Henry-Senachwine CUSD #5 Reopening Plan 2020-2021
Dated: August 19,2020

The following reopening plan has been developed with input from various stakeholders and in consultation with ISBE, IDPH, and CDC recommendations and guidelines.  With the health and safety of students and staff as priority, this reopening plan provides families with the option of selecting in-person learning 5 days a week or remote learning 5 days a week.  Please understand that our reopening plan is tentative and is subject to change based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

This reopening plan has been designed within the framework of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan for reopening Illinois and the disaster proclamations declaring COVID-19 an epidemic and public health emergency. Under the Governor’s executive orders,  “all public and nonpublic schools in Illinois serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students may open for in-person educational purposes . . . following the completion of the regular 2019-2020 school term.” ISBE and IDPH issued Transition Joint Guidance for the 2020-2021 school year and as schools reopen, we are required to follow ISBE and IDPH’s Phase 4 guidance.  In conjunction with that guidance, recent State legislation provides schools with the option to implement remote or blended remote learning instruction to students.  This reopening plan outlines the proactive measures being taken to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors consistent with State law and guidance.  This plan also offers options for in-person or remote learning instruction, with blended remote learning for the first two weeks of school.   

Henry-Senachwine will adhere to IDPH guidelines, as follows:

  1. Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;

  2. Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;

  3. Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;

  4. Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and,

  5. Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfections

In consideration of the potential heat, the start of the school year has been moved back one-week for the teachers/staff and two-weeks for the students.  Also, the first two weeks of school for students receiving in-person instruction will have an 11:30 a.m. dismissal with some remote learning activities in the afternoon, to meet the ISBE requirement of 5 instructional clock hours daily.  Both options of in-person instruction and remote learning will follow the same scheduled days of student attendance.

Notable changes to the 2020-2021 school calendar:

August 24 - August 28 Teacher/Staff Trainings

August 31 First Day for Students

August 31 - September 11

In-person student attendance from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. with some remote learning activities in the afternoon. Student dismissal at 11:30 a.m.

Week of September 14

School day shifts to student attendance from  8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Student dismissal at 2:00 p.m.

District Communication

The District will utilize the following platforms to communicate information:

  1. District/School websites: www.hscud5.org

  2. Email messages

  3. Phone/Text messages

In-Person Learning & Remote Learning Options:

In-Person Learning:  This option will allow for students to attend school in-person, 5-days a week.  Given health and safety protocols, in-person instruction guidelines are detailed below: 

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required by the IDPH and ISBE. Face covering means cloth face covering, N95 mask, surgical mask, or other material that fully covers the nose and mouth and is approved by the CDC.  Face shields are not considered as an allowable face covering.

Except for individuals younger than 2 years of age, any individual present in any building, facility or transportation vehicle (i.e. bus) owned, operated or used by the District, shall at all times wear a face covering. 

Families should provide student(s) with a clean face covering each day. Each building has a limited supply of cloth masks to provide students if requested. 

Wearing a face covering, social distancing when possible, and hand hygiene are to be practiced by all students, staff, and visitors.  Face coverings need to be worn at all times in the building, even when social distancing is maintained.  Face coverings do not need to be worn outside if social distancing of at least 6 feet is maintained. 

Individuals who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability related condition, or who present other bona fide reasons for not being able to wear a face covering, may be permitted to utilize alternative options such as a face shield or other reasonable accommodation.  Persons unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, will need to provide supporting documentation from a physician or other qualified healthcare provider and they will need to contact the building principal to make a request for reasonable accommodation. 

Symptom/Temperature Checks

Students will be required to participate in a symptom check and temperature check.  

Parents will need to verify and self certify that their students are free of symptoms before loading a bus or being dropped-off at school.

School staff will conduct temperature checks of all students entering the building. 

Temperature and symptom checks for all staff and visitors or verification and self certification by staff and visitors will be required before entering the building and loading buses.  

Social Distancing

Facility layouts and procedures have been developed to ensure 6 feet of social distancing from other persons, as much as possible.

We can not guarantee that a 6 foot distance is kept between persons in the building.  We will do our best to maintain a safe social distance between all staff and students.

Gatherings will be limited to 50 individuals or less in a single space.

There will be staggered bus pick-up/drop-off times.

There will be staggered school arrival/dismissal times and locations.

Hallway passing periods/restroom breaks will be staggered to limit the number of students in one space at one time.  

