FAQs will continue to be updated in the weeks ahead
What conditions will allow LFCDS to open its campus for in-person learning?
Unless ordered by state authorities or advised by local health authorities (e.g., the Illinois Department of Public Health or the Lake County Health Department) to close the campus, Lake Forest Country Day School intends to keep its campus open for in-person teaching and learning. If our region of Illinois is in Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, we can offer on-campus instruction through the plan currently in place. We are developing plans that we believe will allow us to have our youngest learners (i.e., 1st STEP, Preschool, and Junior Kindergarten) on campus even in Phase 3. In opening our campus, LFCDS will follow the guidelines and protocols issued by federal and state health authorities for reopening K-12 schools.
Will all students be able to return to campus?
Yes, our plan is built around full-day on-campus learning for all enrolled students five days per week. We recognize that some students will continue to learn from home for various reasons, whether because they or a family member face greater risk from COVID-19 or because they are required by the school or school policy to learn from home. Such “virtual attendees” will be able to follow along with on-campus learning in a way that is distinct from the full remote-learning protocol that our students experienced in the spring of 2020.
What conditions would cause LFCDS to close facilities and move to all-school remote learning?
LFCDS will move to full remote-learning if so ordered by the governor or so advised by federal, state, or local health authorities. In the event of exposure or transmission, it is possible that a group (or groups) of children will be required to learn from home for a period of time even as the rest of the student body continues to learn on campus. We are putting in place structures that will limit possible transmission of the coronavirus between groups of students. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus or in our school community, we hope that the disruption to on-campus learning will be as minimal as possible, and we will follow the guidance of the Lake County Health Department in our response.
Will the school shift to remote learning from Thanksgiving up to Winter Break?
Though the School will remain watchful for any new data or state mandates that would require us to shift to remote learning for all students, at present there are no definitive plans to shift to remote learning at any specific date in the year. There are predictions, however, that the advent of flu season will accompany a surge of COVID-19 transmission, requiring campuses to close. We will be prepared for that shift to remote learning, if it is necessary.
Are reductions in tuition being considered if campus is closed for significant portions of the year?
Even if we must shift to remote learning because of a campus closure, the ability to offer our program relies on our talented faculty and staff, whose salaries and benefits are the main driver of tuition. Every year, tuition fails to cover the full cost of educating each student, and the gap is bridged by philanthropy from our community. In the event we are compelled to close campus, our costs do not allow for any reduction or refund in tuition.
My child or another member of our household is in an at-risk group. Should my child still return to on-campus learning?
For situations like these, we offer Virtual Attendance, which grants students access to LFCDS courses and teachers remotely. Please note that the Virtual Attendance program is distinct from the Remote-Learning program that students experienced in the spring of 2020.
What do I do if I don’t feel comfortable sending my child to school until the pandemic ends?
Please visit the page concerning Virtual Attendance.
Will community members be required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus to start the school year?
No, community members will not be required to undergo a COVID-19 test before returning to campus to start the school year.
Should I take my child’s temperature each morning before school?
All parents and guardians are required to take their child’s temperature each morning and complete a symptoms checklist on the SchoolPass app that the School is using for this purpose. Submissions should be complete no later than 7:30 a.m. Each child’s temperature will also be taken at school each morning at drop-off. No person entering school with a temperature greater than 100.4--or with any other symptoms listed on the symptoms checklist--will be allowed into the school building and will be sent home instead.
Will children and staff be required to wear face masks?
Yes, per ISBE and IDPH guidelines, all individuals on campus age 2 or older (i.e., all students and employees) will be required to wear face masks. When outside, individuals must wear face masks unless social distance of at least 6 feet can be maintained. When eating or drinking, students and employees will remain socially distanced and will not be required to wear face masks. We recognize that wearing face masks throughout the day will be a challenge for community members of all ages, especially for our youngest learners in the Early Childhood Center. Mask breaks will be part of every child’s day. There will be no exceptions to the requirement for wearing masks--any students who cannot wear masks will be required to enroll in our virtual attendance program instead of attending school on campus.
Am I required to purchase face masks for my child(ren)?
Yes, we expect that all students will come to school wearing a face mask and with at least one other face mask in their bags. Anyone wearing a disposable mask must throw that mask away at home at the conclusion of each school day. All reusable face masks must be washed after every use.
Can face shields be used instead of face masks?
No, face shields are not an acceptable substitute for face masks, per IDPH/ISBE guidance. They can, however, be worn in addition to face masks.
Will faculty and staff teach students how to wear masks?
There will be time spent at the beginning of the year learning about the proper ways to use and wear masks. That said, we ask that parents spend time with their children in the weeks leading up to the first day of school practicing and talking about the importance of wearing masks. We also ask that parents spend the remaining weeks of summer finding a mask that their child finds personally comfortable.
