Maintaining Healthy School Environments

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

Classroom layouts will allow for a minimum of three feet of social distance between students while seated. 
 
  • Desks/tables will be turned to face forward
  • 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 6 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 discontinued 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 eliminating 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 in the cafeteria.
  • Students will be allowed to remove their face coverings to eat lunch but will continue to sit six feet apart from each other 
  • Cafeterias 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.

Elementary school students will have lunch during the school day in the cafeteria or an alternative location in their school. Due to the timing of lunch at the elementary level, some grade level will need to eat a snack during the day. Students will wash their hands before and after snack time. Additionally, students will maintain six feet of social distancing during all snack times.

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. Students who decide to remain on campus for lunch will eat 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, outdoor eating spaces will be provided.

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 not required to wear face coverings outside so long as social distancing is maintained.

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

Please note that extracurricular activities will be limited this year until further notice.

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 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 6 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)

There will not be any changes to the OSCAR program for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. We have made this decision due to the guidelines given by DCFS, lack of space in buildings, and staffing requirements. Additional information regarding OSCAR for the 2021-2022 school year will be shared at a later date.
 

However, we are excited to announce the return of our summer OSCAR program! This program is open to all students currently attending Sycamore elementary schools in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The program will operate from 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM each weekday beginning Monday, June 14, 2021 through Friday, August 6, 2021,  at South Prairie Elementary School. The program will be closed Monday, July 5. 

Due to safety precautions, this program will be limited to 100 students. A waitlist will be created once registration slots are filled. 

Summer OSCAR Registration

OSCAR has worked with community resources to be able to make sure our families' needs are still being met. Kishwaukee YMCA will be offering full day childcare services to families. Kishwaukee YMCA does accept 4C financial assistance.