coverings at all times, as previously directed and per school policy.
• Staff are required to wear face coverings at all times while in contact with children and other staff in the facility.
• We are continuously sanitizing high-touch surfaces, including door handles, sink faucets, etc.
• We have removed plush toys and other toys that cannot be properly or frequently disinfected.
• We are teaching students the importance of face coverings, social distancing, and proper handwashing:
Students are discouraged from sharing personal items, e.g., water bottles.
Students are learning new ways to greet each other without touching.
Students are reminded to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth and to cover coughs and sneezes.
Students will be taught to wash their hands frequently and properly, following CDC guidelines on handwashing.
As we receive more information from the Department of Public Health and other entities, we will implement additional recommendations and guidelines.
As always, everyone should monitor their health and stay at home if they develop symptoms1. Sick persons should contact their health care provider to determine if testing is needed. Anyone who develops severe symptoms2 should seek medical care immediately. If your child has had close contact with a known case of COVID-19, keep the child at home and notify your primary healthcare provider, school, and your local health department.
We are committed to providing your child and our staff with a safe and healthy environment. Thank you for your understanding and ongoing cooperation with our COVID prevention policies and procedures as we work to help protect your children, your families, and our staff and their families. For any questions or concerns, please contact us at (815) 433-1907.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Dear Ottawa Elementary Families,
In person instruction will reconvene next Monday, January 11th, in the same format established before OES shifted to full remote learning. The full day remote option remains available to families. If a family elects to utilize remote learning, you must remain full remote until the end of the 2nd trimester.
If a family initially elected to utilize full remote during the second semester, but would now prefer in person instruction, please contact your child’s school before Friday, January 8th.
We thank you for your support during these unprecedented circumstances. Please continue to check our Facebook page and district webpage for more information.
As decided at the special meeting of the Board of Education (November 30th), Full Remote learning has been extended through Friday, January 8th. Our target date for a return to in person instruction is January 11th. The Board of Education will meet the week of January 4th to evaluate conditions and confirm the return to in person instruction.
Lunch Orders for Remote Learners
A week's worth of school lunches can be ordered using the link below. All orders should be placed by Tuesday at 2PM. Pick up is Wednesday at your choice of 3 buildings; Jefferson, Lincoln, or Shepherd Schools. Remember, meal bags are free for all kids ages 18 & under! Each bag contains 5 lunch & 5 breakfast, including milk!
Meal Announcement & Proposed Stops and Times
Adapted Pause Information
Dear Ottawa Elementary School Families,
As you are aware, Ottawa Elementary has been dealing with an increased number of COVID cases over the last week and a half. The cases in our region continue to rise with no indication of decreasing anytime soon. Our first major outbreak required OES to shut down the preschool program through the Thanksgiving holidays. We have also been forced to shut down individual classrooms. Today, we had 40 employees out due to either COVID, quarantine, or awaiting tests, making us very concerned about our ability to successfully function while maintaining the safety of our students and staff.
Due to the current circumstance and the increasing number of cases anticipated through the Thanksgiving holiday, Ottawa Elementary will conduct a 3 week Adapted Pause starting Monday, November 16th through Friday, December 4th. There will be a Remote Planning Day on Monday, November 16th so teachers can plan for Full Remote Learning. Therefore, Full Remote Learning will begin on Tuesday, November 17th. Our tentative plan will be to resume the In Person learning option on December 7th if conditions allow us to return.
It has been our goal to be transparent in communicating COVID cases to our families and we appreciate your responsiveness. It will be important that we continue to adhere to the guidelines when we return to school at a future date. Here are the guidelines as presented by IDPH:
The COVID Exclusion Guidelines Provided by IDPH
These are the currently known symptoms of COVID-19: Fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain from unknown cause, new congestion/runny nose, new loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body aches.
Students exhibiting ONE or more of the COVID-like symptoms listed above will be sent home (or should remain home) and should not return to school until one of the following are true:
His/her medical provider has determined a different illness other than COVID -19 and has cleared your student. Documentation of the alternative diagnosis AND that there is NO clinical suspicion of a COVID-19 infection must be provided to the school before the student returns.
He/she has a negative COVID-19 test result OR healthcare Provider’s note indicating the negative test result. This negative test result should be given to the school before the child returns. There are certain times where a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 is needed, such as if a student is a close contact to a confirmed case, the school is experiencing an outbreak, or the local health department needs validation due to community transmission levels.
The child isolates for 10 calendar days from the date of first symptom onset AND has been at least 24 hours fever free without the use of fever reducing medication AND symptoms are improving. Then the school must have a note written by the parent/guardian documenting that the ill student and/or household contacts are afebrile without fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved.
Any siblings or other household members of the sick student may not return for 14 days after the last day they were in contact with the ill child. The siblings and other household members can be released from this quarantine earlier than 14 days if an alternative diagnosis is made or a negative result has been received for the ill student. You should try to isolate the sick student away from well family members while at home.
A phone call will be going out to families later today. Please check our Facebook page and website for updates.