Update on COVID Mitigations

Update on COVID Mitigations


Dear River Trails Families,

Last night the Board of Education approved changes to our COVID-19 mitigation strategies:

  1. Mask Optional Environment: This will go into effect BEGINNING Monday, February 28, 2022.  
  2. Close contact quarantine: Beginning Tuesday, February 22, 2022 we will no longer quarantine students and staff who are close contacts to a positive case of COVID-19
  3. Mandatory Testing for Unvaccinated Staff: Beginning Tuesday, February 22, 2022 we will no longer require unvaccinated staff to test on a weekly basis.

We understand this adjustment could be stressful for some. Our goal is to ensure a smooth transition while continuing to offer a comfortable learning environment for everyone. Please speak to your child about the importance of treating all individuals with respect and kindness. Each family will decide what works best for them and it is important to know that all will be welcomed. Our expectation is that all students, families and staff will support each other even if there are disagreements on this issue.

These changes are not being made lightly. They allow us to begin the process of transitioning from pandemic to endemic protocols. Please read through each of the details below.


Face Masks

  • Beginning February 28, 2022 masking will be optional for everyone inside our buildings.
  • Masks WILL STILL BE REQUIRED on buses, per federal guidelines.
  • Students and staff visiting other schools will be required to follow the host school’s mitigation rules.
  • Please talk with your child at home regarding your personal masking expectations. District 26 staff will be unable to monitor whether each student is following their family’s masking preferences.

Social-Emotional Support

  • Social-emotional time will be dedicated to this transition for all students and staff.
  • By maintaining the mask mandate until February 28, we are allowed time to prepare our students and staff for a mask-optional environment.
  • During this transition time, Morning Meeting and Advisory topics for students will focus on:
    • Acceptance
    • Respect 
    • Honoring not Influencing Choice
    • Managing Emotions
    • Asking for Help

Contact Tracing and Notifications

  • The district will no longer be contact tracing and close contacts will not be required to quarantine beginning Tuesday, February 22, 2022, unless they are experiencing symptoms.
  • Parents and guardians will continue to be notified when someone at the school tests positive. These notifications will detail the number of positive cases and grade level, which is in alignment with our policy on communicable disease notifications. No identifiable information about students or staff will be shared. 
  • Continue to monitor your child for symptoms and keep them home from school if they are showing signs of illness.
  • The district will continue to track internal cases and monitor for potential spread or outbreak. The COVID dashboard will still be updated regularly with new cases.

Social Distancing

  • Classroom seating and assignments will remain the same.
  • Cafeteria/lunchroom seating will remain the same, with 6-feet of social distancing, until at least Spring Break. At that point, lunch seating will be reevaluated.

SHIELD Testing

  • Weekly saliva testing will continue at each of our schools.
  • If you have previously opted your child out of weekly testing and wish to opt back in, you may complete this FORM.


  • Individuals who test positive have two options:
    • Quarantine at home for 10 days
    • Quarantine at home for 5 days, return on Day 6 with a mask requirement through Day 10, maintain 6 feet of social distancing at lunch through Day 10
    • Please note: students should only return if they are no longer experiencing symptoms.
  • Close contacts will not have to quarantine, unless they are experiencing symptoms.
  • Students with Covid-like symptoms will be required to quarantine for 5 days.
    • Students who are experiencing symptoms may return early with a negative PCR/Rapid test result and once symptoms subside.

Remote Instruction

  • Covid-positive students, or those at home with Covid symptoms, will be treated similarly to other students who are absent from school due to an illness. Students will access their online portal to receive assignments or will receive assignments directly from their classroom teacher. This restores pre-pandemic practices for addressing assignments when students are ill. Students who test positive should focus on recovery.

Medically Fragile Students

  • Please reach out to your building administrator to collaborate about how best to meet the student's health needs going forward.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the district office or your school. I thank you for being patient as we put these changes into effect.


Dr. Nancy Wagner