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COVID & School Program Status information

If You Test Positive for COVID-19 —
Vaccinated or Unvaccinated
You Have
Symptoms

Days 0 - 5

 

Isolate for 5 days from onset of symptoms. First day of symptoms is day 0.
 

Days 6 - 10

 

1. Check symptoms:

 

a. If 24 hours fever-free with no fever-reducing medication AND no diarrhea or vomiting for 24 hours AND improvement of other symptoms, return to school.

 

b. If symptoms continue, wait to end isolation until 24 hours fever-free with no fever-reducing medication AND no diarrhea or vomiting for 24 hours AND improvement of other symptoms.

 

2. Regardless of whether symptoms are present, you must wear a well-fitted mask around others for days 6-10, including outdoors.

You Do
NOT Have
Symptoms

Days 0 - 5

 

Isolate for 5 days from onset of symptoms. First day of symptoms is day 0.
 

Days 6 - 10

 

1. Return to school after five days if no symptoms develop. (If symptoms develop after testing positive, the 5-day isolation starts over.)

 

2. Wear a well-fitted mask around others for days 6-10, including outdoors.

If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19 —
Vaccinated or Unvaccinated

Must remain home from school:

 

● Unless you receive a negative test result that confirms the symptoms are not due to COVID-19 OR

 

● For a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 10 days until 24 hours fever-free with no fever-reducing medication AND no diarrhea or vomiting for 24 hours AND improvement of other symptoms.

 

Additional instructions:

 

● Regardless of whether symptoms are present, must wear a well-fitted mask around others for 5 more days after returning to school.

 

● Those testing positive should follow the guidance for persons testing positive (above).

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19
and Have NO Covid-Like Symptoms 
You MUST quarantine for 5 days IF…

● Unvaccinated



● 18 or older AND received primary doses of vaccine BUT have not received booster dose when eligible.

 

Additional instructions:

 

● Wear a mask around others for 10 days, including outdoors.

 

● Test on day 5. Day of exposure counts as day 0.

 

● If symptoms develop, isolate until you receive a negative test result

You do NOT have to quarantine IF…

● 18 or older AND received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters. (Some immunocompromised persons must have received additional primary doses.)

 

● Ages 5 - 17 AND have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

 

● Have had a confirmed COVID-19 case within the last 90 days.

 

Additional instructions:

 

● Wear a mask around others for 10 days, including outdoors.

 

● Test on day 5. Day of exposure counts as

day 0.

 

● If symptoms develop, isolate until you receive a negative test result.

Nov.1st UpDates to Our Covid-19 Policies

The following amendments to our COVID protocols have been made with input from our Health Advisory Committee and faculty, and approved by our Board of Directors at their Oct 28, 2021 meeting. The language in this document supersedes any contradictory language found in the TCS COVID Protocols 2021-22.

 

The Board of TCS together with the Directors will continue to update these policies in response to changes in the pandemic and vaccine availability in an effort to best protect our school community.  

 

We understand that the following language does not cover every conceivable situation. The goal is to take all reasonable safety precautions in order to keep everyone healthy and in school. As holidays approach, we urge you to plan your travel with our least protected community members in mind. If you are unsure about any specific scenario, please email or call Christy or Pamela to discuss.

Travel With an Unvaccinated TCS Student

We are amending our travel policy to more specifically define “travel” as: any trip that is overnight AND on commercial transportation (plane, train, bus) OR any trip that is overnight AND with people not in your household/COVID pod. 

 

This means that travel guidance restrictions DO NOT APPLY if your family travels by car to go camping, stay at an Airbnb, or visit another home with people in your own COVID pod (e.g., vaccinated grandparents whom you see frequently). 

 

The Suburban Cook County travel guidelines, which recommend compliance with all CDC travel guidance, continue to apply to all domestic trips that are not excluded under the above definition.

 

CCDPH has new guidelines regarding unvaccinated children and travel: School-aged children do NOT have to quarantine after returning from domestic travel. They should continue to attend school in-person. However, they should get tested 3-5 days after returning from their trip and should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.

 

Weekly SHIELD testing provided at TCS will fulfill this testing requirement. If your student does not participate in SHIELD testing, they will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test.

Masking: No Change, Just a Reminder

All persons entering the building during the school day when students are present must remain properly masked at all times and must physically distance (3’-6’) from students, regardless of vaccination status.

Persons Exhibiting Symptoms of Covid-19

Persons (including students, employees, and visitors) experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter the building during the school day when students are present until either (1) they receive a negative COVID test (antigen or PCR), or (2) their symptoms have resolved and have not recurred for at least 48 hours. If desired, TCS can provide an antigen COVID test.

 

Known symptoms include: fever, new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue from an unknown cause, muscle or body aches from an unknown cause, moderate to severe headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting, or diarrhea.

