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We hope the below answer your questions and provides you with information that will help guide your decisions.

2022-23 Hours and Programs

What hours is JCYS open?

JCYS Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Lincoln Square Ravenswood, and Wicker Park are open from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday – Friday during Summer 2022.

During the 2022-23 school year, all centers are open Monday – Friday. Hours of operation are as follows:
JCYS Buffalo Grove: 7:15 am – 5:30 pm
JCYS Highland Park: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
JCYS Lincoln Square: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
JCYS Wicker Park: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

What programs are being offered at JCYS this school year and when?

Summer 2022
JCYS is offering full-day, half-day, and extended-day (select locations only) early childhood education. We are also offering full-day school-age camp programs. Before and After Camp Care is available for school-age campers.

Fall/Spring
JCYS is offering full-day, half-day, and extended-day (select locations only) early childhood education for the school year. We are also offering Before and After School Care (select locations only).

2022-23 COVID-19 Protocols

Are masks required?

As of March 1, 2022, JCYS Family Centers are mask-recommended. This is in accordance with Governor JB Pritzker lifting the state’s indoor masking requirement, including the use of face coverings in early childhood settings, on Monday, February 28, 2022.

Is there any instance when JCYS does require individuals to mask?

Yes, masking is mandatory on Days 6-10 post-isolation for individuals ages 2 and up who are returning to a JCYS center after isolating for 5 days.

Do you perform COVID screenings?

We stopped performing COVID screenings of staff, students, or visitors prior to their entering the building in Summer 2021.

It is important to remember to continue to monitor your children for fever and COVID-19 symptoms each morning before school. If your children exhibit any of the following symptoms, please do not send them to school.

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fever of 100.4 or higher or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When you sign your child in every morning, you self-certify that your child does not have a temperature and exhibits no known symptoms of COVID-19 by indicating so in a column on the sign-in sheet. Staff and visitors also self-certify.

What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19 or has COVID-19 symptoms?

You should contact the center director to let them know as soon as possible after symptoms develop and/or your child receives a positive test result.

If your child is 2 or older, they must stay home and isolate for 5 full days. Day 1 is the first full day after a positive test result or after symptoms develop. Your child can return to school/camp on Day 6 if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved. Masking is mandatory Days 6-10 post-isolation.

If your child is under 2, they must isolate for a full 10 days.

What do we do if someone in our household tests positive for COVID-19?

Unvaccinated children, ages 2 and up, should quarantine for 5 full days post-exposure. Day 1 is the first full day after a positive test result or after symptoms develop. To return on Day 6, a negative COVID-19 test result from Day 5 should be submitted to your center test results email address. While PCR tests are preferred, we will accept antigen test results. Upon return, masking is strongly encouraged during Days 6–10.

Unvaccinated children under 2 years of age should quarantine for 8 full days post-exposure and get a PCR COVID test on days 6 or 7 to return to school/camp on Day 8. Day 1 is the first full day after a positive test result or after symptoms develop.

Vaccinated, up-to-date children are exempt from quarantine and should follow the testing protocols. Children who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days are exempt from quarantine.

What if someone in the classroom/camp pod tests positive for COVID-19 or if my child is exposed elsewhere?

Children may continue to attend school/camp without interruption post-exposure if negative tests results are provided on Days 1, 3, and 5 post-exposure. Testing frequency may increase based on a significant increase in positive cases. Day 1 is the first full day after a positive test result or after symptoms develop.

If your child is under the age of 2 and your pediatrician approves the use of an at-home test, a note from the pediatrician must be submitted with your child’s test results. Otherwise, we will accept rapid antigen, or PCR, lab results from a medical provider.

Time/Date stamped test results, or photos of at-home results, should be submitted to the following center emails:
• LSRT2S@jcys.org – Lincoln Square
• WPT2S@jcys.org – Wicker Park
• HPT2S@jcys.org – Highland Park
• BGT2S@jcys.org – Buffalo Grove
JCYS does not cover the cost of individual testing.

Masking is strongly encouraged for close contacts through Day 10 post-exposure for all individuals 2 and older.

Can you give us some examples of what you mean "time stamped test results?"
  • Photo of test result taken with a time stamp app on your iPhone or Android device.
  • A photo of the result taken in front of a screen (computer or phone) that shows the date and +time.
  • Write the date and time on the test device in a permanent marker.
  • Additionally, many COVID at-home tests have apps that allow you to share at-home test results via email that include the date and time the test was taken.
What if my child has already tested positive for COVID-19?

Children who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days are exempt from testing and may continue to attend school/camp after an exposure.

Is there any instance where my child would have to isolate or quarantine instead of being able to attend school/camp?

Yes, there are a few instances:

  • Your child is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Your child is an unvaccinated household contact.
  • Your child is non-compliant with testing. If individuals identified as eligible for testing decline to test, the individual will no longer be eligible and must quarantine per the household exposure guidelines.
Will we be notified of a household close contact or positive case in the classroom/camp pod?
  • Families within the classroom/camp pod of a household close contact will not be notified.
  • Families within the classroom/camp pod of a positive case if the positive individual was in the center within 24 hours of symptom onset, or a positive test result, will be notified.
Is your staff vaccinated against COVID-19?

