Thank you for visiting our Back to School 2020-21: COVID-19 Resources page. We are sharing the latest guidelines, FAQ docs, and other relevant links for parents. Updated: 1.12.21, 5:30PM.
This is our third COVID-19 Resources page: You can find our original COVID-19 Resources page here (Spring 2020) and Summer 2020 here.
We will try to update this webpage once a week or when appropriate. Please send additional or suggested content to Jennie: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE 1.12.21 (via ISBE):
- Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation FAQ (Spanish) - Jan. 11
- IDPH Exclusion Decision Tree (Spanish) - Jan. 6
UPDATE 1.8.21 (via ISBE):
- IDPH Supplemental Resources
- Spanish - Coming Soon!
- CDC UPDATES & GUIDANCE
Chalkbeat Chicago has a live blog of CPS reopening news here.
- Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation FAQ – Updated Dec. 15
This is the ISBE COVID-19 webpage.
- Questions? Please email COVID19@isbe.net with any questions or concerns.
- Here are current highlights that are relevant for parents (there are many more resources at the ISBE COVID-19 webpage linked above):
- Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation FAQ – Nov. 24
- Executive Order 2020-73 - issues Tier 3 Mitigation order effective Nov. 20, 2020. – Nov. 23
- Frequently Asked Questions document from the Department of Public Health (IDPH), Updated Nov 4
- Early Childhood Guidance FAQ - Sept.16
- IDPH Exclusion Decision Tree - Spanish – Nov. 2
- IDPH Exclusion Decision Tree - Oct 27
- Internet Access Illinois Drive Up WiFi Hot Spots | Spanish
- Guidance for Delivering Sexual Abuse Prevention Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic- September 8
Remote Learning & Transition Considerations- released during Summer for Fall 2020
Starting the 2020-21 School Year: Part 3 - Transition Joint Guidance - June 23 (63 page document that school districts are using to make school reopening plans); updated July 28
- Part 3: Starting the 2020-21 School Year - Spanish Version- Aug. 4
- Frequently Asked Questions - June 30, updated Aug 17
- Fall 2020 Learning Recommendations | Spanish- July 23
- Supporting Homeless Students During the 2020-21 School Year - July 24, 2020
- Special Education
- Special Education FAQ for Parents - School Year 2020-21- Aug 14
- Parent Guide to Special Education- Aug 2020; 232 page document
- FAQ: Return to In-Person Instruction for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Population - July 24
- Special Education FAQ Return to In-Person Instruction- June 30
- Restore Illinois All Sports Policy - DCEO/ISBE/IDPH- July 29, 2020
- What Parents Need to Know | Spanish (signs)
- Starting the 2020-21 School Year: Part 3 - Transition Joint Guidance - June 23 (63 page document that school districts are using to make school reopening plans); updated July 28
Statewide COVID-19 hotline & website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case:
- Call 1-800-889-3931
- Visit http://IDPH.illinois.gov
- Schools Guidance webpage
Frequently Asked Questions document from the Department of Public Health (IDPH), Updated Nov 4
IDPH Exclusion Decision Tree - Oct 27
- IDPH Exclusion Decision Tree - Spanish – Nov. 2
- Updated IDPH School & Day Care Best Practices for Confirmed Cases and Close Contacts- Oct. 14
- UPDATE 8.20:
- Specific, step-by-step guidelines for schools and local health departments on the proper response to a positive COVID-19 case or close contact.
- Supportive guidance for local public health departments regarding how to use an “adaptive pause” for local schools and additional mitigation strategies based on local public health metrics.
- A decision tree for school administrators that clearly distills procedures when students or staff test positive for COVID-19 or show COVID-19 symptoms.
- A memo to medical professionals describing how to determine when a student is medically unable to wear a face covering.
- IDPH Exclusion Decision Tree - Oct 27
Non CPS Districts & Private Schools in Illinois
- Check your school’s website as well as your district’s website regularly. Look for a link to their own resources & updates on COVID-19 response & information.
- Check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for accounts for your school and/or your district. Sometimes your district’s Superintendent may have an account (especially on Twitter) and/or your principal may have an account (especially on Twitter.) Follow and like all of these accounts. Social media may be a quicker way for school staff and district staff to provide updates and relevant information.
- All of the ISBE information applies to your school/district.
- Chalkbeat Chicago is tracking IL districts and their reopening plans.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
- We encourage you to follow CPS on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- Find your school social media accounts & follow
- Chalkbeat Chicago has a live blog of CPS reopening news here. CPS facilities will be open Monday, Jan 11, for in person learning for PreK and cluster program students who opted for in person instruction.
- RYH Twitter response to teachers returning to buildings regardless of how many students are in the classrooms.
- Parents of K-8 students had to return intent forms by Dec 7.
- CPS sent an email on Tues, 11.24, evening. You can read the email sent to parents here. A link to the "Reopening Guide for Parents" is shared in the email. NOTE: Teachers & principals received a different document entitled "Reopening Plan." Please remember this as we all try to talk together about this. Our take? For K-8, it's a numbers game. And it's a "local decision"- by the school and by the numbers schoolwide as well as at the grade level.
UPDATE 11.20: CPS announces return for PreK and cluster program students (Jan 11) and K - 8 (Feb 1.)
On Tues, Nov 17, CPS announced that they PreK and cluster program students will return to school on Jan 11. K-8 students will return on Feb 1.
