Dear Shorewood Families,
I am writing today to update you concerning the Shorewood School District COVID-19 protocols. We have been consistent in using CDC, North Shore Health Department, and Department of Health Services guidance to frame our COVID-19 mitigation protocol in our schools. Given the recent updates from the CDC along with a review of our school COVID-19 metrics, we are taking steps to modify our Shorewood School District COVID-19 protocols moving forward. We thank you for your support of our COVID-19 mitigation protocols and look forward to your continued assistance as we work together to maintain safety for our students and staff.
Phase One of these updates will take effect on Monday March 7, with revised masking guidelines in all schools and district programs. Masks will be recommended, but optional, for 5K-12 students and adults. Masks will be required for all 4K students and children ages 2-5 participating in programs located in District facilities. Guidelines for quarantine and isolation will remain the same at this time. The following table will assist in relaying our updated masking guidelines to your student(s) and other family members.
We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases and transmission rates in our schools. To be clear, these masking guidelines will apply to each school building. As long as COVID-19 positivity rates remain below the identified threshold (3% of a school’s total population of students and adults) masks will be recommended, but optional.
District masking guidelines will be added to our COVID-19 dashboard and we will continue to report positive cases in schools on Tuesdays and Fridays with information available at 12 pm on these days. If the positivity rate goes above the identified threshold, masks will be required the following school day and families will be notified through Infinite Campus that masks will need to be worn for two calendar weeks.
Additional planned COVID-19 mitigation protocol modifications will be implemented in two phases over the upcoming weeks, as summarized in the chart above. We are planning for these future phases contingent on maintaining our COVID positivity rates below the identified 3% rate. Layered virus mitigation measures will continue to be priorities in our classrooms and school buildings. These additional protocol phases may be modified as needed.
We encourage and support your personal decision regarding mask wearing as we move forward to implement the current CDC recommendations, and will respect and honor your choice. Students and staff should continue to wear masks if they choose. Knowing this, please be aware that with masks recommended, but optional, staff will not be asked to enforce compliance in classrooms or other settings. Before this change takes effect on Monday, March 7, please discuss your personal preferences and the needs of your family with your student, as well as the importance of respecting each individual’s choice. Bullying or harassment regarding mask wearing will not be tolerated, and will be addressed through District policy and our Student Code of Conduct. We ask all families and guardians to reinforce these messages with students prior to March 7.
If you have specific questions regarding COVID mitigation in the Shorewood School District, you can ask your question here. They will be answered by our District Nurse or myself. Please also contact your school principal or counselor to discuss concerns and support that your student(s) may need during this period of transition.
A few reminders as we close:
- Please continue to use the COVID self-screener and stay home when ill.
- We strongly encourage you to take advantage of District-sponsored COVID testing that is available to students and families. We will continue twice daily COVID testing clinics in the Village Center meeting room through March with two exceptions: March 1 in the morning and March 15 in the afternoon. Clinics will run from 7:30am - 9:30am and 3:30pm - 5:30pm. An April COVID testing schedule will be published in a few weeks.
- We also support the CDC and NSHD guidelines regarding vaccination as a preventive measure for the spread of COVID. Vaccination clinics are widely available in our area, and you can find more information here.
- Please reinforce respecting the masking choices of others.
We are grateful for your support of our COVID-19 mitigation protocols and look forward to your continued assistance as we work together to maintain safety for our students and staff. Let’s work together to finish this school year strong!
Dr. JoAnn Sternke