The health and safety of our students, staff, families, and community are of critical importance to New Trier High School. As we begin the 2021-2022 school year, we are taking steps to return to a more normal school environment while still taking precautions to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
As we bring almost 4,000 students to our two campuses, our top priority is to keep all students learning safely in school every day. To do this, we must reduce the chance of COVID-19 outbreaks or quarantines that could keep some or all of our students home. These are the steps we will take to begin the school year, subject to change based on school metrics, community metrics, and guidance from state and local health officials. You can read our full 2021-2022 Operational Plan
Changes from 2020-2021 School Year
In our return to a more typical school year, these changes will be in place when students return to school on Monday, August 23:
- In-person learning 5 days a week; no hybrid learning
- Social distancing is still encouraged but is reduced from a required 6 feet to 3 feet, allowing classroom capacities to return to normal.
- Hands-on and group activities can take place in the classroom as normal.
- No more checking into open areas; students may move about both campuses as normal.
- Weekly COVID-19 saliva screening is no longer required for all students. Students who have not provided proof of vaccination to the District are required to test weekly in school to participate in extracurricular activities. All other unvaccinated students are encouraged to test weekly in school. Unvaccinated staff must test weekly in school. Vaccinated individuals may test in school if they wish. See "COVID Testing" below.
- Athletics, performing arts, and clubs will meet in person on a typical schedule.
As mandated by the state of Illinois, all students, staff, and visitors must wear a well-fitted mask indoors in any school building regardless of their vaccination status. Anyone riding a school bus or shuttle also must wear a mask at all times while on board. Masks are not required outdoors.
Masks must loop over the ears and cover the nose and mouth. Bandannas, gaiters, and masks with ventilation valves are not allowed.
Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
Please send your student's COVID-19 vaccination record to
. While providing proof of vaccination is voluntary, New Trier will assume any student without a record on file is unvaccinated, and those students must follow testing, quarantine, and other health protocols for unvaccinated individuals.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and Cook County Department of Public Health have set specific guidelines for quarantine related to COVID-19. Please inform
immediately if your student is diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you have questions related to quarantine procedures.
Vaccinated individuals who are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine unless they have symptoms. For unvaccinated individuals who are close contacts of someone with COVID-19, there are a number of protocols to reduce the required 14-day quarantine period, though some depend on both parties wearing masks properly during the exposure. Please refer to the latest
School Guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education
for quarantine information.
Students who are quarantined may not come to school for any reason. Students will get support from faculty/staff while in quarantine to keep up with classwork, but they will not have remote access to the classroom and will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.
New Trier will provide free, weekly PCR COVID-19 saliva testing through the University of Illinois' Shield Program. Testing will take place at school during lunch periods on designated days.
a) Students who have not provided proof of vaccination and are participating in any extracurricular activity.
b) All staff who have not provided proof of vaccination.
c) All students who have not provided proof of vaccination
d) All vaccinated students and staff who live with a vulnerable population or would feel safer participating in weekly testing.
All families will receive an email later this week that includes details of the testing program, including days, times, locations, and procedures for weekly testing.
Other Mitigation Strategies
One of the most important strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home if you feel sick. As this pandemic continues, it is more important than ever to keep away from others if you are symptomatic, even if you aren't sure if you have COVID-19, and to contact your healthcare provider for guidance. Please use the instructions to
Report an Absence
for your student through the
PowerSchool Parent Portal
It is imperative that parents immediately contact Health Services at New Trier if their student is diagnosed with COVID-19 by calling 847-784-2110 or by emailing
If your child exhibits any COVID symptoms such as Fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body aches from unknown cause, they must stay home from school and must receive a negative PCR diagnostic test or an alternative diagnosis before they return to school. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated students. A confirmation of the test result or the alternative diagnosis must be provided to the school upon request. At-home and rapid antigen tests will not be accepted for return to school (e.g., BinaxNow.) Students with symptoms
come to school for the in-school SHIELD saliva test.
Another important mitigation strategy is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The higher the level of vaccination in our community and school, the less disease we will see in our school, the fewer quarantines we will have, and the less we will need to rely on other mitigation strategies. We are pleased that over 88% of our students and over 92% of our staff are vaccinated, with more reporting they are vaccinated each day.
New Trier also continues to follow enhanced cleaning, ventilation, and hand washing and sanitizing procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students will generally be at least 3 feet apart in classrooms and are encouraged to social distance inside and outside of school.
Positive School Community
New Trier students and staff should respect the decisions others have made that might be different from their own, as long as everyone abides by school rules. These may include decisions about vaccines, travel, mask wearing outside of school, etc. Teasing, bullying, or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated and will be subject to discipline.
Back-to-School Parent Webinars
We invite all families to attend our back-to-school parent webinars at 6:30 p.m. on August 16 for Winnetka Campus families and August 17 for Northfield Campus families. Information about these webinars was sent via email last week. Register here:
We are excited to get back to full in-person learning every day and to provide more typical classroom and extracurricular experiences for our students. Thank you for your help in providing a safe and supportive environment at New Trier as we begin this new school year.
Principal, Winnetka Campus
Principal, Northfield Campus