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D161 approves $60K in playground repairs, COVID-19 screening for upcoming school year

Flossmoor School District 161 is moving forward with emergency playground repairs expected to cost $60,000.

The district’s board of education voted 6-0 during a special meeting held Monday July 26, to make essential, safety-focused repairs to the playgrounds outside of its schools. Board President Carolyn Griggs was absent.

Flossmoor Hills, Serena Hills and Heather Hill schools are due for replacement playground structures following an inspection, but the bid process for those projects was delayed after District 161 encountered high costs and difficulty finding people to do the work. The goal now is to see that work completed by the summer of 2022, but some disrepair needs to be addressed as soon as possible, according to officials.

The school board also voted 6-0 at the meeting to move ahead with SHIELD Testing in the 2021-2022 school year.

Students at each school will do saliva testing once a week at all schools. The objective is to catch cases of COVID-19, particularly asymptomatic ones, before outbreaks occur within the district’s schools. The hope is that such testing will keep more students in class, with fewer quarantines necessary.

Students are automatically enrolled in the testing program. Families can opt out if they wish, though all students participating in extracurricular activities within the district are required to take part in the screening program.

There is no cost to the district for the program, which is fully funded through the University of Illinois.

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