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March 2021 Return to In-Person Learning
Mill Creek Parents and Guardians,  
I know that I speak on behalf of all Mill Creek Elementary School teachers and staff when I say that we are delighted that recent changes in IDPH guidelines allow us to return all “in-person learners” to a full-time, five day a week schedule! With updated guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, we have spent much of our time over the past couple weeks planning for our student’s return. Below are some important updates as they relate to our return to school.  Please note, that while our arrival and dismissal procedures have not changed, dismissal will take longer and vehicles will be backed up for blocks just as they were pre-pandemic.   
Certification Slips 
Nothing has changed in this regard. Students still must arrive to school with their certification slip, signed by a parent/guardian. A link to the certification slip can be found by clicking HERE.  Additional verification slips are also available in the office. 
Morning Arrival of Students 
Nothing has changed in this regard. Below is a review of what the arrival procedures will continue to look like.  Again, nothing has changed. 
  • If your child is arriving by bus, students will be dismissed one bus at a time upon their arrival to ensure that students maintain 3 feet of distance, as much as possible, as they enter our building. 
  • Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade will enter through our main entrance (Door #1)
  • 3rd Grade and 4th grade will enter through the side entrance (on the right, down the stairs) (Door #11).
  • 5th grade students will enter through the side entrance (on the left) (Door #2).
  • If you are dropping off your child, you may drop them off in the front, or the back. 
  • If your child is dropped off in the front, they will enter through the doors listed above dependent upon their grade level. 
  • If your child is dropped off in the back, all students (K-5th grade) will enter through door #7. 
  • Please remain in your vehicle at all times if you are dropping off  your child. If your child needs assistance getting out of your vehicle, please park your vehicle in one of  our parking spots and walk your child to the door. 
  • Students that are walking or riding their bike may enter through the front or the back. Again, if they enter through the front, just remind them to enter through their assigned entrance dependent on their grade level. 
  • Any student that is dropped off after 8:00 am should utilize our main entrance door (door #1) and be signed in by a parent/guardian. 
Dismissal of Students 
Nothing has changed with regard to dismissal. However, let’s not quickly forget our pre-pandemic parent pick-up line. For years this line extended well into the community. While we haven’t seen these long lines this year, it is because we have had half of our students in attendance.  We will do our best to exit our students quickly and safely.  Below is a review of what the dismissal procedures will continue to look like.  Again, nothing has changed. 
  • Students will be dismissed in order of parent arrival, just as we have done all year. Please have your placard visible. If you need a new placard, please call the office and we will send one home with your child. 
  • Do not exit your vehicle while in the pick-up lane. If your child needs assistance, please park your vehicle in a parking spot and escort them to your vehicle. Parents may park their vehicle in front and walk around back. 
  • Students will be directed toward the sidewalk as they exit our building.  We cannot have students cross over lanes of traffic to get to their parent's vehicle, as this is a huge safety concern of ours. This is a routine that we have established and will continue to enforce.   
  • Students taking the bus will be dismissed from their classroom one bus at a time. 
  • Our front lot will not be utilized to pick up students. We need our front lot for bus and offsite childcare pick-up.   
Kid Zone 
  • Arrival and Pick-Up location for before and after school childcare through Kid Zone will now take place in our front parking lot, through entrance #2. For additional information, please reach out to the Geneva Park District. 
Classrooms 
  • Student desks have been rearranged to meet 3-ft. distance requirements.  Desks are still required to all face the same direction and small group tables & shared touch items are still not allowed. 
  • All classroom cleaning protocols will continue. 
  • Depending on grade level, snacks will either be cancelled or eaten at a time or place in which 6-ft. distancing can be ensured. 
  • Water fountains will continue to be turned off and use of water bottles will continue. 
  • Laptops will need to continue to travel back and forth between home and school due to the potential of student quarantine or another adaptive pause being ordered by local/state agencies.  
Lunch 
  • Nothing will change with our current lunch program. Students will continue to order lunch each morning on their devices as they did during our hybrid learning model. Student lunches and a milk choice will remain free to all students for the remainder of the year. Water is $.75/bottle and will be charged to your child's PushCoin account. 
  • Students will maintain 6 feet of distance during lunch. To accommodate the increased number of students, we have relocated our cafeteria to our large gymnasium where we can accommodate all students during lunch while maintaining 6 ft. distancing. 
 
