In Person Learning

Sycamore Community School District 427 is committed to maintaining the healthiest school environments possible during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to ensure that our students and staff are safe at school, the following procedures will be followed in order to prevent the spreading of germs between students:

Social Distancing

To the greatest extent possible, all district school buildings will develop classroom layouts that allow at least three (3) feet of social distance between students. 

On April 6, 2021, under the Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools, classroom layouts will be adjusted to allow for a minimum of three feet of social distance between students. 
 
  • Desks/tables will be turned to face towards the front of the classroom. 
  • Students will have an assigned seat and teachers will develop a marked path of travel within the classroom in order to maintain social distance from entry into the classroom.
  • Visual posters showing  3 feet of distance will be placed throughout all schools.
  • Markers will be placed on the floor to show students how far 6 feet is for all common areas of the building.
  • In hallways, students will walk to the right and keep distance between each other students during the passing period. 
  • The number of people in hallways will be limited to the greatest extent possible.
  • Lockers for both middle and high school students will be prohibited until further notice.
  • Staff and students should abstain from physical contact, including, but not limited to, handshakes, high fives, hugs, etc.
     

Handwashing

Students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day in order to prevent the spreading of germs. In order to make sure all students are washing their hands properly; we encourage the five steps that you see outlined below from the CDC. Practice these steps with your child at home:

Use of Shared Objects

Use of shared objects (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, toys, games) will be restricted until further notice. Typically, classrooms in our elementary schools have communal supplies that are shared between students. However, due to the spread of germs that may occur when supplies are shared, we will be restricting the use of shared supplies this school year.
 
  • Students belongings will be separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
  • Teachers will ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the greatest extent possible.
  • Teachers will encourage students to avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids.
  • If materials are needed to be shared, students will wash their hands after use.

Ventilation

The CDC recommends increased circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example by opening windows and doors. To the greatest extent possible, individual school buildings will follow these guidelines so long as weather permits us to do so.

Water Fountains

In order to prevent the spread of germs, water fountains will be disconnected this school year until further notice. Students are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle to school. Water bottle filling stations are available in all of our schools and will be available for students to use.

Cafeterias/Food Service

Meals will be provided to all students each day of the week, no matter if your child is physically attending school that day or remotely learning from home.
 
  • Students will have designated seats during breakfast and lunch in order to maintain social distancing.
  • Students will be allowed to remove their face coverings to eat lunch but will continue to sit six feet apart from each other 
  • Cafeterias, and other locations where students will be eating, will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to beginning of each meal period
  • Hand hygiene for all students must be practiced both before and after each meal that is held in the classroom.
  • Students will have lunch during the school day in the cafeteria or an alternative location in their school. 

Sycamore High School students will eat during their assigned lunch periods. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be allowed to leave campus for lunch if they choose. Students who opt to leave campus for lunch must return promptly for their next class. Freshmen and students who decide to remain on campus will eat lunch in the cafeteria until capacity is reached. Once capacity has been reached, students will eat lunch in the main gym. Seats will be marked in both the cafeteria and main gym at six feet apart. Security and administrative staff will direct students to different spaces as needed. Weather permitting, we will provide outdoor eating spaces

Recess (Elementary Students)

Students will have recess each day they are in school, and will be permitted to play on playground equipment during recess time. We are committed to your child’s safety and well-being, and we are taking every precaution to stop the spreading of germs between students. Students are required to wear face coverings outside.

Field Trips

Live field trips will not be scheduled until further notice. Your child may engage in a virtual field trip with his/her classmates in order to maintain social distancing and to provide the safest learning experience for all students. Examples of virtual field trips include the Seattle Aquarium, the San Diego Zoo, Yellowstone National Park, and the Boston Children’s Museum.

Extracurricular Activities

All activities will be held during their traditional season. Safety protocols for students and spectators will be followed. In anticipation of Illinois moving to Phase 5 on June 11, 2021, policies regarding capacity restrictions for spectators are expected to be lifted. In addition, it is expected that face-coverings for spectators will be optional if they are vaccinated. Further guidance regarding face-coverings for anyone ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated during the summer of 2021. We will review and revise any changes regarding safety protocols as they are available. We will also collaborate with schools in our conference prior to revising any safety protocols. We will communicate any changes as soon as possible.

Physical Education, Gymnasiums & Locker Rooms

Physical activity can support your child’s overall health and well-being, and it may help reduce stress and anxiety. We plan to have PE as part of our regular in-school schedule. The use of locker rooms and changing of clothes is prohibited until further notice.
 
  • Face masks will be required when inside, but can be removed when PE is outside and social distancing is maintained.
  • Any sort of physical contact between students is prohibited in order to prevent the spreading of germs.
  • The use of any shared gym equipment is not recommended, but is allowable when proper cleaning procedures are followed.

Driver Education Behind-the-Wheel Instruction (High School Students)

In order to provide behind-the-wheel training to students in driver education in compliance with all current Secretary of State and IDPH safety requirements, the following procedures must be followed:
 
  • Only two students and one instructor per vehicle
  • Face coverings must be worn
  • Eating and drink are prohibited in the vehicle
  • Windows must be open whenever possible
  • Do not make any unnecessary stops during the training
  • Complete hand hygiene with soap & water or hand sanitizer, before and after driving
  • Clean and disinfect the steering wheel, door handles, seat belt fastener, controls/dials, keys, etc. in between each behind-the-wheel session
  • Conduct regular routine cleaning and disinfecting of the seats

Music-Related Courses

Music courses will be adjusted to follow CDC, IDPH, and DCHD protocol.

Rest Time (Kindergarten)

All rest time towels, provided by families, will be at least 3 feet apart as much as possible. Placing children head to toe will be considered in order to reduce the potential for a virus to spread. Towels will be labeled for each child and will be sent home weekly to be cleaned.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces

Our students’ safety and wellness will be our main priority when school opens. In order to stop the spread of germs, there will be specific cleaning and disinfecting procedures implemented this fall when schools reopen. We will be following these guidelines when cleaning and disinfecting your child’s school:
 
  • If surfaces are dirty, they will be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Employees will follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, application method and contact time, etc.
  • Frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles) within the school and on school buses will be cleaned at least daily or between use as much as possible.
  • There will be a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.

Out of School Care (OSCAR)

Sycamore Community School District 427 OSCAR Program will resume full operations for our students for the 2021-2022 school year.

Student Transportation

School arrival times will be staggered in order to support students in maintaining the social distance protocol. Due to our transition to four in-person days a week, our buses have seen an increase in ridership. Under the revised guidance, busses will continue to be required to have a maximum capacity of 49 students. Students will continue to be required to wear their face coverings at all times while on the bus. Because some bus routes will now have busses that are completely full, students may be seated closer than three feet while in transit.