2021-2022 Health Protocols
*These details are subject to change based on updated health information and guidance related to the pandemic. Please refer back to this page and look for further communication from the district.
Latest update: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
- All students, teachers and staff are required to wear masks indoors.
- All students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses.
- Face masks do not need to be worn outdoors.
- Individual students or student groups are socially distanced, 3 feet apart when at all possible.
- Small groups of students may be assigned to the same table and be 3 feet from other tables.
- Students can share materials.
Students are assigned seats in class, on the AM/PM bus routes and at lunch. These assigned seats allow us to better contact trace. If students adhere to mask protocols and are at least 3 feet apart, they are not considered close contacts for contact tracing purposes. Families will be notified when their child is considered a close contact.
We are no longer requiring lanyards for daily student health certification. Parents should continue to monitor for symptoms and keep their children home from school when they are ill. The following symptoms are associated with COVID:
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or higer
- New onset of moderate to severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- New Cough
- Sore throat
- New loss of sense of taste or smell
- Fatigue from an unknown cause
- Muscle or body aches from an unknown cause
River Trails School District is implementing COVID-19 screening approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health for unvaccinated students and staff, unless parents choose to opt out by submitting the required form.
These weekly COVID-19 saliva screening tests through SHIELD Illinois are quick and easy to administer. To learn more visit: https://www.uillinois.edu/shield.
You can watch a video with examples of how saliva testing is administered.
You will only be contacted if your child tests positive for COVID-19. You can also access the test results through SHIELD.
Weekly SHIELD Testing FAQ
How often will your child be tested?
Students are tested weekly, on Wednesdays. In certain circumstances students will be tested more frequently, based on guidance from the local health department.
What is the test?
Your child will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus conducted by collecting saliva (spit).
How will I know if my child tests positive?
The district will receive results of your child’s test and will notify you of any positive result. You can also access the results yourself through SHIELD.
What should I do when I receive my child’s test results?
If your child’s test results are positive, please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results and discuss next steps. You may not send your child back to school for 10 days. If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the COVID-19 virus was not detected in your child’s saliva (spit).
Tests sometimes produce incorrect negative results called “false negatives” in people who have COVID-19. If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call your child’s doctor.
Who will receive my child’s test results?
In addition to you receiving your child’s test results, the School District and the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) will receive your child’s test results, consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code.
Do I need to take any other action?
No other action is required if you consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection pursuant to the above terms. If you do NOT consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection, complete, sign, and return the OPT-OUT form to your student’s school office.
If I opt my child out, can they “Test to Stay?”
Test to stay allows students who are close contacts in certain situations to test every other day after exposure in order to stay at school and not quarantine. However, students who have been opted out of regular testing are not eligible for Test to Stay.
What else should I know? (Updated 10/5/21)
A negative SHIELD test result will allow a student to stay in school if the student develops symptoms on testing day. However, if symptoms persist they will need to be re-tested or quarantine. (Added 10/5/21)
- Exposed, vaccinated students do not need to quarantine unless they are experiencing any COVID symptoms. If symptoms do occur, a negative PCR test will allow a vaccinated student to return to school.
- If an asymptomatic student tests positive, but later develops symptoms, their return-to-school date will be based on the day they began experiencing symptoms. (Updated 10/5/21)
- A doctor’s note for an alternative diagnosis is no longer acceptable for a return to school. For example, if a student has a sore throat and a doctor diagnoses them with strep, they will still have to quarantine for the appropriate amount of time unless they present a negative COVID-19 result on a lab-based RT-PCR test. (Updated 10/5/21)
- Remote learning, when quaranting due to COVID, is an opportunity for the student to observe and follow along with the lessons occurring in the classroom through video. This allows the student the ability to stay connected with school. The teacher welcomes the student(s) into the classroom by ensuring that the day’s lessons and learning activities are posted in Schoology or Seesaw (depending on grade level) and by opening a Google Meet (with the link posted in the Schoology or Seesaw) for the student to be able to see and/or hear the day’s lessons. Read more about remote learning for students in quarantine.
Students in quarantine due to COVID-19 are still eligible for free meals. Please contact Maribel Real at firstname.lastname@example.org to notify her of your interest. A five-day meal bag will be packed for your family to pick up River Trails Middle School.
Update (9/10): Test to Stay has been paused at Indian Grove until further notice.
Close contacts will be allowed to remain in school as long as they test negative for COVID-19. This is called "Test to Stay."
- Test to Stay is only applicable when both the COVID-19 confirmed case and close contact were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks, regardless of vaccination status.
- Test to Stay may be used for any indoor exposure, with the exception of household exposures, for both students and staff who are not fully vaccinated.
- Students or staff who are not fully vaccinated and engaged in Test to Stay after an exposure may participate in extracurricular activities.
- When testing is not possible due to weekends and holidays, students and staff who are not fully vaccinated will be tested at the earliest possible opportunity.
- The local health department has the authority to assess high-risk exposures and order a traditional quarantine without the option for Test to Stay.
- If at any time a student or staff member tests positive or becomes symptomatic, they will be immediately isolated and sent home.
Even if a student or staff member tests negative and returns to school, daily symptom monitoring should continue through 14 days after the exposure.
*Note: The use of Test to Stay is evaluated daily and depends on conditions in each of the schools, as well as recommendations from the local health department.
If a student is experiencing symptoms, you can have them independently tested and a negative result will allow them to return to school. However, it must be a lab-based RT-PCR test. Be sure to look for these specific tests when signing up at a pharmacy. Rapid PCR and point-of-care PCR tests are not acceptable. (Added 10/5/21)
Only essential school volunteers and visitors are allowed in buildings and are required to wear masks.
At this point in time we are not scheduling field trips or large gatherings of students.
Students have time and opportunity built into their schedule to regularly wash or sanitize their hands.
- Our federal government is paying for breakfast and lunch for all students. Send an email to email@example.com with the name of your child, their school and grade if you would like the district to send breakfast home with your child.
- Lunch is socially distanced to the extent possible based on available space and supervision.
- Students in quarantine due to COVID-19 are still eligible for free meals. Please contact Maribel Real at firstname.lastname@example.org to notify her of your interest. A five-day meal bag will be packed for your family to pick up River Trails Middle School.