Community Updates

One of the best ways to maintain normalcy during times of change and uncertainty is to stay informed and connected. This page is designed to do just that for the Elgin Academy community. Here you will find the very latest information about Elgin Academy's COVID response, as well as, past community updates. Additionally we will post the most recent updated policies to EA's Together on the Hilltop plan.


EA Community Updates

IDPH Revised COVID-19 Testing Guidance

As we enter the spring, we wanted to make you aware that IDPH has recently revised the testing guidance for COVID-19 in schools. As a reminder, individuals with any of the following symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, are required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to school:

  • Fever
  • Moderate to severe headache
  • Cough/shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Fatigue of unknown cause
  • Body aches of unknown cause
  • Loss of taste or smell

Testing options will now include home tests, as long as the following criteria are met:

  • The person is not a known close contact to a positive case
  • The school is not currently experiencing an outbreak
  • Community levels of COVID are not considered high based on CDC guidelines

If you will be using a home test, a photo of the completed home test must be submitted to your divisional assistant prior to returning to school. We will also continue to accept results from antigen and PCR tests performed outside of home. As always, we encourage you to discuss all testing decisions with your healthcare provider.

Thank you for your continued cooperation in keeping our students learning on campus as much as possible.

Read about IDPH Revised COVID-19 Testing Guidance
A Message from the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, February 9th to discuss our COVID policies in light of the judge’s ruling in Sangamon County invalidating various state COVID-related orders.

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Review of Recent Court Decision

Elgin Academy is continuing to review with our attorney the recent court decision regarding mask and school exclusion mandates. The Board of Trustees will hold an emergency meeting this week to discuss the impact of these orders and to clarify how Elgin Academy should address the ruling.

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Updates to Internal Guidelines. 

Recently, we shared updated COVID guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health which we used to update our policies and procedures. Based on further clarification from the health department, we have made some additional updates to our internal guidelines. 


Read about Updates to Internal Guidelines. 
Student Vaccine Cards

As some of our younger students are completing their COVID vaccinations, we want to remind all families to please submit a copy of your student's completed vaccine card. Elgin Academy is not requiring COVID vaccination. However, those who are fully vaccinated are not required by the health department to quarantine after a close contact exposure as long as they remain symptom-free. By having the card on file, we can quickly assess who will move to off-campus learning in the event of a positive case and who can continue learning in person. Please also note that if your student is 18 years or older, we will need proof that they have received the booster if it has been more than 6 months since they received their second dose of the vaccine. Please email a copy of your card to  

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New COVID Guidelines

On Friday, January 7th, the Illinois Department of Public Health released new COVID guidance to shorten isolation and quarantine times. Effective immediately, Elgin Academy will be adopting the new guidelines. 

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Public Health Released New Guidance

We are reviewing the new guidance and developing updates to our policies and procedures and will be communicating any changes early next week. We appreciate your patience as we review the new guidance.

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COVID Guidance Updates

CDC announced changes in the guidelines for isolation for individuals who have tested positive for COVID as well as changes to quarantine for those who are exposed to COVID.

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Policy Regarding Testing for Individuals with Symptoms of COVID-19

The health department has recently changed their policy regarding testing for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19. We may now accept rapid tests (antigen or PCR) as long as the student has not had a known exposure to COVID-19 in the past 14 days or our school does not currently have an identified COVID-19 outbreak. In situations where the student is considered a known close contact or the school is experiencing an outbreak, a laboratory-based PCR test is required.

As a reminder, the Kane County Health Department will not accept results from an at-home test. 

Read about Policy Regarding Testing for Individuals with Symptoms of COVID-19
New Guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health

We are updating our COVID protocols in light of new guidance recently released by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Moving forward, if your student has symptoms of COVID, they must get a COVID test as required by IDPH. We can no longer accept an alternate diagnosis from a physician. If your student has a chronic condition such as allergies or migraines you may supply a doctor's note stating the condition and symptoms for our files. This will allow us to work with your family should your student be experiencing symptoms that overlap with COVID and the chronic condition. 

You will no longer be required to submit a return to school letter if your student is required to quarantine after exposure or isolate because they have tested positive for COVID. The length of the quarantine period remains 14 days and the length of the isolation period is 10 days. Please contact your Division Assistant who can help you determine your return to school date in either of these circumstances.

The final change is for siblings. If one sibling has symptoms and is being tested for COVID any other siblings may be on campus if they are fully vaccinated. If they are not fully vaccinated, they may continue to come to campus if:

  • They remain symptom-free AND
  • If the suspicion for COVID-19 is not high AND
  • The household member with symptoms is able to get tested within 24 hours.

If test results are not back within 48 hours, the household member will also need to move off-campus until results are received.

Included below are the most recent information sheets regarding when a student has tested positive, has symptoms, or has been exposed to COVID. 


My Student Has Possible COVID-19 Symptoms

My Student Has Been Exposed to COVID-19

My Student Has Tested Positive for COVID-19


Thank you, as always, for your patience as we navigate the updates in guidance from IDPH. We appreciate how the community has come together again this year to ensure all our protocols are followed.

Read about New Guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health
SHIELD COVID Screening Testing Program

Beginning in October, Elgin Academy will be taking part in the University of Illinois SHIELD COVID screening testing program. All faculty, staff, and students may choose to participate in this program. SHIELD is a saliva test that can detect the presence of COVID and the program is designed to identify individuals with COVID who are either asymptomatic or who are in the early stages of infection. No one is required to participate, we will only provide testing to individuals who have opted in with the attached consent form. In order to participate in the program, please return this consent form to your Division Assistant or email to by Monday, September 20th.  Parents must sign the form for students under the age of 18, but students 18 or older must provide their own consent form. 

Read about SHIELD COVID Screening Testing Program
COVID Symptoms, Testing, and Vaccine Cards

Thank you to the families who have provided copies of their student's vaccine cards. If you have not yet had a chance to turn in your student's card, please send a scanned image or a photo to This information is necessary for us to determine when/if your student would need to quarantine after exposure to COVID. 

Please note, if your student has COVID symptoms, we will still ask that the student leave, seek the advice of a physician, and may also require that the student be tested. This policy is for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Anyone with symptoms at any time will need to follow our protocols for testing. You can review all our policies and procedures on the Together on the Hilltop pages of our website.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Read about COVID Symptoms, Testing, and Vaccine Cards
Executive Order Requiring Masks

Governor Pritzker issued an executive order requiring masks for all, vaccinated and unvaccinated, for indoor activities at PS-12 schools across the state.

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Thinking About 2021-2022

With just over one month until the start of school, we are hard at work planning for the 2021-2022 school year. As we have done since the pandemic began, we have posted all of the  correspondence sent to EA families to the Community Updates page of the EA website. This morning an email was sent to all EA families regarding some of our thoughts and plans for the 2021/22 school year. Click "for more details" to view this email as well as all other COVID-19 related communication.


Read about Thinking About 2021-2022