February 27, 2020

Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Subject: Health Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students: 

As the news of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, I would like to assure you that the Glenbrooks are being proactive regarding the threat of this illness. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is always our top priority. We have not had reports of local illness; however, we plan to continue monitoring this situation, in conjunction with our community partners, including local school districts. The six districts of the township are in close communication and working together in our planning, response, and communication. The preventative measures we are taking alongside Districts 27, 28, 30, 31 and 34 can be found below. 
Thank you for continually working with us to keep our schools safe. The well-being of the staff and students of our community will likely rely on everyone taking precautions. We will keep you informed as this situation evolves.
Dr. Charles Johns 
The school districts in Northfield Township (elementary districts 27, 28, 30, 31, 34 and Township High School District 225) are working together -- and with our regional office of education and our municipalities -- to follow developments regarding the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. This collaboration will help us be aware of our local conditions, share resources, and expertise, and be prepared should an outbreak occur.
The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH), in an update sent on Wednesday, February 26, stated that the risk to Illinoisans of contracting the virus is low at this time. However, in all of our districts, school nurses are closely monitoring student and staff illnesses and taking steps to be prepared. COVID-19 is a new strain of influenza that currently does not have a vaccine. According to the IDPH, Illinois has implemented testing for the strain, becoming the first state to do so. There are only two cases reported in the state as of February 26.  At this time, IDPH does not recommend canceling classes or mass gatherings, nor does it recommend the use of face masks.
We follow the guidance of the IDPH, and remain in contact with the Cook County Health Department as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We also are working with our municipalities on contingency plans in case of an outbreak in our region or communities. As part of our contingency planning, we are exploring options if schools are directed to close. 
Preventative Measures
We follow IDPH’s protocols for common-sense practices to protect our students and staff (and their families) during every flu season:
  • Staff regularly wipe down frequently used surfaces in the classroom.
  • Custodial crews do additional disinfecting throughout the building during the day.
  • Custodial staff use spray disinfectant nightly on desks, tables, handles, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
  • School nurses monitor student illnesses and work with individual families, as needed.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to wash their hands frequently during the day.

We ask that you take action -- for yourself and your children -- to help prevent the spread of illness:

  • If your child is sick, please keep them home from school until they are fever-free for 24 hours.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Additional Resources
The following resources provide additional information about COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control provides a broad range of background information, updates and travel information. Here are specific resources from the CDC and other health organization:
CDC “Share Facts, Not Fear” Webpage
CDC Coronavirus Factsheet
IDPH Frequently Asked Questions 
We are committed to our continued collaboration to protect the health of our students, staff and communities.
Dr. Charles Johns, Superintendent, Glenbrook High Schools District 225
Dr. David Kroeze, Superintendent, Northbrook School District 27
Dr. Larry Hewitt, Superintendent, Northbrook School District 28
Dr. Brian Wegley, Superintendent, Northbrook/Glenview School District 30
Dr. Erin Murphy, Superintendent, West Northfield District 31
Dr. Dane Delli, Superintendent, Glenview School District 34