Dear CPS Parents, Families, and Staff,
Earlier today, Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot affirmed that we will not be closing schools in Chicago or Illinois. Under their guidance, we are developing plans to ensure the health and safety of our communities. We are writing to provide the latest updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
To help prevent community spread of COVID-19, CPS has issued restrictions on both travel and group activities. This guidance will be available in different languages later this week.
All travel conducted on behalf of the district beyond city limits is canceled through spring break.
All travel on behalf of the district, including school-sanctioned trips beyond Chicago city limits, are canceled through the end of Spring Break (April 12). Additional guidance will be issued for post-spring break travel in the upcoming weeks.
We know that schools and parents may have entered into contracts for school-sanctioned domestic and international trips, and principals are encouraged to contact the School Support Center for guidance on how to assist parents with recovering funds from providers and assess options for reimbursement.
While no personal domestic travel restrictions are in place at this time, we encourage everyone to closely monitor CDC Travel Guidance for up-to-date travel restrictions and necessary health precautions to limit your exposure to COVID-19. If you or your travel companion(s) are at higher risk of severe illness, you should avoid all nonessential travel.
Our international travel guidelines remain the same. All international trips on behalf of the district are canceled.
Anyone who has traveled to a location, including airport layovers, with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 (Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notices) should stay home for 14 days after their return date. The district is providing a paid leave of absence to employees returning from a Level 2 or 3 location, and student absences will be excused.
If you return from travel and experience fever and respiratory symptoms, please contact your medical provider immediately.
We are limiting group activities and events. Sports will be suspended until further notice.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced today that it has canceled its remaining winter State Series postseason tournaments, which include Boys Basketball, Scholastic Bowl, Drama & Group Interpretation, Music, Debate, and Journalism, over concerns related to COVID-19.
Essential school activities involving students and staff (i.e., lunch periods, recess, etc.) will proceed as normal. Non-essential activities (i.e., assemblies, pep rallies) or activities outside of the normal school day with more than 50 participants must be canceled or held virtually. In addition, group gatherings of fewer than 50 people must only be held if absolutely necessary.
After-school programming will continue as scheduled aligned to new guidelines on gatherings.
We are limiting visitors to CPS schools and facilities.
Effective immediately, principals will limit any non-essential visitors to CPS schools, and schools must suspend the use of all indoor spaces by community organizations until further notice. In addition, CPS staff will only travel between schools or offices if such travel is essential to their work.
Complete details on travel and group gathering restrictions being issued by CPS can be found here.
We are committed to providing updates to the CPS community.
We are glad to report that no additional students or staff from Vaughn Occupational High School have tested positive for COVID-19. Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials are continuing to test those who have shown symptoms of the virus, but this news is encouraging. All students and school staff from Vaughn, including clinicians, will remain self-quarantined until March 18, and we will continue to update you as testing proceeds. The district has also begun making food deliveries for families who lack transportation and will continue to provide other supports as needed.
Please be assured that if there is a positive case concerning an individual who has entered a CPS facility, CDPH will immediately notify our Chief Health Officer, and the district will immediately reach out to the school community with next steps. The best measures you can take at this time is to ensure your emergency contact information is up to date with your school and stay informed about how to keep you and your family healthy. Please refer to the trusted resources linked in the next section of this email.
Rely on trusted information.
As the situation with COVID-19 develops, CPS will continue issuing email updates. We’ve also developed an FAQ for students, families, and staff. For the most reliable information about COVID-19, please visit:
- District letters and resources in other languages will be available on the website tomorrow. Principals, please share translated materials with your communities as needed.
- Chicago Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Chicago Public Schools
Support is available to you.
- If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at email@example.com or by calling the Healthy CPS Hotline 773-553-KIDS (5437).
- If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and did not have direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please contact your primary care provider.
- If you are concerned that you or your child have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the CDPH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-746-4835.
We thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to ensure that all in our CPS family remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.
Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
Kenneth Fox, M.D.
Chief Health Officer
Chicago Public Schools
Noticias: Nuevas directrices provisionales para los viajes del distrito o escolares y las actividades en grupo
Se incluirán cartas y recursos del distrito en otros idiomas a esta carpeta cuando estén disponibles. Directores, compartan los documentos con sus comunidades cuando sea necesario.
Si necesita ayuda para buscar atención médica, comuníquese con la Oficina de Salud y Bienestar Estudiantil de las CPS en email@example.com o llame a la línea directa de Healthy CPS al 773-553-KIDS (5437).
Si usted o su hijo tiene fiebre, tos o dificultad para respirar y no tuvo contacto directo con una persona que tiene el COVID-19, comuníquese con su proveedor médico principal.
Si cree que estuvo expuesto al COVID-19, comuníquese con el CDPH al firstname.lastname@example.org, o llame al 312-746-4835.