School Communication

Alumni Panel Video

We hope you will take an hour to sit down, relax, and learn more about the outcomes of the education you have invested in for your children! You can watch this in one sitting, in short segments at your convenience, or listen to it as a podcast while walking outdoors! We would love to hear your reflections or further questions after viewing; there is so much in here to appreciate!

The video link is https://vimeo.com/499477498
The password can be found in the all-school email from January 12. 

January 7, 2021

Dear Forest Bluff School Community,

We hope you have had a wonderful vacation and are looking forward to 2021! In terms of the pandemic, there is great optimism about new vaccines becoming available and the fact that the number of cases in Lake County have gone down. However, there are also rising concerns about strains of Coronavirus spreading as we enter the deep winter months of flu season, and the possible repercussions of recent, increased travel all across the country. The Directors and I waited to evaluate the current situation before asking families for increased mitigation measures: We ask that families who traveled commercially in the days leading up to school, re-enter with an added layer of caution (see described below). Our goal is to ensure that all of our classrooms can safely resume in-person after the break. With this in mind, the Forest Bluff Directors ask that you please read this email carefully and follow these guidelines:

Travel

If you traveled over this break, please review your family’s exposure risks and do the following:

Commercial travel: If you traveled through a commercial airport, domestic or international, within the last week before the first day of school, please keep your children home for 3-5 days from your return travel day and talk to our school nurse about whether having your child COVID-tested before returning to school is warranted. If you do have your child tested, we ask that you please keep your children home until their test results are received. For your convenience, we recommend a testing center that gives results the same day, such as Lake Forest Urgent Care, in West Lake Forest: https://lfacutecare.com/covid-19-testing/ By arranging appointments now, you can make your children’s return to school most timely for your family schedules. This center is open on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as long hours on weekdays.

Car travel or private: If you traveled by car or on a private plane without exposure to others outside your immediate group, it is not necessary to delay your children’s return to school or get  negative COVID tests before returning to school. But as with the return from our recent Thanksgiving travel, we appreciate any extra caution you can afford. If you decide to be extra cautious and keep your children home for a few days or get COVID tests, please let our office know.

For everyone: Please be aware, as always, to watch for symptoms at home. Children with any symptom of illness should either: stay home until cleared by a doctor and our school nurse, Maggie Kelly; kept home for 10 days; or get a negative COVID test and show the results, before returning to school. Feel free to call our office with any questions; we are here to help you navigate through such decisions to be as safe as possible, together.

As you fill out the COVID- screening every morning, please be thorough in checking your children’s temperatures, checking off any symptoms present, and fill out the travel section.

This is how we are able to stay in person, so we thank you for your participation in this community effort!

Forest Bluff Protocols in Classrooms

Everything we have been doing since the beginning of the school year to keep our community safe will be continued or increased for the winter months. Forest Bluff will continue with our COVID safety protocols which include wearing well-fitting masks, washing hands frequently with soap for 20+ seconds, maintaining a distance of 6+ feet between students (and masked) when together for longer than 10 minutes, and washing materials before they are passed between individuals. The buildings and classrooms are also being thoroughly cleaned every day by a professional cleaning service. We have excellent air filtration systems in every room throughout the school. If comfortable doing so, children are allowed to continue to work outside and to eat lunch outside when weather permits. During the winter months, we encourage you to send your children to school with extra under-layers and prepared to be outside in the cold with all body parts covered.

Lunch time: When the weather necessitates eating lunch inside more often, students will stay at their designated seat, and only remove their masks to eat and drink. Students will not be permitted to talk when their mask is removed during lunch, but encouraged to quietly look at a book, or in some cases, the Director might read aloud to their class and eat afterwards while the class is silently reading, with masks in place.

More information about COVID Symptoms and COVID Exposure

Requirements for return after showing COVID symptoms: If a student exhibits symptoms, they must do one of the following to return to school:

○       Be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative test result. The new “rapid result” tests are acceptable.*

○       Isolate at home for 10 days and until symptoms are resolved.

○       Provide a note of approval from a physician to return to school, even if symptoms are not COVID-related. If a family with multiple children has only one symptomatic student, and the doctor’s note says that the one student can return, then the other children in the family are eligible to return.

*If a household member is awaiting a COVID-19 test result, please keep students and siblings home until the result is confirmed negative. 

  • Requirements for return after known direct exposure: If a student has known direct exposure to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they must quarantine for 14 days. Students may not return to school, even with a negative test result, for 14 days. “Direct contact” is defined as being within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a day. If a family member, but not the student, is positive for COVID-19, the student must be quarantined even after the family member was released from isolation. If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, please notify the school office or Paula Preschlack (via text at 847-345-4444) immediately. Our school nurse, Maggie Kelly, will help guide you on what day your child can return to school.
  • Returning to school after contracting COVID-19: If a student contracts COVID-19, they may return to school 10 days after onset of symptoms (if the symptoms are resolved). The school will contact the family to discuss symptoms and clear the student to return.
  • Potential exposure: If you are concerned about COVID-19 exposure, the best time to test is 3 to 5 days after the possible exposure.
  • Confirmed case procedure: In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case at Forest Bluff School, we notify the Lake County Department of Health and follow their guidance. 
  • Communication: We will notify the appropriate classroom community as soon as possible when a case is reported. We will not share names for the sake of privacy, unless given permission to do so.
  • Reporting to school: In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the family, report the case to the school office immediately or if after hours, in a text to Head of School, Paula Preschlack: 847-345-4444.

A Review on Masks

Based on current science, masks decrease the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Wearing masks consistently is one of the best ways we have of supporting each other through this pandemic.

  • Masks are required on Forest Bluff property unless a Director gives permission to remove it outside, socially distanced, or for eating or drinking socially distanced.
  • Paper or fabric masks are sufficient, but if you can see light through the fabric when held up, it is probably too thin to be effective; add an extra layer or an insert for better protection. 
  • A neck gaiter is acceptable to use as a mask outdoors if the fabric is doubled up to provide two layers, seals against the bridge of the nose, and stays in place.
  • Masks must be worn properly to cover the nose and mouth and seal closely against the face.
  • It is recommended that students wear a clean mask each day.
  • Students should have two extra masks in a plastic baggie, kept in their drawer at school.

Thank you for reading this! We are excited that we can continue learning in person at Forest Bluff School. We are so proud of the spirit of teamwork that everyone is exhibiting. We are eager to see you and your children on Monday, January 11, 2021! We hope you enjoy this week of vacation.

Gratefully,

Paula Lillard Preschlack and the Forest Bluff Directors