 

Click here for a list of symptoms, updated guidance from IDPH and ISBE on symptomatic students, and requirements for returning to school.

Testing and Vaccination

Because testing and vaccination are the two most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID in our school community, TCS strongly recommends that all faculty/staff and students consent to weekly testing and get vaccinated as soon as possible. TCS provides weekly PCR testing at no cost. 

 

Our opt-out rate for SHIELD testing is less than 1%. All faculty/staff are fully vaccinated.

Vaccination Policy - Students

TCS strongly recommends that students receive the vaccination as soon as it is approved and available for their age.

Vaccination Policy - Visitors
TCS requires all visitors, including family volunteers, who enter the building during the school day when students are present to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, or to provide proof of a weekly (every 7 days) negative PCR test prior to or upon entering the building.

Vaccination Policy - Employees
TCS requires all employees who enter the building during the school day when students are present to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, or to provide proof of a weekly (every 7 days) negative PCR test. TCS provides a free PCR test each week. If you are not vaccinated, you must also provide documentation of a medical or religious exemption. Medical exemptions to vaccination require a letter signed by a licensed physician and religious exemptions must be filed using the Illinois Department of Public Health form (which also requires the signature of a licensed physician).

Consent to Testing - Students

If a family does not consent for their student to participate in weekly SHIELD testing conducted at TCS, they must provide proof of a weekly (every 7 days) negative PCR test. Failure to do so will result in the child being excluded from school until a negative test is obtained, unless the family has provided documentation of a medical or religious exemption from testing.

 

Medical exemptions to testing require a letter stating the medical reason for the exemption and signed by a licensed physician and religious exemptions must be filed using the Illinois Department of Public Health form (which also requires the signature of a licensed physician).

 

If a family does not consent to SHIELD testing at TCS, does not provide an alternative weekly negative test, and does not submit documentation of a religious or medical exemption, the child will be excluded from school. If the student is withdrawn from TCS tuition will be due/refunded in accordance with the enrollment agreement.

Students Who Are Not Vaccinated / Testing Weekly

For families who assert a religious exemption to both testing and vaccination, the student/s may not participate in TCS programs that occur outside the normal school hours, including but not limited to Before Care, Kids Project, Chess, and after school workshops. If students who are not vaccinated and/or not testing exhibit symptoms of COVID or are identified as close contacts of someone who tests positive, they will need to quarantine 14 full days. The test-to-stay option is not available. Teachers may be limited as to how much remote learning support they can offer during that time.

Exception for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
As the number of people in the building at any one time is greatly reduced compared to a regular school day and because visits are relatively short, both vaccinated and unvaccinated family members can come into the building for parent/teacher/student conferences without proof of a negative COVID test. Everyone must:

 

● Stay home if exhibiting any symptoms of COVID;

● Mask correctly the entire time they are in the building;

● Maintain distance of 6 feet from others; AND

● Wash hands or hand sanitize upon entering the building.

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.

Michael Angarone, DO

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Medical Education Feinberg School of Medicine

Joshua Carson, MD
Medical Director, Loyola University Medical Center Burn Center

 

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

Beth Marshall, MD
Internal Medicine, Rush -Oak Park Hospital

Slide Deck &  notes
from TCS Covid Info Mtg. 8.24.21

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.

The Children's School and Covid-19

Frequently Asked Questions

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How will TCS let us know if Covid risks have changed and my child's program is switching to remote or back to onsite learning?

Our directors will contact every family by email should our program status change due to Covid risk mitigation factors called for by state or local authorities, or by our health advisory committee. You can also find our latest Covid Status announcements here. 

When do I need to keep my child home?
 

Keep your child home if they have an elevated temperature (100.4F or higher) or show any of the symptoms of COVID or any other contagious condition (i.e., pink-eye, head lice).  If in doubt it is better to keep them home.

What are the symptoms of COVID that I should watch for in my child/myself?

K
nown symptoms of COVID are: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

How long will I have to keep my child home? 

A student or teacher can return to TCS 10 days after onset of symptoms or after presenting a negative COVID test. 

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the attached chart.  This covers the most common scenarios. 

Download PDF of IDPH Chart in English as seen below

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Will TCS take my child’s temperature? 

We will discontinue morning temperature checks in Fall of 2021 as they have not proven useful in diagnosing COVID cases. We will continue using multiple doors for arrival and checking in with each student as they arrive. However, we may take a temperature as part of the information we report to you if a child is separated from the group for not feeling well.

What happens when a teacher gets sick? 