While Chicago is under a Stay-at-Home advisory and on the same day that Governor Pritzker announced that the entire state was moving back to Tier 3, CPS announced a reopening “plan” for PreK - 8 + cluster program students. The CPS blog post of the announcement is not the same as the email parents received. The email is here- make sure you read the 2nd to last paragraph closely as it includes the data CDPH will look at to help determine if schools will reopen on these proposed dates:
While the science is clear that school can proceed safely with mitigations like the ones we have implemented, CDPH is closely watching the citywide growth in cases — as determined by the amount of time it takes for case counts to double — because case growth can disrupt educational activities as more staff and students need to isolate due to exposure outside of school. For that reason, CDPH has determined that in order for schools to reopen, the length of time over which cases double will need to extend by at least a 50 percent, which will indicate that community spread is stabilizing and the curve is flattening. In Chicago, that will mean moving from the city’s current doubling rate of 12 days to at least 18 days by the time classes begin.
Note: Quarter 2 ends on Feb 4; Quarter 3 starts Feb 8. Press coverage of the announcement:
- UPDATE 10.19: On Fri, Oct 16, CPS announced a Phased Reopening. Please visit the CPS Reopening 2020 webpage and scroll for links to learn more. Chalkbeat Chicago article here.
- CPS Attendance webpage | Child Learning Hubs
- We have a new RYH Special Education Parent Resources for Remote Learning and More Web page. This is a work in progress and we will be adding resources as we create them or learn of them. If you have any suggestions, please pass the links along to me at email@example.com.
- In an email to parents Fri, Sept 11, CPS included a link to this CPS Back to School FAQ doc.
CPS has a new webpage: Online Reopening Guide (The below is not entirely accurate- more info has been added as of Oct19)
- Scroll: How to get connected to your school | to a device | on day one
- Scroll: Calendar of Parent Training Sessions on different Google tools
- Scroll: Google Education Suite videos
Scroll: CPS Meal Sites
- Learn more here: CPS Meal Sites webpage
- Scroll: Meal Site Schedule + link to Find Meal Sites
Scroll: Family Support Numbers
- CPS Command Center | 8AM-5PM | 773 553 KIDS (5437) | firstname.lastname@example.org
- CPS Parent Tech Support Line | 7:30AM-4:30PM | 773 417 1060 | https://chicagopsprod.service-now.com/csp
- Scroll: Get Ready to Learn | Tips for Remote Learning
Scroll: Remote Learning Guide
Learn more here: CPS Remote Learning Guide webpage
- Final Reopening Framework | Spanish
- Learn more here: CPS Remote Learning Guide webpage
- Scroll: Remote Learning Guide Sections with links to learn more
- Scroll: School Day Examples with links to learn more
- Scroll: Documents & Guides
- Scroll: Reopening Framework
- Scroll: Staff Guidance Documents and Training Sessions
- CPS FAQ webpage
- UPDATE on Child Supervision during school hours was in an email sent to parents on Fri, Sept 4. Read it here.
- Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 doc, updated Aug 25
- Other tips to stay informed:
- Check the email your school has on file regularly.
- Check your school’s website regularly. Look for a link to their own resources & updates on COVID-19 response & information.
- Check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for accounts for your school. Sometimes your principal may have an account (especially on Twitter.) Follow and like all of these accounts. Social media may be a quicker way for school staff and district staff to provide updates and relevant information.
- Check to see if parents from your school have a parent specific group pr groups. Can't find one? Consider starting one.
- Local School Council (LSC) meetings- attend them. Call your school and verbally ask when the next meeting is and how you can attend (LSC meetings are open to the public & are still being conducted virtually. This information should be publicly available.)
- All of the ISBE information applies to CPS.
U.S. Department of Education (USDOE)
- CDC K-12 School COVID-19 Mitigation Toolkit – Dec. 3, 2020
- CDC Getting Schools Ready for In-Person Learning: How to Plan and Execute a COVID-19 Mitigation Walkthrough - Dec. 3, 2020
Other Resources for Parents
CTU's #WeStillTeach TV will be returning to Fox 32/My 50, starting on Sat, Sept 19, 11AM
- "...designed for parents and children to provide a time of learning and deeper connection through the act of sharing and making food. This library of resources will continue to grow and include Family Lessons in both English and Spanish, Family Meal Videos, recipes, and more as a way to bring food education into your homes."
Lesson Plans for Teachers
- "Free lesson plans for elementary aged children through high school include curricular information, background knowledge, recommended anchor texts, and supporting food experience instructions. Teachers will find the Lesson Plan Library is diverse and adaptable and can be integrated across a range of content areas."
Slumber Yard blog: Back to School Sleep Tips During COVID
Do you need other assistance?
City Bureau's Chicago COVID Resource Finder | Text "covid" to 312-436-2280 to access via phone
CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites Fall 2020: The Basics | COVID-19- RYH webpage where we tried to put it all together: Basics | Sites | Meal Delivery form | Other resources for food assistance
Shared by Wiley J., LSC Chair, King College Prep: COVID19 Food Pantries & Student Support
JCFS has set up a warm-line for people in emotional distress to have a professional to talk to- 855.275.5237. Read this post for more information.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and if you are unable to speak, text LOVEIS to 22522; 24/7, free, and confidential