This page addresses frequently asked questions concerning the 2021-22 school year. It will be revised on an ongoing basis to reflect the concerns of parents and guardians. Answers are subject to change based on local and state guidance.
Please check back frequently for updates since content will change. The following reflects information through the September 20, 2021 proposed Return to Learn plan.
Return to Learn Plan
What is the basis for the district’s 2021-22 Return to Learn Plan?
Collinsville CUSD #10 schools will be in operation in accordance with recommendations by the CDC and IDPH guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools and an updated (August 4, 2021) Executive Order 2021-18 for the State of Illinois by the Governor also adopted by the IDPH.
If multiple students get COVID-19, how will that be handled?
All positive cases are reported to the appropriate health department in our community (based on an individual’s address.) Health department guidance may result in a modification to the district’s Return to Learning Plan and/or mitigation strategies.
Will mask wearing and quarantining be enforced?
Mask wearing will be enforced. At this time, per the CDC and the IDPH, universal masking is REQUIRED for ALL teachers, staff, students and visitors in K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status. Individuals who do not have a mask will be given one. Situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
To return to school, individuals who have been quarantined must meet the criteria on the flowchart found on page 16 of our Return to Learn Plan. Quarantine situations are under the direction of the health department. Contact your local health department for information on COVID-19: Madison County Health Department, St. Clair County Health Department, East Side Health District.
Quarantine & Exclusion from School
What is the difference between being quarantined and being excluded from school?
Quarantine is determined by the applicable local health department (Madison County Health Department, St. Clair County Health Department, East Side Health District.) The district does not determine or enforce quarantine, but may exclude a student from school if the student meets the criteria of a close contact. At this time, fully vaccinated individuals who do NOT exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will NOT have to quarantine.
If a student is masked and an individual in the class tests positive, will they still have to quarantine?
The local health department makes a quarantine determination based on whether an individual is considered a close contact of someone who tests positive and vaccination status. At this time*, fully vaccinated individuals who do NOT exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will not have to quarantine.
Do vaccinated individuals have to quarantine?
Quarantine is determined by the local health department on a case-by-case basis. At this time, vaccinated individuals WILL quarantine if they exhibit symptoms; fully vaccinated individuals who do NOT exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will NOT have to quarantine.
Will students be asked or encouraged to be vaccinated?
Parents, based on recommendations from a healthcare provider or their own beliefs and comfort level regarding COVID-19 vaccines, will always determine whether their child is vaccinated.
School districts receiving Elementary & Secondary School Relief (ESSER) funds are required to support and promote vaccine clinics.
Working with the Madison County Health Department and the National Guard, our schools will be the site of COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled throughout the school year for anyone eligible to receive the shot; in addition, families can visit vaccines.gov to find other opportunities to get vaccinated in our community.
Will vaccination clinics be held during the school day or on weekends?
Health department vaccination clinics will be held outside of the school day. The district will share information with parents about upcoming clinics. Participation is voluntary, parents determine whether or not their child is vaccinated for COVID-19.
How do you intend on verifying the vaccine status of kids?
Parents should provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination cards to their child’s school health office. As with all student health records, this information will be kept by the school’s health care staff. Vaccination status is important in determining whether an individual needs to be quarantined by the local health department or excluded by the school district.
Will the teacher or faculty be made aware or ask for student vaccination status?
COVID-19 vaccination status, like other personal health information, will be maintained by school health staff. Vaccination status is necessary to determine if an individual meets criteria to be excluded from school or quarantined by the local health department. The school’s building principal may need to obtain this information from a parent/guardian, but teachers should not discuss vaccination status with students.
If a student isn’t vaccinated, is the mask required or recommended?
At this time, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-18, masks are required to be worn indoors by ALL teachers, staff, students, and visitors to Pre-K-12 schools who are two years of age or older and medically able to tolerate a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
If guidelines change and masks become recommended in schools, what are the circumstances under which a student will be asked to wear a mask during the school day? Can the district require a child to mask at any point during the day without parent notification?
At a point where it is no longer necessary to require masks in schools, the district could recommend masks in our schools. However, there could be situations during the day when masks would still be required.
As a result, students should have a mask with them at all times at school. Here are circumstances that warrant a face covering at school:
- School Bus: Per Federal government, masks MUST be worn on public transportation, which includes school buses.
- Close Proximity: When social distancing of at least 3 feet is not possible.
- Classroom: Where a fellow student or faculty member needs reasonable accommodation due to an immunocompromised medical condition or other health issue.
- School Health Office: When sent to the school’s health office with COVID-19 symptoms.
Since situations can arise throughout the school day that require masking, it is not feasible to contact parents each time a child needs a face covering while at school.
What is the district looking for regarding recommending vs. requiring masks in schools?
CUSD 10 is observing recommendations from the CDC and IDPH. A change in those recommendations and/or recommendations from our legal counsel/district insurance provider could mean a change in our face covering or other mitigation policies.
Since the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) decided local school districts can determine what is best for their students and staff, we will be closely monitoring transmission rates in our schools and community while following CDC and IDPH guidance.
