District 91 teachers, who have been teaching from their classrooms, will be required to begin working from home starting Nov. 16, according to a memo from Superintendent Lou Cavallo on Nov. 13.

Cavallo mentioned Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) updated guidelines recommending that people work from home as COVID-19 cases rise locally and throughout the state.

At a board meeting the previous day, he said teachers would remain in school buildings because “we provide better instruction when our teachers are working from their classrooms.”

He also cited four cases of COVID among staff in the buildings being well-handled and not resulting in contagion to anyone else, though others in contact with those staff members were required to quarantine themselves.

But as new IDPH guidelines were added for suburban Cook County on Friday, he switched course, stating that teachers will instruct remotely until at least Dec. 4

“Please stay home as much as possible and stay safe and healthy,” Cavallo urged in his letter.

Cavallo’s words echo those of the IDPH, which recommended on Nov. 12 that people “stay home as much as possible, leaving only for necessary and essential activities, such as work if working from home is not an option, buying groceries, and visiting the pharmacy.”

Ninety-six counties, including suburban Cook County, are at COVID-19 warning level; only six counties in the entire state are not.

At a Nov. 13 press conference, Gov. J. B. Pritzker talked about the increase in COVID-19 cases across Illinois.

“The numbers don’t lie,” Pritzker said. “If things don’t take a turn in the coming days, we will quickly reach the point when some form of a mandatory stay-at-home order is all that will be left. With every fiber of my being, I do not want us to get there. But right now, that seems where we are headed.”

For D91, child supervision will continue at the Howard Mohr Community Center and at the Park District of Forest Park, and food service will be available for pick-up at the regular times of 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday.

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17, food service pickup at each school will be from 11 a.m. to noon on days when remote learning is in session. Alternate pickup arrangements can be made by contacting your school’s lunchroom supervisor.

Betsy Ross School – Carol Crotty – ccrotty@fpsd91.org

Garfield School – Samantha Novak – snovak@fpsd91.org

Field-Stevenson School – Jeanette Farley – jfarley@fpsd91.org

Grant-White School – Rosey Moroni – rmoroni@fpsd91.org

Forest Park Middle School – Tracey Makaris – tmakaris@fpsd91.org