4832 Highland Ave.

Downers Grove, IL 60515

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Monday to Friday

SJS Reopening FAQs

St. Joseph School received approval and certification on our School Reopening Plan on August 5, 2020 from the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office. View the Reopening Guidelines

Highlighted below are components of the plan.

Information Issued 7/30/2020


  • For the safety and health of the students, we will use a cohort model for all grades from PS3-grade to 8. A cohort is basically your child’s homeroom. Students and their assigned teacher will be kept together in a classroom cohort throughout the day.
  • Related Studies (Specials) Teachers (library, art, music, Spanish, and technology) will come to the cohort to provide instruction and maintain social distancing.
  • Students remain with cohort for lunch and recess.


  • Masks/Face coverings are required on school campus. Disposable masks, washable multi layered cloth masks are all acceptable. Please have your children practice wearing masks for a reasonable period. Practice makes better.
  • Students need either 5 cloth or 10 disposable masks per week.
  • Parents should wash masks nightly and make sure mask fits properly
  • Students will have “mask breaks” throughout the day including during outside recess.
  • Masks should be stored in individual brown bags when not in use.
  • Preschoolers will nap with masks off while maintaining social distancing.
  • If multiple cohorts are outside at the same time, they will be kept 30 feet apart.
  • Students and staff will maintain social distancing on school campus.


  • We are asking that parents assess their children’s health before leaving the house for school.
  • To maintain the health and safety of students, arrival time will be staggered and will take place at multiple door locations. This procedure will limit cross contamination between cohorts and will alleviate congestion at the school entrances.
  • A staff member at the exterior entrance of the assigned door will perform daily Wellness Checks at arrival. The Wellness check includes the four individual checks:
    • Student is wearing a mask
    • Student’s temperature will be taken – anyone with a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will be sent home.
    • Students will be asked if they feel sick or have a cough
    • Teacher will give the student hand sanitizer to use prior to entering the building.
  • Parents of students in Grades K-8 will utilize the school parking lot for car pick-up. Arrival and dismissal procedures are being developed.


  • Classroom desks will face a single direction and be spaced 6 feet apart.
  • There will be a relocation of the PS3, PK4 and PK4Plus to the church lower level to maximize space.
  • Grade levels will utilize two learning management platforms for communicating assignments and instruction throughout the school year:
    • PS-2nd: SeeSaw
    • 3rd-8th: Google Classroom


  • Students may remove masks and place them in a labeled paper or plastic bag during lunch.
  • Students will eat in the classroom.
  • Students will wash hands before and after lunch.
  • Students will wash desk before and after lunch.
  • For the safety of our students with allergies, no peanut or tree nut products will be allowed in school.
  • Students should be able to open/manage all parts of their lunch. Limited assistance will be given to our PK4Plus and kindergarten students.
  • No Special Lunch days are scheduled.


  • Outside (weather permitting)
  • Masks are not required if social distancing is maintained


  • Field Trips: All off-site field trips suspended
  • Band: Virtual, for now
  • Athletics: Suspended at this time
  • After-school Activities: Suspended at this time. Some will have an at home virtual option.


We would like to provide synchronous learning where there is a scheduled time for the teacher and students to meet virtually and instruction is delivered in real time. More research is needed and will be communicated to you once we have a solid plan. Virtual learning will feature core subjects.

You will need to commit to a trimester. Must participate in entire enrolled trimester even if SJS goes into remote learning.


  • Hand sanitizers will be in each classroom.
  • Students in grades 5-8 should have a 10 oz. hand sanitizer for their classroom desk.
  • Nightly cleaning of entire building by BUCKS.
  • Cleaning of washrooms and high-touch areas throughout the day.
  • Students will assist in cleaning their own areas within the classrooms.


  • Increased ventilation in classrooms
    • HVAC system in each classroom
    • Windows open as much as possible
    • Classroom doors open

Teachers will use outdoor space for teaching as much as possible.

Plexiglas barrier will be added to main office area

Removal of all classroom rugs and communal learning areas

New procedures for sanitizing technology within classrooms

SJS has filling stations for water bottles. The spickets will not be allowed.

Washroom doors remain open.


At Home

Fever of 100.4 degrees or two or more other symptoms at home:

1. Keep student at home

2. Contact your health provider

3. Contact the school

4. Student may not return until 72 hours after symptoms subside and doctor confirms it is not COVID

If a student tests positive or chooses not to see a doctor, student may not return to school until 14 days after onset of symptoms

At School

Fever of 100.4 degrees or two or more other symptoms at school

1. Immediately separated from others to our designated health area

2. Parent will be contacted – student needs to be off campus within 20-30 minutes. Emergency contact will be utilized if parents are not reached.

3. If students have symptoms but has tested negative on a COVID test, they should remain home until symptoms disappear and provide a doctor’s note or documented test results before being allowed to return to school

If a student tests positive or chooses not to see a doctor, students may not return to school until 14 days after onset of symptoms


Diagnosis of one case in cohort

1. Parent notification of students in cohort only

2. Increase symptom check with cohort

3. Additional sanitization of classroom

Diagnosis of 2nd case within 14 days

1. Entire cohort (including teacher) quarantined for 14 days

2. eLearning during this period provided by an SJS teacher

Diagnosis within Family

1. Family quarantined for 14 days

2. Student received support/assignments from cohort teacher

Multiple Diagnoses Across School

1. School quarantined for 14 days

2. Remote learning provided by SJS teacher


We are following CDC quarantine policies

  • In order to begin school on the first day of attendance: If you are traveling by air, by ship, or to a CDC identified quarantine area, you must be back in Illinois by AUGUST 4 or you are subject to quarantine for 14 days from the date of your return.
  • The following requirements apply throughout the school year:
    • Travel to an infected area (as defined by the CDC) requires a 14-day quarantine.
    • Travel by air or ship requires a 14-day quarantine.


  • Washrooms will be cleaned throughout the day.
  • Washroom capacity will be restricted to three students or fewer.
  • Students must wear masks and remain socially distant while in the bathroom.
  • Touchless drinking fountains will be available for filling water bottles only.
  • Frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer will be monitored throughout the day and through the building.


  • Physical guides, such as tape on floors and signs on walls, will be provided to ensure “one-way routes” in hallways and stairwells.
  • Utilization of as much of our building as possible to achieve distancing.
  • Hallways to be used by one cohort at a time whenever possible.

Students in PS-8 will not be traveling to other classrooms.

FAQs Issued 7/2/2020

Will students be required to wear masks?
Yes. Face coverings must be worn. Face coverings will not be worn every minute of the school day. When students are outside and social distance is maintained, face coverings are not required. If a student has a medical reason for not wearing a face covering, a physician note is required.

Will face coverings be provided by St. Joseph?
St. Joseph School families will need to provide their own face coverings. SJS will have a supply of disposable face masks on hand in the event a student forgets a face covering.

What will morning arrival look like?
The drop off procedure will continue in the same drop off zone. However, the staff will be assigned at each entrance and will stagger the students entering the building to maintain social distancing. Face coverings will need to be worn when entering the building and once the student exits the bus or a car.

Will temperatures be taken?
Students’ temperatures will be taken upon arrival to school. If the temperature is 100.4 F (38.0C) or higher, the student will be sent home. We have designated a “safe” room to stage students until they are picked up. This safe room will be monitored with an adult.

In the classrooms, will the students be spaced apart?
Yes, all seating will be spread out in the classrooms to use the maximum amount of space. Classrooms will be cleared of any “extra” furniture to allow for additional space. Social distance will be observed as much as possible.

Will the students follow their regular schedule? Will they attend specials?
Yes, students will follow their regular schedule, lining up with social distancing. Physical education will be outside weather permitting. Spanish, music, art, technology, and library teachers will go to the classroom for instruction.

Will extended care continue?
Yes, extended care will be offered.

Morning: students arriving in the morning will continue to report to the LRC for check-in. Temperatures will be taken, and students will wash hands upon arrival.

After School: students will be assigned to a classroom/or the gym. Parents will continue to sign out their students in the LRC before going to the classroom for pick up.

Will hand sanitizers be readily available?
Touchless hand sanitizers will be installed in high traffic areas. Students will use these frequently throughout the day in addition to frequent hand washing. Stand-alone hand sanitizer liquid bottles will be in all classrooms. We are currently ordering disinfectant materials to have an adequate supply when school begins.

What is the procedure if a student/staff were to show symptoms during the school day?
Parents will be contacted immediately. We have a supervised quarantine space for students/staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while waiting to be picked up.

What are the procedures for lunch?
Students will eat in their classrooms to minimize movement of large groups in the hallways and in the school hall. Lunch time will be monitored by their teacher. We encourage students to bring a reusable placemat with their lunch. Desks will be cleaned before and after lunch. There will be no hot lunch days or outside deliveries allowed.

Will students go out for recess and use play equipment?
Students will continue to play outside for recess. There will be no shared equipment.

What about field trips, assemblies and after school activities?
At this time and in keeping with safety precautions, there will be no field trips, school assemblies or after school activities. As restrictions are lifted, field trips, assemblies and after school activities will be added when deemed safe.

Will there be additional cleaning of classrooms?
The classrooms will be cleaned after school every day. Buck Services is our professional cleaning service. In addition to the daily professional cleaning, there will be bathroom checks three times daily to wipe down the frequently touched areas, and the staff will wipe down or disinfect each desk/table before the school day begins. Desks will be wiped down before and after lunch.

What happens if a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID?
If a student or staff member becomes sick with COVID, parents will be notified. That student or staff member will self-isolate at home and follow CDC guidelines for discontinuation of isolation. Individuals who have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 infection should isolate at home and monitor symptoms for 14 days. Individuals who did not have close contact can return to school immediately after disinfection.

Will students change for gym classes?
Students can wear gym clothes on days they have gym. Walking shorts are required to be worn by our 4-8th grade girls. The locker rooms will not be used.

Will parents be able to visit the school?
All adults entering the building are required to wear a face covering and have their temperature taken before entering the building. We are limiting visitors into the school.

Will SJS transition to remote learning if an individual who was in the building tests positive for COVID-19?
No, only those individuals with close contact with someone who tested positive or who is suspected of having COVID-19 are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

At Home Help:
We ask that you set up a routine throughout the summer so you can talk about the changes to your children and even show them some new things. Encourage your child to discuss their feelings during these unusual days. This way, you can help your children visualize what is different and hopefully reduce anxiety about all the anticipated changes. This can include the use of cloth face coverings or reminding your child not to touch their face covering as much as possible and wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water.

We also recommend that over the summer, families try out different kinds of masks on your children to see what styles/fits make the most sense. We just ask that the designs are appropriate for the mission of SJS and that our children can adjust.

Please understand that conditions are changing daily and guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education have been fluid with changes. We will do our best to keep you informed as we work hard to keep our students and staff safe. We will continue with our weekly communication and include any additional information