If a teacher has to stay home due to illness, one of three things will happen: 1) the class will go remote and the teacher will continue teaching, 2) we will secure a substitute teacher, or 3) if the teacher is too ill to teach and we cannot secure a substitute the class may need to be suspended until the teacher is able to return to the classroom.  Please note that in the event of teacher illness, we may be limited in our ability to use substitutes due to safety considerations around introducing new people into the school environment.

What happens if my child starts feeling poorly at school? 

They will be separated from others and we will call you to come pick them up. Please see the flow chart above for when they can return to school.   

Does my child have to wear a mask at school?

Yes. All students and adults will wear a mask while at TCS, whether or not they've been vaccinated.  Exceptions are only allowed if they can present a physician’s note indicating that they have a medical reason for being unable to wear a mask (i.e., injury; in which case they will need to wear a face shield) or if they are drinking/eating.  Snacks should be bite-sized and able to be eaten in 1 or 2 bites. 

Will there be mask breaks?

Yes. Masks may be removed during teacher-designated “mask breaks” when students are either outdoors or indoors in a designated area, spaced at least 6 feet apart, and not moving around.  

What happens if my child won't wear a mask?

Because mask-wearing is recognized as the most effective way for everyone to stay healthy, students who do/will not wear a mask will be separated from others and you will be called to come pick them up.   

Are carpools safe?

We encourage carpoolers to use a small and consistent group for carpooling.  All participants, including the driver, should wear masks and try to keep vehicle windows open to gently circulate fresh air.  

How many masks should my child bring to school? Will TCS provide any masks?

Your child should have 2 extra clean masks in a resealable bag at school each day. Please have your child practice wearing the masks to make sure they are comfortable and labeled clearly with your chlld’s name. Masks that are wet or soiled should be replaced immediately.  The school does have extra youth and adult-sized surgical masks should anyone need one. 

How do I call my child in sick?

When calling your child in due to illness, be sure to report 1) if they have been in close contact of someone with a positive COVID test, 2) have symptoms of coronavirus, or 3) have been diagnosed with COVID or influenza (respiratory flu).  Call the main office (708.484.8033).  Please leave a message if we are unable to pick up your call.  Drop off time is busy but we will get your messager.  

How will drop off and pick up work?

See the map below for the correct entrance and exit for your child's class.  Please observe proper distancing while outside, and remember to wait until your child is confirmed fever-free before leaving.

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Can my family travel (for upcoming holidays, etc.)?

Families are urged to comply with the Suburban Cook County travel guidance (updated weekly) and are required to follow
CDC travel bans/restrictions (link).  We recommend you REFRAIN from traveling to these areas two weeks prior to the start of school.  

Can my child work remotely?

 

We are not currently offering a separate remote program. We will offer remote learning if a child, class, or the school is put into a quarantine status due to Covid-19, or if state or local Covid conditions and subsequent guidelines require us to offer a remote program. Unfortunately, we cannot extend remote learning for other reasons such as other illnesses, missed school, travel, or family preference.

Can my child have playdates?

We urge all TCS students to play with their siblings and their friends from their class!  Please maintain safe practices such as masking, handwashing, and carefully considering the risk situations of those involved in the play date.  The more we as a community limit unsafe behavior, the more likely we are to remain in school.

What if state and local risk levels change?

 

TCS must comply with state and local health mandates.  If Illinois reverts to stricter Covid mitigation efforts, TCS will have to comply.  We are required to adhere to the reopening school guidelines jointly approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Our aim is to serve our students in a way that is safe for them and for teachers.

How often will classrooms be cleaned?

Classrooms will be cleaned daily by the cleaning staff.  Special attention will be given to frequently touched areas such as light switches, work areas, chair backs, door handles, bathroom stall locks, and hand railings.   Wipes and hand-sanitizer will be available in each classroom and by each school entry door.  Children will be reminded to wash their hands throughout the morning. 

Will TCS still send health alerts?

 

Yes, TCS will continue to send health alerts as in the past for any contagious issue that arises in a classroom.  In addition, if a student is exposed to someone with COVID-19 we will issue a health alert to that classroom and ask parents to monitor symptoms for 14 days.  If a student or teacher tests positive for COVID, we will issue a health alert to the entire school.

Are visitors allowed at TCS?

We will limit visitors to essential personnel and require visitors to follow all mask-wearing, hand-washing, cleaning/disinfecting of shared materials, and social distancing requirements while in the building.

How will bathrooms work at TCS?

 

Each class will have a designated bathroom for students to support the cohorting effort. For example, Kindergarten students will use the bathroom in the NW corner of the school.1st and 2nd-grade students will use the bathroom by the stairs. Lake students (3, 4, 5) will use the washroom in Room 107 (girls) or by the stairs (boys). Ocean students will continue to use the washrooms on the 2nd floor. All bathrooms will be used by a single student at a time to allow for proper social distancing. Students will sanitize hands before entering the bathroom and wash hands before leaving.