JCYS implemented a mandatory vaccination policy on July 8, 2021. This policy required all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of the 2021-22 school year, Monday, August 23, 2021.

What if a child becomes sick while at JCYS?

Children will be isolated from their class with a staff member until picked up within a one-hour timeframe. The child will have to remain at home until they are healthy and for the time specified in the sick policy.

Is JCYS following the Travel Advisory?

JCYS recommends that individuals follow the county-level guidance from the CDC. The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels (CCL) map tool places counties into three categories:

  • If areas are low risk (green), no additional action must be taken. Continue to follow standard guidance related to travel.
  • If the areas are medium risk (yellow), consider wearing a mask in indoor public places.
  • If the areas are high risk (orange):
    • Wear a mask in indoor public places.
    • Travelers aged 5 or older who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines are advised to avoid travel to high-risk (orange) counties.
    • Unvaccinated individuals aged 5 or older who travel to high-risk (orange) counties, upon returning to Chicago are advised to follow CDC guidance:
      • Stay home and quarantine for 5 days after travel
      • Take a COVID test 3-5 days after return – if it is positive, stay home and follow CDC guidance.
  • ALL travelers are also advised to:
    • Ensure you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines (including boosters) beforeany planned travel.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Consider packing an at-home COVID test in case you develop symptoms while traveling.
    • Bring a mask with you. Remember that masks are required at airports, on airplanes, and on all public transportation at this time. Businesses may also still choose to require masks.

JCYS continues to follow CDC guidance for all travel – including international travel.

Where can I find your COVID-19 Notification, Isolation & Testing Protocols?

Our COVID-19 Notification, Isolation & Testing Protocols can be viewed here.

What are the cleaning protocols?

Children and staff will continue to practice and observe safe handwashing practices. Throughout the day, all door handles, and high-touch points will be cleaned. All cleaning practices will continue to be observed within the classrooms. In addition, we will ask that children do not bring in any additional toys or lovies into the classroom. Blankets that can stay at school will be stored in their inside cubbies. There will be 30 minutes between each classroom’s use of outdoor areas per DCFS.

Additionally, as an added precaution and cleaning measure, we will be using an electrostatic sprayer once a week when no children or staff members are present. Electrostatic spray surface cleaning is the process of spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto surfaces and objects. Because the particles in the spray are positively charged, they cling to and coat any surface they’re aimed at. For awkwardly shaped objects or hard to reach places, cleaning staff only have to point and spray; the nature of the mist allows it to coat surfaces evenly, and envelope objects—even if the mist is only sprayed from one side. After the spray is applied, the sanitizing agent works to disinfect the covered surfaces.

2022-23 Tuition and Financial Policies

Financial Policies — Where can I find the Parent Financial Policy?

The Parent Financial Policy can be viewed here.

The addendum to the policy for school-age camp closures can be viewed here.

Financial Policies — What about COVID closures for early childhood education programs?

Mandated COVID-19 Related School Closures
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present such significant hardship for our families that JCYS
has decided to address it differently from our regular policy toward tuition/fee reductions. These
COVID-related policies are designed to do the best we can to ease the burden to families while still
ensuring we can continue to operate. We recognize this will still be difficult for some of our families.
We are doing what we can both to support our families and pay our fixed costs including, to the
degree possible, employee pay.

Definition of “closure”
For the purpose of this policy, a closure will consist of either a single classroom closure or multiple
closures, each within 30 days of the prior closure. For example, a ten-day period will consist of either a single classroom closure for ten consecutive days or multiple closures totaling ten days, each within 30 days of the prior closure. Likewise, a two-month period will consist of either a single classroom closure of two months or multiple closures, each within 30 days of the prior closure, totaling two months.

Short-term closures
For a classroom closure, as defined above, that is ten days or less in duration, no credits or refunds
will be given. Any subsequent COVID-related closure that is more than 30 days after the last one will count as the beginning of a new ten-day period.

Long-term closures
If a classroom closure, as defined above, is greater than ten days, families will receive a 60% tuition
credit for every paid week beyond the first two weeks. If the classroom must remain closed longer
than two months, families will be credited in full for any tuition paid for any part of the period of
closure thereafter. Credit will be issued to your family’s account for the applicable time frame, which
may be refunded if not used for future programming or the credit may be donated back to JCYS.
The table below summarizes the guidelines laid out in the above paragraphs:

Closure Duration Tuition Discounts/Credits
Two weeks or less None
From two weeks to two months No refund or credit for the first two weeks, 60% credit for the remainder of the period
Longer than two months After the first two months, 100% discount until reopening

Other Q&As

Policies and procedures will continue to evolve.

Please share your concerns with us if you haven’t already. We are here for you and will work with you to support your decision. You can reach out to: