Germantown Elementary School successfully navigated the 2020-2021 school year as one of few schools in the entire state to provide a full in-person model with the exception of a 20 day period from November 23-December 22 when the district transitioned to remote learning due to our high COVID-related absentee rate.
We started and finished the 2020-21 school year with 100% of our families opting for in-person instruction. The Bulldog community rallied and demonstrated an extraordinary level of cooperation at a time when everyone was dealing with challenges beyond their imagination.
As you carefully read through the 2021-22 Return to School Transition Plan, we ask for your continued support and cooperation. Our plan is based on consideration of our own internal data from the 2020-2021 school year, data and information from other schools, and guidance from the CDC, IDPH, CCHD, and ISBE.
We feel strongly that a responsible and adaptable plan accompanied with opportunities for parental choice will yield the best results. No different than any other year, we are ready and willing to change our course of action if warranted. Every successful organization maintains a posture of constant learning, growth, and flexibility.
In an effort to make the plan for 2021-2022 as user-friendly as possible, it has been structured using a question and answer format. We believe this will be the simplest and most effective way to educate families on our plan moving forward.
We are excited about the 2021-2022 school year. It will take all of us working together as a Bulldog family to make it a year filled with positive learning experiences that lead to successful outcomes. Let’s stay united as a team. Our students are counting on us.
With Bulldog pride,
Robin Becker, Supt.
Germantown SD #60
Will Germantown Elementary offer a fully remote option for the 2021-2022 school year?
No. We feel confident in our ability to provide our students with a safe in-person learning experience. School will be full in person from 8:30-3:05 Monday through Friday. The school district will work closely with families if the need for an extended absence from school is warranted due to a COVID-related absence.
Will families be required to screen their children for symptoms?
Families have always been encouraged to screen their children for illness before sending them to school. This should be a common practice that all families continue. We encourage families to be strict with keeping sick children at home. We need everyone’s cooperation with this as it is the most important component of our plan.
What about masks?
The CDC/IDPH/ISBE recommend masks be worn by those who are unvaccinated. They also recognize local control during Phase 5 as stated:
"Together with local public health officials, school administrators should consider multiple factors when they make decisions about implementing layered prevention strategies against COVID-19. Since schools typically serve their surrounding communities, decisions should be based on the school population, families, and students served, as well as their communities".
With the State of Illinois in Phase 5, the county COVID positivity rate low, and schools being given increased control over mitigations, the Germantown Elementary 2021-22 school year will begin with a mask optional policy. While our hope is that masks will remain optional for the long term, we will continue to monitor the health and wellbeing of our students and staff and adjust accordingly if needed.
What about sports for the 2021-2022 school year?
We are anticipating full sports seasons this year; however, we are awaiting direction from the SIJHSAA on the protocols that will be in place. We are hopeful for and are advocating for a return to as much normalcy as possible.
Will Germantown Elementary contact trace during the 2021-2022 school year?
Upon notification of a positive COVID case, the school district will notify by email the classroom(s), bus route (if applicable), and club/team (if applicable) of the positive case. The district will work closely with families to determine if any precautionary measures need to be taken.
Will Germantown Elementary require or track Covid vaccination status?
No, our stance is that this is a personal decision that should remain private.
What if my child is sick? How soon can he/she return to school?
Parents know their children best. We trust our families to keep the best interests of our entire school community in mind when making decisions about school attendance. Students experiencing any major COVID-like symptoms, such as high fever, loss of taste and/or smell, or bad cough, will need a doctor’s note to return to school. We ask that students with mild cold symptoms remain home until symptom free for 24 hours. Siblings without symptoms may come to school.
What if my child or someone in my household has an exposure to someone who has tested positive for Covid?
If anyone in a household tests positive for Covid, all unvaccinated children in the home must quarantine. Fully vaccinated children in the same household will not need to quarantine if they are symptom free. Similarly, if a close contact outside of the home tests positive, all exposed unvaccinated children must quarantine.
What if my child tests positive?
Please report all test results, positive and negative to the school office. Upon reporting a positive test to office staff, families will receive specific instructions for the affected child, which may include isolation of the child and quarantine of others in the household. As a reminder, fully vaccinated children in the same household will not need to quarantine if they are without symptoms.
While a child or anyone in the household waits for test results, please keep all unvaccinated students at home.
Will Germantown Elementary require social distancing in the 2021-2022 school year?
We will make our best effort to encourage and promote social distancing in situations where it does not negatively impact the students’ educational experiences.
What should I expect regarding lunch?
The free lunch program for all K-8 students has been extended through the 2021-22 school year. As has been our practice the past few years, lunch will be served in the cafeteria in shifts with half of the students at recess while the other half are eating. Eating in shifts allows for the students to spread out more while eating.
The students will be encouraged to bring a water bottle to school every day. The water bottle refilling station will be available for use before, during, and after school.
What about cleaning and hygiene protocols?
We will continue with our daily disinfecting protocol. Classrooms, tables, desks, chairs, lockers, door handles, etc. will be disinfected regularly.
We also will continue to maintain our hand sanitizing stations throughout the building and encourage regular handwashing. Good hygiene practices will be encouraged.
What about field trips and school assemblies?
Field trips will resume although the availability of drivers will determine when and how often they will be taken. School assemblies will also resume.
Will junior high students use the locker rooms to change into a PE uniform?
We have opted not to reinstitute the use of PE uniforms for the 2021-22 school year. The locker room is an unsupervised setting where large groups of students congregate in a small area. As a result, issues sometimes arose. By eliminating the use of PE uniforms, there will be decreased opportunity for such issues to occur.