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27 Av 5781

August 4, 2021

Dear ICJA Family:

Earlier today, Governor Pritzker announced a mask-mandate for all P-12 schools in Illinois. While we are very proud that nearly all of ICJA’s students are fully vaccinated and may not require the same restrictions as some other schools in our state, we will, of course, follow this government mandate. As such, the COVID protocols for the beginning of our school year are now changed to conform with this mandate. (The changes are in red)

1. All students, staff, faculty, and visitors to ICJA, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose when inside our building. Vaccinated students will be allowed to move BRIEFLY (NOT remove – just move) their masks to take a sip of water while inside the building.

2. We strongly encourage all students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated before the beginning of the school year. However, until the FDA issues a regular approval for the vaccine, students who are not vaccinated may attend school but must be masked whenever inside the building. 

Once the FDA issues a regular approval for the COVID-19 vaccine, we will enforce the same policy as for the MMR vaccine – all students, faculty, and staff must be vaccinated to attend ICJA. The only exception will be in cases of a medical need, and then, those cases must be presented to our medical committee for special approval.

3. All unvaccinated persons in the school will be required to be tested for COVID twice a week – on Mondays and Thursdays. We have contracted with the SHIELD program of the University of Illinois and will be using their PCR saliva test. The test will be free of charge and will be administered at the beginning of both lunch periods, and will take only a few minutes. However, those being tested cannot eat or drink for 60 minutes before the test.

To be exempted from our unvaccinated testing protocol, a copy of your vaccination card must be uploaded to our parent portal. (In “my account,” select “student,” go to “medical history,” and scroll down to “proof of vaccination.”) 

4. All participants in indoor sports will also need to participate in our twice-weekly testing program, regardless of their vaccination status. These tests will be administered from the time that indoor practices begin and through the entire season. 

5. All members of the ICJA band will need to participate in our twice-weekly testing program, regardless of their vaccination status. 

6. All classes will be arranged to allow for a minimum of 3′ social distancing as per the CDC guidelines. 

7. Our cafeteria will be fully reopened (including an expanded menu, soda bar, and soft-serve yogurt machine!). However, only vaccinated students will be permitted to eat at the tables in the cafeteria, but must be socially distanced (at least three feet). Until the weather changes, unvaccinated students will need to eat both breakfast and lunch outdoors. 

8. Whether or not you are vaccinated, if you have any COVID-like symptoms (a sore throat, cough, fever, loss of taste/smell, or headache), PLEASE do not come to school. Even vaccinated individuals can catch or spread COVID and so may not attend school with COVID suspicious symptoms. Check with your doctor and get tested for COVID.

9. If a vaccinated person is exposed to someone with COVID (an exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes), the vaccinated person will be permitted to return to school, but must wear a mask both in and out of school for 14 days and maintain 6′ of social distancing.  If the vaccinated person is asymptomatic and is receives a negative result on a COVID test after five days, that person will no longer need to wear a mask outside of school. If an unvaccinated person is exposed to someone with COVID, that person must be quarantined for at least 14 days.

If you have any questions about these policies, please be in touch, and please upload a copy of your vaccination card and health form to our portal ASAP!

Stay safe, stay connected, and stay inspired!

B’vracha,

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 

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