Recess and Playground Equipment 
  • We are now able to use our playground equipment with the following understandings: 
               1. Playground equipment and balls to be used by one classroom at                                                                                                    a time.
               2. Hand sanitizing/hand washing will be used before and after use 
               3. Masks will be worn while using the equipment? 
               4. Play equipment surfaces will be sanitized daily 
  • Individual classrooms will still be kept separate to limit student exposure/quarantine 
  • Use of a rotating schedule each day so students have opportunity to play in a different area each day 
Specials & Library/LMC 
  • PE will be held in the multi-purpose room as our large gymnasium is now being used for lunch. 
  • Art, Music, and Library/LMC classes will return to their spaces rather than visiting classrooms on a cart.  Seating in these spaces will match the seating in the classrooms to limit student exposure/quarantine issues. 
  • The Library/LMC will be open for book check outs; protocols will continue for book check-out to limit exposure from “shared touch” items and returned books will be held in quarantine for a set number of days before being reshelved. 
  • 5th grade Band/Orchestra lessons will return following required protocol guidelines. 
Spring Break Travel 
  • We have been relying on families all year to do their part by practicing safe behaviors in all that they do. We will be encouraging families to be safe over spring break and follow the advice from the CDC. 
  • If you plan to travel over spring break, we ask that you are a responsible traveler. Use the mitigation strategies of mask wearing, hand washing, avoiding large crowds, etc. to the greatest extent possible, and follow IDPH and CDC guidance after your return. 
  • If you have a known exposure to someone who is COVID positive, reach out to your healthcare provider for advice on whether you will need to quarantine. 
  • For more information visit the IDPH page on travel: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/travel-safety-guidance  
Additional Information 
While we have made great gains with the latest guidelines, it is important to remember that the pandemic is still on-going and we are still subject to potential adaptive pauses should there be a virus surge and such direction is given by the Illinois Department of Public Health & the Kane County Health Department.  In addition, we continue to follow all required guidelines relating to mitigation measures (masks, distancing, handwashing, cleaning protocols, and contact tracing/isolation & quarantine).  We will do our best to provide a healthy and safe environment for all students and staff.   
  • Masks are still required. 
  • All cleaning protocols remain the same. 
  • Social distancing remains in effect, but guidelines have now shifted from 6-feet to 3-feet distance when wearing masks. (3-ft. distance when wearing masks, still 6-ft. distance when masks are off while eating.)  
  • Frequent handwashing/use of hand sanitizer is still required. 
  • Contact tracing and quarantine measures have not changed and are still in effect.  (Please note: Changing social distancing guidelines from 6-ft to 3-ft. while wearing masks allows us to now fit both A and B in-person learners into classroom spaces, but contact tracing combined with isolation and quarantine are still required based on 6-feet measures. This means that the number of students required to quarantine will likely increase significantly now that we are only staying 3-feet apart.  Please be prepared for this and be kind to our nurses if they call with the unwelcome news that your child will need to quarantine…. Keep in mind that every time students are sent to school with symptoms they risk other students being placed in quarantine as well. 
As I have said before, I will continue to express my sincere appreciation for all your support as our parent/guardians, and my gratitude to our wonderful staff that have worked tirelessly to adapt to this year's everchanging dynamics. This past year has proven to be a challenge in so many ways but I am excited to take a small step forward in returning our students to school. I continue to hope that other aspects of education begin to return as our COVID numbers continue in a downward trend. If you have any further questions or concerns please consult the district website and consult the “Frequently Asked Questions” section or give us a call here at the school. In the meantime, have a wonderful Spring Break and we’ll see you on Monday, April 5! 

 George Petmezas
 Principal, Mill Creek Elementary School
 0N900 Brundige Drive | Geneva, IL | 60134
 Ph. 630-463-3400 | Fax 630-463-3409
 [email protected]  | www.geneva304.org
 
 
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