Will parents, visitors, and volunteers be allowed to enter the school building?
To follow IDPH and ISBE guidance and to minimize the risk of transmission on campus, we are restricting access to the school building for parents, visitors, and volunteers. All visitors, including parents, must have a confirmed appointment and must enter through the Green Bay Road entrance, where they will undergo a symptom screening and have their temperature taken. All visitors must wear masks at all times while on campus. Parent access cards will not be able to unlock doors until further notice. Instructions for drop-off for 1st STEP students will be shared with those parents. Please click here to view our Visitor Policies.
What if I need to meet with a member of the faculty or staff?
Meetings with faculty, staff, and administrators will be held over the phone or via Zoom (or a similar video conferencing tool). On-campus meetings of all kinds will be minimized. Click here to view our Visitor Policies.
Is it all right for members of my household to travel during the school year?
We recommend that you not travel out of town during the current pandemic if at all avoidable. However, if travel is necessary, we encourage you to become familiar with the IDPH’s Travel Guidelines. If you or a member of your household travels to another country or to a state identified by the IDPH as having a surge in COVID-19 cases, the School may ask you to wait for 14 days before your child is allowed to return to campus.
How will drop-off and pick-up work?
Please click here to learn about arrival and dismissal procedures.
How will you make sure that the building is cleaned thoroughly during and after each school day?
The school will be following the cleaning guidelines recommended by the CDC for proper cleaning and disinfecting. Ensuring the School is clean will be achieved through a multilayer approach. Please visit our Cleaning Protocols page for details, but some measures are outlined below.
Establish a schedule for routine environmental cleaning and disinfection.
Use EPA Approved disinfectants.
Follow the guidelines from the CDC on effective cleaning and disinfection.
Encourage good hygiene habits for the School’s faculty and students.
Effective ventilation and filtration will aid in removing contaminants from the environment.
Staff and Faculty will contribute to effective cleaning and disinfection of the school by cleaning their high touch surfaces in their immediate environment frequently throughout the day.
What happens when there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in the school community?
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in our school community (all community members are expected to share such a diagnosis with the school nurse, even if the diagnosis is a member of the household who does not attend LFCDS), the school nurse will contact the Lake County Health Department immediately and follow their guidance. The infected individual must be at home and isolated for a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset and can return to campus after being fever-free without a fever-reducing medication for at least 72 hours and after other symptoms have improved. Or they may return after being isolated at home for 10 days, fever-free for at least 72 hours without a fever reducing medication, and have two negative COVID-19 tests, at least 24 hours apart. The impact of a confirmed case in a student, faculty, or staff member on other students, faculty, and staff members is unclear, and we await clear guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health, though we are developing our own protocol in the meantime, in consultation with medical professionals. In any case, this year every family should be prepared for their student(s) to shift to remote learning for a period of time if one of their teachers or a member of their pod or cohort tests positive for COVID-19.
Will there be before and after school care?
At this time we are not planning to offer before-school care. We are limiting after-school care to those families who have true need for childcare after the end of the school day.
Specific information about Alcott Lunch Club and Alcott Club is posted on the Portal as part of the Extended School Program (ESP) Page. Given the current circumstances, in order to keep our children and faculty as healthy and safe as possible these offerings have been altered. Alcott Lunch, which ends at 12:30 p.m., and Alcott Club, which ends at 3:10 p.m., are just for families who are in need of care for their children following the 11:30 a.m. Preschool and Junior Kindergarten dismissal. Both programs are additional fees. Please complete the Extended School Program form you received with your contract if you plan to have your child participate on a regular basis. This program will not be available on a drop-in basis this year.
How will the school’s classrooms look different?
We have rearranged classrooms to facilitate distance at least six feet between students wherever possible. Extraneous furniture has been removed to allow for student desks to be appropriately spread out from one another. Students will stay at their desks and in their classrooms for the majority of the day.
What will happen to school assemblies, community meeting, etc.?
Many large assemblies and gatherings will be held via Zoom, much as they were in the spring. We will share a schedule with parent events through the fall semester that will be altered for these new circumstances.
Will my child still have opportunities to be active during the day?
Yes! All grades will have two recess periods daily, as well as movement breaks within the classroom. We will also continue our regular physical education class schedule, including daily PE class in Grades SK-4. All Upper School students will participate in our athletics program, with the ability to choose from several socially distanced sports offerings. Click here for more information about athletics and recess.
Will there be field trips?
Unfortunately, no. Until further notice, all field trips, including the traditional Grade 8 field trip to Washington, D.C., are postponed.