Response to DuPage County Health Announcement

-- A message from Supt. Dr. Hector Garcia --

Dear D181 families and staff,

I'm thrilled to report that our staff and students continue to do a terrific job of following our safety protocols and procedures. Regrettably, the number of cases in the county have quickly risen over the last few weeks. According to the DuPage County Health Department, DuPage County now meets the criteria identified for "Substantial Community Transmission." Under this level, according to its Return to School Framework, DCHD recommends schools shift to a remote learning model. However, DCHD also recommends that schools consider their own unique situations and internal metrics before making any decisions regarding a shift in learning model.

As previously communicated, the DCHD framework is just one of the factors that would determine a shift in learning models at D181 schools. Two of the other metric-related factors are the Northwestern University community dashboard and the positive cases and absences of students and staff within the District. Therefore, after careful and thorough consideration, at this time, there is no change to our current learning models or schedule of school operations.

Northwestern University Dashboard

The dashboard created by Northwestern University gives a focused look at the numbers in our communities (Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills) by segmenting the data by zip code. The average positivity rate for Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills over the last seven days is 4.61%. As a point of comparison, some DuPage communities have experienced a consistently high level of COVID-19 activity ranging from 4.61% to as high as 13.76%. We'll continue to closely monitor this number since every community in the area is ultimately interconnected and can negatively impact our efforts.

Internal Metrics

Since the beginning of the school year (Sept. 8, 2020) and as of the time this message was sent, we have had 12 positive cases out of our nearly 3,100 students who are enrolled in in-person learning and 560 staff members who are onsite. None of these positive cases originated within or were spread within the school. This is due to the hard work that went into the implementation of the safety protocols that we established at the beginning of the school year. We want to take this opportunity to again thank our staff, students, and families for diligently following these protocols. Therefore, we have not reached the point where we need to consider moving to a remote learning model.

Next Steps

We will continue to monitor our county, local, and internal metrics and remain committed to active communication within our school community including any new information from health authority agencies and any positive cases within our school community. We are also working on updating our COVID-19 dashboard to share more information before the end of the month.

Thank you for your continued adherence to the 3Ws (Wear Your Mask, Watch Your Distance, Wash Your Hands) in our schools and our communities. Your commitment to the health and safety of our students and staff help keep our school doors open.


Dr. Hector Garcia

D181 Superintendent

District 181 News

The colorful butterfly mural painted on the walls of Prospect School does more than remind students to "Be the Change You Want to Be." The mural is a partnership between the school, its 4th and 5th grade GIRLS Club and "Butterfly Effect, Be The Change." Butterfly Effect, Be the Change is a not-for-profit that produces interactive art installations in public spaces and provides donations to social service organizations.

Read more about The Butterfly Effect at Prospect