Is there a chance the district could require masks without the CDC requiring it?
Yes. Health data in our schools and community will warrant the need for masks.
Can a child be taken into school while experiencing symptoms to get an antigen test?
If a child becomes sick at home, exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, the parent should contact the child’s health care provider and STAY HOME. If a child exhibits symptoms at school, the child will be given an antigen test ONLY with parent permission and authorization. The school’s health care staff will contact and be in consultation with the parent before administering a test.
Colds, flu and allergies are inevitable with everyone going back to school, will you be doing a test on every student who has a cold/flu or allergies?
No, every student will not be tested. Health staff only administer an antigen test with the authorization of a parent or guardian. The decision to administer a test is situational and based on the assessment conducted by health staff and parental consent.
What is the “Test to Stay” option?
In accordance with CDC guidance, there will be a Test-to-Stay Strategy option available for unvaccinated K-12 students. Eligible students include:
● Those who were considered in close indoor contact with a confirmed positive case
● Engaged in consistent and correct use of a well-fitting mask, and
● Within 3 ft. social distance from the positive case.
Close contacts will be determined by the school principal/nurse. If a student meets the criteria outlined above, the student may be tested at-school for COVID-19 using Rapid Point of Care Antigen testing on day(s) one (1), three (3), five (5), and seven (7) from exposure to the positive case with day one (1) being the first day following the exposure.
If the student remains asymptomatic with negative antigen test results, they may stay in school. They will be expected to report any symptoms promptly to the school nurse for assessment.
Students who are on the Test-to-Stay plan following a close contact will be expected to report to the school health office upon arrival at school. In some instances it may be necessary for the school nurse to provide an alternative testing time. Parents/students will be notified of this information by the school principal/nurse. Written parental consent must be obtained and parents will be notified prior to testing.
Parents will be notified on day one (1), three (3), five (5) only if a positive test result or symptoms/assessment warrant notification and the student will be excluded from school. Following testing on day 7, written notification of all four (4) test results will be sent to the parent. As required by IDPH, COVID antigen test results will continue to be reported on the IDPH portal and positive antigen test results will be shared with the local health department for quarantine follow up procedures.
School Day Concerns
Will kids be attending full time? Or will the school day be shortened?
Students will attend school full days, 5 days/week. School hours are posted on the district website: School Hours & Calendars.
If community transmission of COVID-19 rises in our area, will it still be 5 days/week?
The intent of the district is to do everything possible to keep kids safely in school 5 days a week.
Will each class on the elementary level eat lunch with their appropriate class?
Each principal will develop and coordinate a lunch schedule appropriate for their building.
What are you going to do to protect children during lunch when everyone is unmasked? Are you going to separate vaccinated and unvaccinated in different areas?
Because eating lunch requires students to be unmasked, social distancing will be observed to the greatest extent possible.
Students will not be segregated into groups based on vaccination status for lunch. Separating students into vaccinated and unvaccinated groups would publicly identify a student’s vaccination status, which is a violation of privacy.
How will a student get assignments if a parent works during school hours, will they be provided a Chromebook this year?
All students K-12 in CUSD 10 are issued a Chromebook or other grade appropriate device. Contact teacher(s) for assignments.
Who is eligible for remote instruction during the 2021-22 school year?
From page 24 of the district’s 2021-22 Return to Learn Plan:
“In accordance with the declaration of the Illinois State Board of Education, remote learning is only required to be provided to students who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, or who are vaccinated and exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, only while they are under quarantine or exclusion consistent with guidance or requirements from a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. If a student does not meet the above criteria, but requests remote learning due to a medical condition, the request for remote learning will be evaluated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If the student has a qualifying medical condition, the student may be provided “home/hospital instruction…”
What are the accommodations for students with various communication and/or learning needs who need to see teachers’ faces in an environment where teachers are masked?
There are clear insert masks available for staff as well as students. The requests for those accommodations will need to be made to the classroom teacher and/or special education case manager.
Are the cleaning products being used by the school district safe?
Yes. Cleaning products used in schools meet required safety standards. (Refer to pages 7-8 in the district’s Return to Learn Plan.)
As part of our district cleaning protocol for COVID-19, routine cleaning mitigation includes wiping desks and other student work surfaces. In Pre-K through 6th grade classrooms, teachers use cleaning solution and a towel to wipe surfaces during the school day. In middle and high school, disposable wipes are used by students to clean their desks. This method is necessary at the end of class because students change classrooms each period and multiple students use the desk/workspace.
Classroom wipe buckets include a disinfectant solution that is diluted from concentrate. In addition, the design of the bucket dispenser ensures wipes are dispensed at an automatic dilution rate that is safe for use. Custodians fill/refill the cleaning solution and towels/wipes in the specially designed buckets for use/dispensing. Most classrooms use one bucket of wipes in a school day, towel rolls do not sit for an extended period of time in the cleaning solution.
For more information about the cleaning products used in our schools, CLICK HERE for specifications and safety information.