Huntley 158 Seal

Hello Huntley 158 Parents & Families,

I hope you have all enjoyed a restful winter break and holiday season with your families and loved ones. As we look towards the new year and our return to school on January 3, 2022, I would like to address our continued efforts to keep our students and families safe. As we have done throughout the pandemic, the need to be agile and proactive in order to keep our students learning in the classroom remains a top priority. We all know that as this virus continues to evolve and change, so does the guidance that impacts our daily lives and the environment in our schools. 

I want to be clear that we will return to school as scheduled on Monday, January 3. However, we know that with new CDC guidance and noticeably high rates of transmission in our community, some questions and concerns exist. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the updates below, where we have outlined the most up to date practices that will be in place to prioritize your child’s safety upon their return to Huntley 158. 

Updated CDC Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released new guidance on Monday, December 27, 2021 regarding isolation and quarantine. On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the IDPH adopted an adapted version of this new guidance which does not yet allow shorter periods of isolation or quarantine in school settings. While the guidance is under further review by our state and local health officials, no changes will be made for periods of isolation or quarantine in schools at this time. Schools are required to follow the existing IDPH COVID-19 school guidance. To review, isolation periods remain 10 days for any positive COVID-19 cases and quarantine periods remain 14 days for any individual deemed a close contact to a positive case. We have been informed by the McHenry County Department of Health that the guidance for schools is in revision and will be made available when finalized. If and when changes are made to the isolation and quarantine periods that impact Illinois and Huntley 158 schools, we will communicate with our families and staff as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we wait for further clarity.

Can I still submit my child(ren)’s vaccination card?
Yes. As a reminder, if your child has recently become fully vaccinated, providing this information to the school health office will assist in determining if your child needs to quarantine if deemed a close contact. To do so, please email a photo of your student(s)’ vaccination card to your building’s health services email address, which can be found on the district website. We want to reiterate that this is not a requirement for any of our students or families, but is an effective way for our staff to keep as many students learning safely in the classroom as possible. 

What should I do if my child tested positive for COVID-19 over break?
As we know, the transmission rate for COVID-19 in our community and across the nation remains high. If your child tested positive for COVID-19 over break please contact your child’s school and let them know the date your child tested positive.  If your child tested positive after Thursday, December 23, please keep them home from school on January 3. The school nurse or administration will contact you with the date your child may return to school and your child’s teacher(s) will contact you with zoom links. We thank you in advance for your patience on this communication as staff will need to review each case on Monday, January 3, when schools resume.  

Mitigation Measures in Our Schools
Our current mitigation efforts for Huntley 158, along with a chart to depict guidelines for community transmission levels, can be viewed on our website

  • Stay home if you are sick! Students and staff are expected and encouraged to stay home if they feel sick and/or visit the nurse if symptoms occur during the school day and report any COVID symptoms. This is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of COVID in our buildings and limit the number of quarantines.
  • Universal mask wearing with an appropriate face covering is required of all individuals while in Huntley 158 facilities. Based on the most up to date CDC guidance, we know that masking works and is an important step in order to limit the need for 14-day quarantines. For more information about face coverings and proper mask wearing please click here.
  • Physical distance of at least 3 feet will be maintained in classrooms and to the greatest extent possible in common spaces. We recognize that this is another important step in order to limit the number of close contacts in our classrooms. Our operation staff and administrative team continue to evaluate and optimize our building spaces to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
  • COVID-19 Testing Opportunities: SHIELD & BinaxNOW Testing opportunities available in our district are an important part of our mitigation strategies. Though it is not a requirement of our students, both SHIELD and BinaxNow tests are available for all students in order to track and identify the spread of COVID-19. We know that due to the high transmission across our community, rates of positivity will likely be reflected in the positive cases present in our buildings; however, by taking advantage of these testing programs, our nursing staff and local health department are able to respond swiftly and effectively in order to limit the impact on our students, staff, and classrooms.

For more information about these testing opportunities, please visit our website

Our top priority is to keep our doors open and students in class. Therefore, we must control what we can and work together to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and anyone entering our buildings. We have likely not seen everything that COVID has to throw at us, but we will remain resilient and focused on the education and well being of your children. We love and care for all of our students, and through our continued partnership, I know we will get through this. Therefore, I ask for your help and cooperation to speak with your children about closely following the mitigations we have in place and continue to encourage them to work with our school staff in positive and productive ways to move forward together. 

Thank you for your continued support of our district’s efforts. We look forward to welcoming our students back and wish all of our families a Happy New Year!

Thank you,

Scott Rowe, Ed.D.