COVID-19 District Resources & Updates » School-Based COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

School-Based COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Frankfort School District 157-C
School-Based COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
2021- 2022
Released July 30, 2021
*Revised February 7, 2022
Compliance with Applicable Guidance
The Superintendent is authorized to revise these procedures as warranted to conform to mandates or recommendations from any entity with authority over the District (including, but not limited to, the Governor of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA), and the Will County Health Department, and/or as otherwise appropriate to facilitate the operation of the schools and the safety of students, staff, visitors, and other participants in the District’s programs. The Board will be notified promptly of any substantive changes to this plan.
 
References
The information, community health data, and guidance used to create this school-based mitigation plan was reviewed from:

Illinois State Board of Education
https://www.isbe.net/Pages/covid19.aspx

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – COVID Data Tracker
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC) at Northwestern Medicine
http://covid-dashboard.fsm.northwestern.edu/

Mitigation Strategies
IDPH/CDC recommends various mitigation strategies for schools to implement to assist with prevention of COVID-19 spread. The subsequent list explains FSD 157-C's approach to implementing these mitigating protocols. ISBE does note that schools should not refrain from holding full, in-person learning for all student attendance days if mitigations are not able to be met to the exact specification listed in the guidance, e.g., social distancing specific requirements in all scenarios.
 
Masks
On February 5, 2022 the FSD 157-C Board of Education voted to pass a resolution related to their authority of local control related to mitigation measures - specifically mask requirements and school exclusion of close contacts. That resolution is linked here. 
 
All parents and guardians of students and adults entering the District schools, and while at meetings/events in District buildings, before, during or after school are encouraged to direct their children and themselves, but not required, to wear face coverings in the building and/or while in the facility in which an event is being conducted, except to the extent a person is exempt. Face coverings should be of a type, and worn in a manner, compliant with guidance from the IDPH, ISBE, and the Will County Department of Public Health. 

Physical Distancing
Classroom teachers will make every effort to space students out at three feet, understanding that every classroom configuration, capacity and class size may vary. Because of these variables, we are unable to provide an exact number of feet between each student. Social distancing will also be applied when students eat lunch.

The District will follow Board-directed class size targets to the greatest extent possible. Reducing class sizes below those levels may not be possible due to lack of available space for additional classrooms and/or other reasons.

Cohorting will be applied in our schools as much as possible. Cohorting means keeping people together in a small group and having each group stay together throughout an entire day. Cohorting can be used to limit the number of students, teachers, and staff who encounter each other, especially when it is challenging to maintain physical distancing. Cohorting is more achievable at Grand Prairie and Chelsea than it is at Hickory Creek.

Handwashing
All FSD 157-C students will have considerable access to hand soap and hand sanitizer. Staff will assist students with hand sanitizing at several points in the day.

Respiratory Etiquette
Students will be reminded of proper respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes while following hand-hygiene protocols immediately thereafter.
 
Ventilation
The District will optimize the power of the HVAC system through use of air filtration in conjunction with regular maintenance to ensure outside air changes occur as much as possible, dependent on proper weather and air quality conditions. Other activities, including snack breaks, may take place outdoors, when possible.

Cleaning and Disinfection
Frankfort School District 157-C custodial teams will clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, desks) within our three schools. The District will follow cleaning and disinfection best practices and procedures, to the greatest extent possible.

Screening Testing
Screening testing will not be utilized in Frankfort School District 157-C. However, all FSD 157-C students will have access to COVID-19 antigen test, BinaxNOW. This is a nasal swab test that can be administered in the nurse's office at each school. Parents must sign a consent form for their child to be tested for COVID-19 and be present during the time of the test. This test is not mandated but will be offered as a preventative measure when consenting families want their children tested due to the presence of COVID-19 symptoms. In certain scenarios, the BinaxNOW test can help students avoid quarantine. Please see the Contact tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine section below.

Health Screening
The District requires employees and students to stay home when they feel sick, have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or have recently had “close contact” with a person with COVID-19, including any household member. Parents must ensure their children are symptom free before sending them to school. Parents will be required to check their child’s symptoms each morning. Once verified that each child is symptom free, students should place the District-provided bracelet on their wrist to verify health status for the day. Staff at each building will monitor students as they come into school each morning, and symptom screen those that have forgotten to verify their health status. The list of symptoms parents should monitor daily are:
 
• New cough
• Shortness of breath
• Fatigue from an unknown cause
• Muscle and body aches from an unknown cause
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
New onset of moderate to severe headache

Contact Tracing, School Exclusion
On February 5, 2022 the FSD 157-C Board of Education voted to pass a resolution related to their authority of local control related to mitigation measures - specifically mask requirements and school exclusion of close contacts. That resolution is linked here. 
 
School administrators will continue to contact trace per the applicable guidance. As the District is not in a universal masking environment, administrators will use a 6 foot measurement to determine those individuals. Those that have been within six feet for a cumulative of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period will be determined as someone who is a close contact. School administrators and/or building nurses are authorized to recommend, but not require, the exclusion of those who are deemed to be close contacts in accordance with guidance from IDPH and ISBE below.
 
Per the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or who tests positive for COVID-19, should be excluded from school for a period of up to 10 school days. The CDC defines a close contact as an individual not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who was with within 3 feet when masks are universally mandated, and 6 feet when masks are not required, of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Building administration will work with teachers to identify, and communicate with, individuals who meet the CDC definition of “close contact.”

Individuals who are identified as a close contact and are vaccinated should remain out of school if presenting symptoms. The IDPH states that a student or staff member who was previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last three months should not be recommended for school exclusion.

It is important that FSD 157-C students and families have confidence that learning will not be excessively impacted from school exclusion mandates from state or local health departments. This means having a clear plan for support during their time at home. For details on school exclusion notification, and returning to school after a exclusion, please see the Frankfort School District 157-C School Home Learning Plan for specific details, linked here.

School Notification of a Positive Test
Frankfort School District 157-C encourages staff and students/families to notify each school’s building nurse regarding any positive test result for COVID-19 with respect to any student or staff member.

School Transmission Surveillance
Following the IDPH/CDC guidelines, Frankfort School District 157-C will monitor positive cases at the three District schools. The administrative teams will review this information weekly to assess trends, anomalies, clusters, and indications of in-school transmission over the previous 7 days. Positive cases will be posted on the FSD 157-C website. Should increased mitigation be required due to an identified increase in COVID-19 cases in our schools, families will be notified.

School positivity data will be evaluated every Saturday. Prior to the start of each week, on the FSD 157-C website www.fsd157c.org a COVID-19 data chart will be posted. The data chart will indicate the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. Positive cases on the website are not assumed to be linked to each other, which could indicate an outbreak, unless otherwise stated.

Communication with Staff, Parents, and Students
Consistent with privacy requirements, including those of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and in consultation with local health officials, FSD 157-C will provide notification to appropriate staff and parents regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases in our schools.


The community transmission and school positivity data will be evaluated every Saturday. Prior to the start of each week, on the FSD 157-C website www.fsd157c.org a COVID-19 data chart will be posted. The data chart will indicate the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. Positive cases on the website are not assumed to be linked, unless otherwise stated.