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Dear School Families,
The reopening of our Catholic schools for in-person instruction this year would not have happened without the cooperation and partnership of our school families, teachers and staff.  Overall, their efforts to keep everyone in our schools safe and healthy have been gratifying and I am very grateful.
As we enter October and have some experience with our new protocols, I would like to bring two topics to your attention. They are cohort/school quarantines and cases of willful failure to adhere to disease prevention protocols.
First, as we promised, when an infection is identified in a student or staff member, we take immediate action to direct the infected individual to quarantine at home and to transition a cohort or multiple cohorts to temporary remote instruction. We have implemented these protocols whenever cases have appeared across our school system to protect the well-being of all. To offer one recent example, an entire school had to transition to remote learning due to infections acquired at family gatherings and student participation in non-school arts and athletic activities. In these situations, proper precautions such as wearing masks and physical distancing were not followed.
Undoubtedly, we have heard the guidance to wear masks and maintain physical distance so often that it risks becoming “noise.” Additionally, COVID-19 infection rates in Illinois may not be as alarming as those in other states, leading some to let their guard down. Now is not the time to drift away from the very measures that have helped keep our communities healthy and lowered our COVID-19 case numbers. Our ability to keep in-person instruction viable and protect our children and staff depends on our persistent adherence to our health and safety requirements both inside and outside of school.
Second, I must remind you to keep students diagnosed with COVID-19 at home, whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic and follow the isolation protocols per state and county departments of public health. Your school’s COVID-19 protocols, which you agreed to follow as a condition of returning to in-person instruction, require that you must also immediately contact your principal to notify him or her of the positive diagnosis so your school may determine whether additional measures must be taken. 
I encourage you to review your school’s COVID-19 protocols, which you received at the start of the school year. Your continued adherence to those protocols is critical to preventing COVID-19 infections in our schools. By complying as you agreed, you are providing safety not just for your child but also for other children, families and school staff.
If it is determined that you knowingly failed to adhere to our infection protocols and, as a result, your child reported to school sick or after having been diagnosed with COVID-19 (regardless of symptoms), we will ask your family to transition to full virtual learning for the remainder of the school year or until the pandemic restrictions are lifted. We will do so out of a desire to safeguard the health and safety of all in our school community.
Remember, we all share the responsibility to ensure our students, school employees and communities remain healthy. As a parent, I encourage you to do your part to understand and follow our disease prevention protocols. Thank you for your support of this important request.
Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Chicago
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