There will be an increase in school wide cleaning and disinfecting. Sanitizer and hand washing materials will be accessible in common areas and classrooms.

Important information regarding your selection of In-person/Remote Learning

Please note that:

  1. If a student chooses to begin the school year in-person learning, he/she may choose to go to remote learning at a later point in the first semester.  Once the student has changed to remote learning, he/she will not be able to change back to in-person learning during that semester.

  2. Due to the physical limitations of the school building and with respect to social distancing regulations, if a student chooses to begin the school year as a remote learner, he/she may NOT then choose to switch to in-person learning at a later date during that first semester.


  1. Traditional grading and attendance policies will be in place.  This is a change from the 2020 E-Learning procedures that could not lower a student’s overall grade. 


Non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups will be limited.  Visitors will be required to wear a mask and will be restricted to the main office area, when possible.  Accurate records of visitors will be kept including reasons for visit, contact information, and all locations visited.

Special Services

Any student with special education services will have those services provided to the best ability of the school district regardless of the learning option selected.

Students may purchase breakfast ($1.55) and lunch ($2.65) on a daily basis. Students who are eligible for free and reduced food will be provided with meals. Meals will be individually plated/boxed (no buffet, salad bar, sharing of food/utensils). Milk will be distributed by cafeteria staff.

During the 11:30 a.m. dismissals, students who have purchased or are eligible for free and reduced meals will be given a  grab and go lunch as they leave the building. If a student has purchased or if a student is eligible for breakfast; (to be eaten at home the following morning), then a breakfast pack will be included in the grab and go bag at departure.

During 2:00 p.m. dismissals, lunch periods will be staggered so no more than 50 individuals are in a lunch space during a given time.  

Hand hygiene will be performed prior to and after eating.  Masks are not required while eating, students will be socially distanced at least 6 feet between individuals as much as possible.  

Areas where students consume meals will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between groups and after meals.


To assist in social distancing practices, we encourage families to transport their children to school,  For those who will need bus transportation, we will use a staggered schedule for pick-up and drop off times.

All individuals on a bus must wear a face covering and social distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible with one student assigned per seat (family groups may sit together).

Parents will need to self certify symptom check and temperature check their student (s) before loading a bus.  Bus riders will have their temperature checked prior to entering the building.

Students having a temperature greater than 100.4 F or currently known symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to load a bus or enter the building and will have parents contacted for immediate pick-up.

Buses will be cleaned and sanitized between route trips.

Cleaning, Sanitation, & Disinfection:

Hand Hygiene:  Schools will encourage frequent and proper handwashing.  Handwashing supplies (soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, tissues etc..) will be available for all grade levels and in common areas.

Frequent cleaning and disinfection will be conducted per the recommendations of the CDC, and IDPH.  Cleaning protocols have been established for our facilities, food service areas and school buses.

Sanitation kits will be located in each classroom as well as throughout the buildings to assist with cleaning.  

Items, supplies, snacks, etc. should not be shared. Water fountains will be shut off but bottle fillers will remain active to allow students and staff to use refillable containers. 

Health/Safety Guidance:

It is recommended that medically fragile and immunocompromised students consult their medical provider prior to attending school.

Any individual  who tests positive for COVID-19 or who shows signs or symptoms of the illness should stay at home.  Currently known symptoms are:

  1. Fever

  2. Cough

  3. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  4. Chills

  5. Fatigue

  6. Muscle and body aches

  7. Headache

  8. Sore throat

  9. New loss of taste/smell

  10. Congestion or runny nose

  11. Nausea

  12. Vomiting

  13. Diarrhea.

  14. Known close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

Individuals who show symptoms will be immediately separated from the school population and sent home.

Office staff will request specific information about an illness-related absence.  That information will be shared with the school nurse and appropriate personnel.

Below are CDC and IDPH Guidelines for students/individuals suspected of having COVID-19:

  1. If an individual is suspected of having COVID-19, whether the individual was tested or not, he/she may return to school after 24 hours of being fever-free without the use of medication and other symptoms have improved after 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

  2. If an individual is tested for COVID-19 with negative results, he/she may return to school after 24 hours of being fever-free without the use of medication and after 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and respiratory symptoms have improved or two (2) negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

  3. If an individual  has tested positive for COVID-19, the superintendent, or designee, will contact the Marshall County Department of Public Health to report and follow their guidance.  A doctor’s or other qualified health care provider’s note will be required for a student to return to school after any confirmed case.

