D127 Board of Education: We want stricter COVID-19 precautions

D127 Board of Education: We want stricter COVID-19 precautions

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Petition to
Superintendant of Schools, Grayslake Community High School District 127 Dr. Mikkel Storaasli and

Why this petition matters

In the past few weeks, COVID-19 cases in Lake County and across the world have skyrocketed, in part due to the new Omicron variant. According to The New York Times, 900,047 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the United States on January 7th, 2022, compared to 280,334 cases on January 7th, 2021. Just one month ago on December 8th, 2021, only 122,030 cases were reported, meaning that daily cases were over seven times higher just one month apart.

Despite the massive rise in COVID-19 infections and a record 139 cases district-wide as of January 6th, six times higher than the new cases reported just three days earlier, the district has not changed its COVID-19 policies whatsoever, even when faced with the possibility of going back to remote learning due to staffing shortages.

In short, we wish to see the district adopt the following policies:

  • Mandatory COVID-19 testing for students participating in extracurriculars and athletics regardless of vaccination status
  • Mandatory COVID-19 testing/required proof of vaccination for students attending events like Gala and Prom
  • Some form of capacity restrictions at athletic contests
  • Transparency regarding COVID-19 vaccination reporting
  • More strictly enforced mask-wearing

Multiple other school districts in our area have implemented new policies or brought back old mitigation strategies due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Among the districts that have done so are:

  • Glenbrook High School District 225, which has introduced a "voucher" system for athletic events, giving each athlete two "vouchers" to give to friends and family, and prohibiting all others from attending events in person.
  • Township High School District 113, which has made COVID-19 SHIELD Testing akin to that at D127 required for all students participating in athletics and extracurriculars, along with asking for students to securely submit proof of vaccination to the school through their Student Information System. The district also required a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to attend school dances.
  • New Trier High School District 203, which has required COVID-19 testing for all students participating in extracurriculars, along with all unvaccinated staff members. They have also asked for students to submit proof of vaccination to the school's health services department. They also publish aggregate vaccination rates within the district among both staff and students, something we wish D127 to do as well.
  • Adlai E. Stevenson High School District 125 has established a COVID-19 clinic through a company called PediaTrust that provides COVID-19 testing and free online evaluations for all students. They have also published their district's aggregate staff/student vaccination rates publicly on their website.
  • Evanston Township High School District 202 formed a COVID-19 Advisory Committee comprised of pediatricians, neonatologists, and Chief Medical Officers at local hospitals to better guide COVID-19 mitigation strategies in the district. They also have published aggregate data regarding COVID-19 vaccination in the district.

In addition to this, we are asking the school to more strictly enforce proper mask-wearing. While we understand that some teachers have recently been doing a better job at doing such, we have noticed far too many incidents of students either not wearing masks whatsoever while in the school building, wearing ineffective masks such as neck gaiters or bandanas, improperly wearing masks such as below the nose or mouth, and several incidents of teachers not properly following masking rules. We have also observed teachers not enforcing masking guidelines, and not practicing masking guidelines when not in the view of students (e.g. situations where a staff member will not wear a mask when having a conversation with another staff member who is also maskless while in an office presumably out of the view of students). While we do not know if being out of the view of students is a reason for them to not be wearing masks, it remains concerning to us that we have seen a lack of effort on the part of certain staff members who have not properly followed these guidelines. 

Overall, we understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" strategy that can be applied across the board. Despite this, however, we do wish to see the district adopt more rigorous COVID-19 mitigation strategies in the wake of the shocking recent rise in COVID-19 cases. While none of us want these to be in place for too long, our goal has to be the health and safety of all D127 stakeholders. Thank you for your time and understanding.

For all questions, please email gchsanonstudents@gmail.com. 

Examples of COVID-19 Dashboard:



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