District 97 Travel Reminders - March 2021

With spring break approaching in just a few weeks, we know that many families are finalizing plans to spend the week together. Avoiding unnecessary travel remains paramount to maintaining the health and safety of our students, staff, families, and the broader community—particularly when students are attending school in-person. In cases where travel is necessary, it is expected that students and staff will adhere to the revised travel quarantine guidelines that are detailed below.

Everyone has worked incredibly hard to keep our schools safe and healthy. We want everyone to take a break and enjoy the time off, but this is not the time to become complacent. Please have a safe and enjoyable break whether you stay at home or are traveling.

Test/Quarantine Expectations For Travel

On February 25, the Village of Oak Park updated its travel guidelines to align with updated guidance from the Cook County Department of Public Health and the City of Chicago’s “Emergency Travel Order.” Under the new system, states are categorized as Yellow or Orange based on the level of community-wide spread of COVID-19. If a District 97 student or staff member travels out of state, they should check Chicago’s travel web page for the current status of the state and follow all guidelines before returning to school/work. 

For students or staff members traveling to a YELLOW state:

  • No COVID test or quarantine is required upon return. You must maintain strict masking and social distancing and monitor your health for COVID-19 symptoms, both during and after travel.

For students or staff members traveling to an ORANGE state, you must follow the quarantine guidelines, even if you visit the state for less than 24 hours:

  • 10-day quarantine OR
  • Pre-arrival negative test result (no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival) with strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings. Students/staff must submit evidence of the negative PCR test result to the school nurse or their immediate supervisor at least 24 hours prior to entering a District 97 building.
    • A diagnostic PCR test result is the only type of test District 97 will accept to avoid the 10-day quarantine. Home antigen tests will not be accepted as evidence of a negative diagnosis due to the high chance of user error.

Vaccinated Travelers

Vaccinated individuals (returning travelers who live or work in Oak Park or visitors to Oak Park) who have traveled domestically are not subject to the above quarantine guidance if they are: (1) asymptomatic; and (2) fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is defined as at least two weeks after the receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) or at least two weeks after one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).

Students must follow the travel guidelines—regardless of whether their parents/guardians have been fully vaccinated. 

Disclaimers

  • It is the District’s expectation that families and staff will comply with the updated travel guidance. If you choose to travel, you should maintain strict masking and social distancing.
  • Children under the age of 18 are not exempt from the travel order and must follow pre-arrival testing/quarantine requirements. 
  • It is possible a state may be yellow when you leave and turn orange before you return. The state color designations are updated every other Tuesday, based on that Monday's data, and go into effect the following Friday at 12:01 a.m. 
  • If you are planning to travel, make sure that each student has all of the materials needed to learn from home in case a quarantine is necessary. 

Please note that the following protocols are in effect for District 97 students and staff:

  • Students or staff should not report to school in-person after travel without a negative COVID-19 test or completion of the 10-day quarantine. Instead, families should call the school attendance line to inform the school that their child will be remote—either for the full 10-days or until PCR test results are provided to the school. In either case, the school nurse will need to approve the child’s return to in-person learning before the student is allowed back into the school.
  • Students or staff returning to school after travel by obtaining a COVID-19 test must submit evidence of the negative PCR test result to the school nurse or their immediate supervisor at least 24 hours prior to entering a District 97 building.
  • A diagnostic PCR test result is the only type of test District 97 will accept to avoid the 10-day quarantine. Home antigen tests will not be accepted as evidence of a negative diagnosis due to the high chance of user error.
  • District 97 intends to follow the travel guidance provided by the Cook County Department of Public Health, as directed by the Village of Oak Park, even if circumstances necessitate a return to more restrictive mitigation measures.

Travel Guidelines - Click to view