•  July 19, 2021The Winnetka Public Schools Logo

    Dear Families and Staff,

    We hope you are having a wonderful summer, reconnecting with loved ones and taking time to rejuvenate.  The District is eagerly planning ahead for the 2021-2022 school year, with a full return to in-person instruction with regular school hours. Please carefully review this mid-summer update and plan to expect weekly District updates starting the week of August 9.

    General Information about the 2021-2022 School Year
    No CrisisGo or Cohorting of Students

    • 2021-2022 calendar linked here (First day for students: W, August 25, 2021)
    • School hours:
      • Extended Day Kindergarten: 8:37 a.m. - 2:10 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
      • Grades 1 - 4: 8:37 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. (Mon.); 8:37 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. (Tues. - Fri.)
      • Grades 5 - 6: 8:25 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Mon.); 8:25 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Tues. - Fri.)
      • Grades 7 - 8: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Mon.); 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Tue. - Fri.)
    • Bus service resumes with AM and PM bus routes (register here)
    • Before and After School Care is available for K-6 (register here)
    • Lunch (and lunch service) takes place on campus for all students
    • Electives and Related Arts delivered in-person in their designated classrooms with typical mixing of students
    • After school activities and sports resume

    Additionally, please look forward to...

    • Class placements shared by building principals on Thursday, August 19
    • School tours for new and returning families (information on dates and times will be sent by schools in August; individual school availability varies due to summer construction)
    • Invitation to an ALL D36 Welcome Back to School event on Tuesday, August 24 from 4-6 p.m. (more to come!)

    Fall 2021 Covid-19 Mitigation Update 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance on July 9 for COVID-19 Prevention in Kindergarten (K)-12 Schools, and this guidance has been adopted by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Within these new guidelines are two noteworthy changes that have been implemented on our campus:

    1. The updated school guidance now aligns with guidance for fully vaccinated people, which allows activities to resume for fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, and local rules and regulations. Masks are required on busses.
    2. The CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, other layered mitigation strategies are recommended.

    We expect more updates over the next few weeks from the IL School Board of Education and IDPH regarding guidance for localized decision-making for school this fall.  The next set of FAQs are expected to be posted this week.  We will post the FAQ information from ISBE as a quick link on the main page of the District website. 

    At the School Board Meeting on Tuesday, August 17, the District will make a determination regarding its Covid-19 mitigation plan for our schools this fall, which includes masking for non-fully vaccinated individuals. While there have been some community requests for a faster timeline, making this decision a week before school starts affords the opportunity to review the most timely and relevant information and data before the start of school within an evolving landscape.  Data and information to be reviewed include Cook County quarantine and contact tracing protocols, community vaccination rate, local case counts and metrics, Covid-19 testing plan, latest CDC/IDPH guidance, etc.  The School Board will make a decision based on the latest information and data on Tuesday, August 17.

    Vaccination Update

    As we prepare for the fall, we will be requesting vaccination status information from families to allow the District to more efficiently implement public health guidance. You are not required to provide the District with documentation of COVID-19 vaccination. Please be aware, however, that those without a record of vaccination on file will be required to follow the quarantine plan for unvaccinated individuals. We will provide additional information and directions regarding how to provide vaccination status in our next update.

    Summer Construction

    This summer, significant planned Health/Life Safety work is being conducted at Crow Island School, Hubbard Woods School, Greeley School, and The Skokie School. We anticipate that this work will be completed before the start of the school year. 

    Highlights include the following: 

    • Crow Island: replacement of the historic chimney and ADA hardware.
    • Greeley: flooring improvements, fire safety updates, air handling units, piping replacement, HVAC repairs made.
    • Hubbard Woods: flooring improvements, ADA hardware, door repair and replacement, fire safety egress, site work for drainage, brickwork, ventilation and exhaust repair, fire alarm replacement, air handling unit, piping replacement.
    • The Skokie School: water mitigation in the courtyard and plaster replacement in the historic auditorium. 

    Adventures in Learning

    In the District, we had about 300 students participate in our annual Adventures in Learning program, enjoying classes such as archery, spalicious, and wilderness survival. Thanks to all who helped make the program a fun and educational experience for our students! During Adventures in Learning, we followed evolving CDC guidance that stated that masks are no longer required for vaccinated individuals while on school campus (whether indoors or outdoors). Masks were optional for all individuals outdoors. We are also proud to report that we had no Covid-19 cases during the summer’s program.

    Thank you for taking the time to review this information. Enjoy the remainder of your summer break. On behalf of our administration, we look forward to reconvening as a school community on August 25!

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Trisha Kocanda
    Superintendent