COVID & School Program Status information
Spring Break Considerations
As families are planning for Spring Break (March 29 - April 2), we are getting many questions about travel and visit plans. We will continue to follow Cook County Department of Public Health travel guidance, which is aligned with the Cook County Travel Order. Right now if you travel to an orange state, you must provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your return, and quarantine until the results of the test come back. If you travel to a yellow state, no quarantining or negative COVID test is required, but you must still symptom watch, mask, and social distance.
It is our objective to keep COVID-19 out of the school. When considering Spring Break plans, please keep in mind that children are not yet able to be vaccinated. If you have any question about potential exposure, it is safest to test your child before having them return to school.
Please be advised: It is possible that travel guidance will change again before or during Spring Break. We will be following whatever CCDPH is recommending at that time, so please keep yourself informed.
We have exciting news: Barring any unforeseen circumstances, and after careful consideration and consultation with our (amazing) Health Advisory Committee and our (amazing) teachers, we are planning to return to full-day, in-person school after Spring Break, on April 5th. School hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with an arrival window from 8:30-9:00.
Also, we are extending the school year slightly, so that our last day of school will be Friday, June 4th. That day will be a half-day and we will dismiss at 12:00. Traditionally our last day of school is also our Publishing Party day, so please stay tuned for more details about how that will unfold this year.
Upon opening for full-day, in-person school, all current preventative and safety measures will remain in effect: temperature checks upon arrival, masking at all times, frequent hand washing, disinfecting of surfaces, cohorting, lots of outdoor time, windows open for ventilation, and asking students/faculty/staff to stay home with any symptoms and to quarantine after travel or close contact with a known or suspected case.
Fully remote students will be able to remain fully remote, either in the Lake Fully Remote classroom or in Ms. Mitchell’s or Mr. Hudson’s Middle-Level classrooms.
Here is what will be different:
Lunch: Classes will eat outdoors whenever possible, either on our campus or at a nearby park, with children spaced 6 feet apart. If the weather does not allow eating outdoors, students will eat in their classrooms, spaced as far apart as possible, for 15-20 minutes, with teachers providing read-aloud or audiobooks or other ways to discourage talking while masks are off.
Our TCS Health Advisory Committee
All-School Classes (Music, Physical Wellness, Art): will be taught in person, with each class rotating through the space and time to wipe down surfaces in between each class. For Music, singing will be done ONLY outdoors and masked; indoor Music will be taught in the gym and will focus on movement, body rhythm, listening, and songwriting. P.W. will be a combination of outdoors and physically distanced activities in the gym. Art will take place in the Art room, physically distanced.
Cohorts: There will be a limited change to our cohorting policy, to allow for Middle-Level Exploratory Blocks to meet in mixed groups of 6th/7th/8th graders two times per week for 45 minutes each (with masks and distancing), and to allow for Middle-Level all-school classes to meet in grade-level groups of 6th graders and 7th graders two times per week for 45 minutes (with masks and distancing). In addition, Pond classes (K, 1, and 2) and Lake classes (3, 4, and 5) will be allowed to play together outdoors and masked.
Early Dismissal on Fridays: All Pond and Lake classes will dismiss at 12:00 on Fridays. This is to allow for trips to the woods (which will move to Friday mornings for all K-5 classes) and to allow afternoon remote-time for certain activities that cannot take place in person right now--such as Library for Lake and Pond and student clubs for Lake.
Look for more details from your classroom teacher, who will send a newsletter or host a virtual meeting in March to talk through schedules and topics specific to each classroom.
Please be in touch with any questions or comments. If you would like to switch from remote to in-person enrollment after Spring Break, or if you would like your child to continue attending half days, please let us know.
Thank you all for your flexibility and understanding throughout this school year as the TCS community has navigated some truly unique and challenging circumstances. If anything, our community is stronger for it--but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken a lot of hard work, patience, and compassion on the part of all of us.
TCS Health Advisory Committee
To help us evaluate and confirm our reopening procedure, and to help us develop ways to appropriately and safely respond to Covid-19 throughout the school year, we are so grateful to have the help of our newly assembled Health Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of TCS parents who are professionals in the medical field, and also understand the unique needs and ways of our school community.
Thank you to our Health Advisory Committee:
Javaneh Abbasian, MD
Chief of Ophthalmology, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Michael Angarone, DO
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Medical Education Feinberg School of Medicine
Abigail Hodges, MD
Pediatrician, Oak Park Pediatrics
Magda Houlberg, MD, FACP
Chief Clinical Officer, Howard Brown Health
Muriel Jean-Jacques, MD Internist, Northwestern Medical Group and Assistant Professor Feinberg School of Medicine
Regina Kim, MD
Family Medicine, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine
David Shoham, PhD, MSPH
Epidemiologist and Director of Loyola's Public Health Programs
8th Grade Documentary
on Covid-19 Pandemic
Our 2020 Murder of Crows class made a documentary on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected community residents, local businesses, students, and teachers. They interviewed local experts, including OPRF Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Holt, and Loyola University epidemiologist Dr. David Shoham, and several local business owners. During the project, they met with professional documentary filmmakers, Dan Andries and Anne Northrup, and also planned ways to promote their documentary both to and beyond the TCS community.