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District 233, teachers agree on COVID-19 work rules

An agreement with District 233 is allowing Homewood-Flossmoor High School teachers to teach from home if they are impacted by COVID-19.

“This gives teachers an opportunity to teach from home if they are well enough with COVID or COVID-like symptoms. I think it’s beneficial for students,” said Dana Noble, president of the H-F Education Organization, the teachers’ union.

The board officially acted on the Memo of Understanding at the Jan. 18 board meeting, but Noble said it’s been in place since the start of this semester on Jan. 4. It is an addendum to the HFEO contract for this semester.

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Noble pointed out that H-F hasn’t shut down this school year. Several high school districts in the South Suburbs closed during the first semester of the 2021-22 school year due to COVID numbers.

“Omicron (variant) definitely played a big role” in getting the agreement. Unlike the Delta variant, most people impacted by the Omicron variant have mild symptoms. Under revised rules, teachers and staff with COVID now need to quarantine just five days. Previous guidelines set a 10-day quarantine.

Under the agreement, a teacher with COVID or a teacher quarantining due to contact tracing protocols teach from home and will not be required to use sick or personal days. It also stipulates that teachers will not need to use sick or personal days if they teach while being home with a COVID-infected child who is recuperating.

The agreement also allows a teacher to provide additional instruction for students who cannot attend class due to COVID-19 protocols. Teachers can choose to provide up to two hours of instruction to a student during after school hours or the teacher’s planning period during the remote time period.

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