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Heritage to return to in-person learning after remote week due to COVID cases

by Jim Masters

LANSING, Ill. (September 11, 2021) – Heritage Middle School students spent last week remote learning due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests, but they are all expected back in school Monday.

District Superintendent Dr. Erika Millhouse-Pettis had informed parents via email and robocalls of the switch to remote learning when two additional positive tests were confirmed. The letter did not distinguish if the new positive tests were of a student or staff member.

“Please be advised that a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school environment does not mean your child has been exposed to the virus,” Millhouse-Pettis wrote.

On September 2, Millhouse-Pettis sent a letter home to parents advising that a Heritage staff member had tested positive and would be required to quarantine for 14 days, but that the school would remain open. However, when two additional cases were reported, Heritage pivoted to remote learning last week.

Millhouse-Pettis advised that any student or staff member who may have had “prolonged close contact” to the COVID-19 case would be placed in 14-day quarantine and would receive notification from the Cook County Department of Public Health. In addition, anyone who may have had “close contact” to the staff member who tested positive will receive a separate communication. She added that a parent could expect a phone call from District 171 if it was determined the child had potential exposure to the virus.

Approximately 92% of District 171 staff have been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to Millhouse-Pettis.

Nathan Hale Elementary has not been impacted by the positive COVID-19 tests.


Jim Masters
Jim Masters
Jim Masters grew up on 191st Street in Lansing. He attended Nathan Hale Elementary, was a member of St. Ann Church, graduated with the first graduating class at Heritage Middle School, and graduated from TF South High School in 1981. Inspired by his journalism teacher Joe Hyde, Jim earned a BA in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. He has more than 25 years of experience as beat reporter, specializing in government, politics, criminal justice, human interest stories, and education.