Dear D157 and D2 Families:
I hope this letter finds you and your family well and enjoying the spring weather that has come our way. As you know, the last 12 months have brought significant challenges for everyone in our communities as we have had to face the many adverse effects of COVID-19. Through it all, our students, staff, families, and community members have continued to work with both School Districts to ensure the education of our students remains a priority. This could not have happened without your support and the incredible determination of our teachers and staff to continually find new and unique methods to deliver classroom instruction.
Although we still have a long way to go before COVID-19 is no longer a daily concern, we remain cautiously optimistic with the recent news indicating COVID-19 case numbers continue to remain low at the state and local level. In addition, we are pleased to announce our school staff has received their second vaccination shot as of yesterday. Full efficacy after the second vaccination shot takes about 14 days, which aligns with the beginning of our spring break. Earlier this week, we also received the eagerly anticipated Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools from the IDPH and ISBE. In that document, the IDPH has revised their guidance for social distancing from six feet to three feet or greater when possible.
With the IDPH reduction of its social distancing recommendation from six to three feet, the current low number of COVID-19 cases, the full vaccination of our staff, and the mitigations currently in place at our schools both Boards of Education and the Administration believe now is the time to prepare for our full return to school. Pending no significant changes in COVID-19 positivity or case numbers, both Nippersink SD 2 and Richmond-Burton CHSD 157 will return to full in-person education five days a week starting Tuesday, April 6, 2021. More details regarding this return will be released early next week, followed by video presentations from each school. We will also continue to offer full remote learning for families who want to remain fully remote for the remainder of the school year.
As we take our first major steps forward, it is important to continue to follow all recommended mitigations. As part of our return to school plan, we will continue to monitor all daily health data and adjust our learning model as necessary. Our top priority has and will continue to be the health and safety of our students and staff. We look forward to our next steps and remain grateful for the support of our communities through this entire process.
Dr. Tom Lind
Superintendent of Schools