Monday, November 3, 2020
Dear Sycamore Community School District 427 families,
As you know, our District has continuously monitored the COVID-19 situation in our state, region, county, and community since the pandemic began. In the last few weeks, there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases that reached a peak in our community over the weekend. The 11 cases that were announced last night occurred between Friday, October 30, 2020, and Monday, November 2, 2020. These cases have had ramifications on our community and our District. As long as we have had an instructional model to bring our students back into our schools, implementing that model has depended on our ability to staff our schools appropriately and safely.
The 11 cases announced yesterday have impacted our staffing, as have the additional close contacts or symptomatic individuals that have led to quarantines and absences for staff. However, I want to be absolutely clear that our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of the affected individuals. I would much rather our students and staff stay home when they are not well or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 than come to school – to allow themselves time to recover and to protect our community.
Our next focus is on analyzing the impact that quarantines and absences have on staffing and the safe operation of our schools. These are considerations we have previously made, and this will continue to be a necessity as we live through the pandemic. Whether this situation had occurred a month from now, or today, the result is the same.
The current impact on staffing means that we must modify our plans to welcome our hybrid students to school tomorrow. After extensive conversations within the District, I have decided to revise our plan as follows:
- All of our elementary school buildings will open tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4, 2020, as planned.
- We will delay welcoming back any additional students at Sycamore Middle School and Sycamore High School until Monday, November 30, 2020.
Our administrative team is already making the necessary adjustments within the District to implement this change. I know this announcement is sudden, but it was a result of the changing and fluid landscape and my commitment to opening schools safely. I appreciate your understanding of this decision.
I would be remiss if I didn’t continue asking for the collaboration of our entire community in minimizing the transmission of COVID-19 or any other virus or infection at this time. Please wear a mask, maintain at least six feet of social distancing, and wash your hands regularly. One thing we know about COVID-19 is that these three simple steps can minimize the spread of the virus. In addition, when you show COVID-19 symptoms, when you become a “close contact” of someone known to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 yourself, please follow the IDPH protocols for isolation or quarantine as closely as you can. As a reminder, someone is deemed a “close contact” if they have been within six feet for an accumulation of 15 minutes within 24 hours. We are already aware of cases in the Sycamore community where individuals did not follow these protocols, and they have likely transmitted COVID-19 to those around them as a result.
Thank you for working with us to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Sycamore Community School District 427
(815) 899-8100 | syc427.org
245 West Exchange Street | Sycamore, IL 60178
Empowering All Learners To Succeed In Their World