School districts in New Trier Township are working collaboratively with each other and with local agencies and public health officials as we monitor developments regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). The situation is rapidly evolving, as is guidance from public health agencies on potential school responses.
Our primary concern is student safety and wellness. While at this time we do not have any local cases in our schools, all of our school districts are preparing in a number of areas so we can keep students safe and continue instruction in case of a large number of absences or a potential school closure. There are still many unknowns about this illness, and we are preparing for any number of scenarios. We will continue to update this page with any developments.
Proactive steps New Trier is taking now to keep students and staff healthy
We are employing extra cleaning and sanitation measures to prevent the spread of any virus, including COVID-19. These measures include keeping soap, wipes, and hand sanitizer stocked in bathrooms and classrooms, wiping down high-contact areas more frequently, and using an electrostatic sanitizing sprayer in high-use areas of the school.
We also want all students and staff with a fever or virus symptoms to stay home. Advisers, teachers and administrators will work with your students to create a plan to make up work if they have an extended absence. It is important not to come to school if you feel sick. Please know that our school nurses may ask additional questions when parents report an absence to make sure we have as much information as possible to offer guidance and make sure students are healthy.
The most effective way to prevent the spread of this virus is for students and staff to follow the CDC's recommended guidelines for staying healthy. We have been sharing this information with families and students regularly, including:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of tissue in trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
Delivering instruction in case of a school closure or many extended absences
All of our teachers are preparing e-learning plans so that we can continue instruction even if schools are shut down or if a large number of students must stay home. These plans are developing. New Trier will discuss its e-learning plan at the next Board of Education meeting on March 16 at 7 p.m. in Room C234 on the Northfield Campus. We will be communicating with families and students about expectations should one or more e-learning days be used. Those communications and expectations will be posted on this page as they develop.
Spring break family travel
The CDC has launched a frequently updated website on COVID-19 that is a good reference on the virus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html . This website also includes information for travelers, and we recommend that you visit this page for the most up-to-date travel warnings if you are planning a trip during spring break: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
School trips, extracurricular activities, and other concerns
We have contacted specific groups of parents about trips planned over spring break and into the future and will continue to stay in contact as those trips draw nearer or if the situation changes. All decisions will be made with student health and safety in mind.
We also are monitoring guidance on athletics, extracurricular activities, and other large gatherings. While right now we are going forward with sports and activities as usual, the situation is fluid. Coaches, sponsors, and the district will inform parents of decisions both on individual events and district-wide decisions .We all will use our normal parent emergency notification systems should we need to close school or inform parents of a specific development related to COVID-19.
Thank you as always for your partnership in keeping all of our students safe and healthy