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We appreciate your continued partnership and cooperation as we work together to ensure that our campuses are safe. We continue to follow local, state and federal guidance, and will keep our communities updated as any changes or shifts occur. Thank you for choosing Distinctive Schools! 

On this page you will find:

  • Vaccine information

    • Why Vaccinate?

    • On-Demand Webinar

    • Where to secure a vaccine

  • Frequently Asked Questions (for Chicago campuses)

  • Travel Tips

  • What happens when a positive case is reported?

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With FDA approval, you now have access to a kid-sized version of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for your children! Vaccines for 5-11 years olds are free and children do not require insurance. We recognize that the decision to vaccinate your child is both a parent’s decision and a health decision. 

​​The COVID-19 vaccines are made to save lives, and the moments we miss most—hugs, afternoons with friends, time with family, and so much more. As always, please reach out if you have any questions.


  • Vaccinating children against COVID-19 can help protect them from dangerous variants, hospitalization, or developing long-term COVID-19 symptoms.

  • If children are vaccinated against COVID-19, they can focus on their learning and reap the rewards of in-person learning experience.

  • Long-standing scientific evidence shows that other vaccines protect children against dangerous viruses and diseases, just as the COVID-19 vaccines do.

  • Vaccinating children against COVID-19 can in turn help protect the people around them who are at high risk of having severe effects from COVID-19, whether family members, classmates, teachers, or people in their communities.

  • The Pfizer emergency use authorization for 5- to 11- year-olds is an important milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, one that will enable us to protect a larger segment of our population.

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  • Walgreens: Register online or call your local Walgreens or 1-800-WALGREENS (1-800-925-4733).

  • CVS: Register online or call your local CVS or 1-800-679-9691.

  • Walmart: Call 833-886-0023, Option 1.

  • Costco Pharmacies: Register online for an appointment or call a pharmacy directly.

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On-Demand Webinar

We asked our partners at the Angel Harvey Family Health Center (The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago) to help us understand why the Covid-19 vaccine is important and necessary. Please watch this webinar featuring a Q&A session with Dr. Portela, a Board Certified Pediatrician from the Angel Harvey Family Health Center, led by Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools – and if you’re interested in scheduling a vaccine, you can find a vaccination site near you at

*To turn on subtitles in another language:
CC -> Auto detect -> Select Language

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Frequently Asked Questions: Distinctive Schools CHICAGO

*Masking updates go into effect on March 21, 2022 in Chicago.

  • Why are masks now optional in Distinctive Schools Chicago?

    • Based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois State Board of Education, the COVID positivity rates have dropped substantially and masks are now optional in school settings. 

  • Can staff and/or students still wear a mask?

    • Yes. Masks are highly recommended, particularly for those that are not vaccinated. Temporary masking may be required upon return to school for positive individuals, during Test to Stay or in other situations as specified by the local health department guidelines.

  • Why is DS dropping the daily health screener?

    • At this time, with shifting policies around masks, it makes sense to drop the daily screener as well. As a reminder, if you are feeling sick, you should stay home. If you have COVID symptoms, you should get a test.

  • Will there be changes to other mitigation measures or quarantine rules?

    • It is possible, but at this time, current quarantine guidelines are still in place. We are monitoring what CDPH and IDPH release related to quarantine guidelines.

  • If I want my child to wear a mask, will the school ensure they wear it?

    • No, unfortunately we do not have the ability to enforce mask wearing through the mask optional policy. Please talk to your child about your wishes, but the school will not monitor mask wearing.

  • Will SHIELD testing continue?

    • Yes, weekly surveillance testing through SHIELD will continue.

  • Will SHIELD testing still be required for athletes?

    • Yes, surveillance testing will continue to be required to participate in athletics.

  • How does wearing a mask change whether a student is a close contact?

    • A student can be identified as a close contact to a positive case whether or not they are wearing a mask. When masking is not universal, close contacts will be anyone within 6 feet of a positive individual for 15 minutes or more.

  • What happens when a student is identified as a close contact?

    • Next steps will depend on their vaccination status, if they are consented to participate in Test to Stay, and other factors.

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travel guide for break

Health & Safety – Traveling?

Are you planning to travel? 
Please follow these best practices when returning to school.

Follow all local and CDC travel guidelines.
Unvaccinated? Please follow safety and quarantine guidelines.
Vaccinated? Quarantine does not apply to fully vaccinated individuals. 

If you are sick, stay home. 
Notify the school nurse so they can help make sure you can return to school safely as soon as possible.

Protect yourself and those around you.
Follow steps proven to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as masking, hand washing, and social distancing.

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What happens when a positive case is reported?

1. Contact Tracing 
When we are notified of a positive case, our team - including school leaders, school nurses, and other trained staff - begin contact tracing to identify and quarantine close contacts who may have been exposed to the positive individual. Contact tracing reviews a person’s activities at school within the 48 hours before they developed symptoms, or before they tested positive if they did not have any symptoms. Contact tracing involves speaking with positive individuals, teachers, and school staff, as well as reviewing resources like seating charts. 

2. Notifications
We notify our community of positive cases as soon as possible. We are typically able to notify close contacts and our community the same day we learn of the positive case, though contact tracing can sometimes take longer. If your child was a close contact or in the classroom of a positive case, you would receive a communication notifying you.

3. Health Department Partnership
Every case reported in our schools is also reported to the local health department. We follow all local health department guidance when responding to positive cases and discuss reports with local officials regularly.

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