  4. If an individual has had close contact with someone who tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19, they may return after a 14-day quarantine period from the date of last contact with the individual.

  5. Students and staff returning to school after experiencing COVID-like symptoms but being diagnosed with a non-COVID illness must meet the criteria for returning to school for the illness with which they have been diagnosed. At a minimum, the individual must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and have had no diarrhea or vomiting in the previous 24 hours. Other diseases have specific criteria for when a student or staff member can return to school. We will follow school health policies and communicable disease guidance for those illnesses. A doctor’s note documenting the alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test result should accompany a student or staff member returning to school with an alternative diagnosis after experiencing COVID-like symptoms.

Response to Confirmed COVID 19 Case In Buildings

Henry-Senachwine School District may need to implement short term closure procedures, regardless of community spread, if an infected person has been in the building.  If this happens, we will follow CDC procedures:

  1. Once learning of a COVID-19 case in someone who has been in a school, the superintendent, or designee,  will immediately notify local health officials.  Schools are not expected to make decisions about dismissal or canceling events on their own.  Henry-Senachwine School District will consult with the Marshall County Health Department to assist in determining a course of action for schools.  

  1. It may be necessary to require an initial short term dismissal of students and staff for 2-5 days.  This initial short term dismissal will allow for local health officials to help the school determine appropriate next steps, including whether an extended dismissal duration is needed to stop or slow further spread of COVID-19

  1. Henry-Senachwine School District will consult with the Marshall County Health Department regarding recommendations for the scope (single school, multiple schools, the full district) and duration of COVID - related school dismissals.  Recommendations will be made on a case by case basis using the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific cases in the community.

  1. Extracurricular group activities, athletics, school-based afterschool programs, and large events will be cancelled during COVID - related school dismissals.

  1. During COVID - related school dismissals, staff, students, and their families are discouraged from gathering or socializing anywhere.  This includes group childcare arrangements, as well as gathering at places like a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or a local shopping mall.

  1. During COVID - related school dismissals, we will transition to full remote learning.

  1. Given that a COVID-19 related school dismissal could occur at a moment’s notice, we strongly encourage parents/guardians to develop a plan for student pick-up and child care in the event of both an immediate and extended dismissal.

Communication of School Dismissals and COVID-19 Exposure

Henry-Senachwine School District will coordinate with local health officials to communicate dismissal decisions and possible COVID-19 exposure.

  1. When communicating dismissal decisions and information related to possible COVID-19 exposure, Henry-Senachwine School District will maintain confidentiality of the student or staff member as required by the American with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

  2. District communication will include duration of school closure and additional information related to the transition to remote learning.

Cleaning and Disinfecting after COVID-19 Case 

  1. Areas used by persons with COVID-19 will be closed off and staff will wait as long as possible (up to 24 hours, if possible) before beginning cleaning and disinfection.  

  1. Windows and doors will be opened to increase air circulation in the area.

  1. Cleaning staff will clean and disinfect all areas used by ill persons.

Extended School Dismissals

  1. Schools are not expected to make decisions about dismissal or canceling events on their own.  School dismissals and event cancellations may be extended if advised by local health officials.  The nature of these actions (e.g. geographical scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.

  1. Henry-Senachwine School District will consult with local health officials to determine when students and staff should return to schools and what additional steps are needed for the school community.  Students and staff who are well but are taking care of, or share a home with someone with a case of COVID-19, should follow instructions from local health officials to determine when to return to school.

  1. During school dismissals (after cleaning and disinfection), schools may stay open for staff members (unless ill) while students stay home.  Keeping facilities open: 1) allows for teachers to develop and deliver lessons remotely, and 2) allows staff members to provide services and help with additional response efforts.  Decisions regarding who , if anyone, should be allowed back in school should be made in collaboration with local health officials.

Student Illness

Students that arrive at school with any of the following symptoms must go home and cannot return to school until the student is symptom-free without the use of medication for 24 hours:

  1. Fever of 100.4 F or higher

  2. Diarrhea

  3. Vomiting

Additional Information

Extracurriculars/Athletics:  Participation is based on the guidance provided  by the IDPH/ISBE/IHSA/IESA.

Field Trips:  There will be no field trips during the 2020 - 2021 school year until further notice. 

School Events:  To avoid large gatherings, Orientations, Back-To-School nights and Parent/Teacher Conferences will not occur in person. These may be held virtually. 

Building Plans: More specific information for each building will follow.