While most programs will continue to take place remotely, a variety of safe, in-person opportunities for teens will be offered across Chicago at After School Matters locations and in partnership with community-based organizations, following CDC, State, and City guidelines to ensure all teens, staff, and instructors are kept safe this summer. As we look ahead, let’s ensure the highest level of safety for our ASM community and create a welcoming environment for all.
To keep everyone safe and healthy, it’s important that we follow the protocols outlined below. This information will be updated periodically in accordance with local and state public health guidelines.
Below, you’ll find additional resources that might be helpful during this time.
After School Matters is offering three opportunities to get vaccinated at our program spaces next week! In partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), all Chicagoans 12 and older can now be vaccinated for free, regardless of insurance or citizenship status. Available to any teen and their family in all ASM programs, we are excited to offer vaccines:
Everyone who receives a vaccine at these clinics will receive a free ticket to Six Flags!
All Chicagoans ages 12 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of these locations!
Why are we still required to wear masks if the city no longer requires them for those who are fully vaccinated?
ASM is committed to the safety of its teens, Instructors, and all other staff. Because we are not requiring proof of vaccination nor requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, ASM requires everyone to be masked. Even though we are taking city and CDC re-opening guidance, we are committed to maintaining the safest environment for everyone at ASM, and this involves wearing masks at all times.
Who is required to wear masks?
Teens, instructors, and any visitors are required to wear masks.
Will programs provide masks, hand sanitizer, and other disinfectants?
While teens are required to come to programs wearing a mask, all programs should be ready to provide masks to those who arrive without one. Disinfectant wipes and other sanitizing materials should also be available for use during in-person programs. If providing masks will become an issue for a CBO and they have room within their program budget to purchase some masks, then ASM will reimburse them for that cost, just as we would for any supplies. If the cost exceeds the program budget, then a CBO Hardship form should be submitted.
Who can I contact with other questions?
All other in-person questions should be directed to your Program Specialist and Program Manager. They will escalate questions to the appropriate ASM department as needed.
Who should I contact if my site is not following any of the ASM Safety protocols?
If a site or program is not following ASM Safety protocols, please notify your Program Specialist right away.
Since the city is open, what are the protocols we should follow?
Though ASM takes the City of Chicago and CDC guidance into account, we ultimately require all staff and participants to abide by our own safety regulations. For example, while the CDC states that mask wearing is now optional for those who are fully vaccinated, ASM will still require masks to be worn at all times. We remain strict in our safety protocols to keep our ASM program environments as safe as possible for teens and to prevent any COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, all CBOs are required to implement the following ASM required health protocols:
Would an entire building ever close due to the pandemic? If so, what would be the scenario or reason?
There is a possibility that an entire ASM building could close due the pandemic if it is determined that keeping the building open poses a health risk to program participants and/or ASM staff. While this closing would not be permanent, the facility would close for proper sanitation, and programs would be moved online. The building would be reopened once it is safe to do so.
Would a program ever switch from in-person to remote? If so, what would cause the switch?
An in-person program would move to remote in the instance of an outbreak. If 3 or more teens test positive in one program (approximately 20%), instructors, with the help of their Program Specialist, will facilitate a move to online programming. A program might also move to remote if an instructor is exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms or is considered a close contact. While in quarantine, the instructor may still have the ability to teach the program online. All necessary steps will be taken to ensure everyone’s safety.
How will certain weather conditions affect the staggered entry/exit protocols? What if teens can’t wait outside?
Staggered entry/exit protocols will change depending on the circumstances of the weather. All decisions will be catered to what is best and safest for the teens. It would be best to encourage teens to arrive on time and prepare for the weather before leaving for their program.
If a teen wants to participate in an in-person program, can they still do so remotely?
If a teen cannot participate in-person due to health or quarantine reasons, instructors are asked to be flexible and find ways for the teen to participate remotely. Because some programs are easier to shift to remote work than others, this remains a case-by-case basis. All programs should be able to offer opportunities to teens to participate if out for COVID-19 reasons, whether remotely with their original program or remotely with a different remote program.
Will safety protocols be updated in accordance with the Chicago Department of Public Health?
The CDPH has set and updated safety protocols. They have also stated that individual business or facilities can have final say in deciding whether they would like to adhere to new protocols, e.g., optional facemasks if vaccinated. At ASM, we will continue to require face masks (indoors and outdoors) as well as social distancing for the health and safety of our teens and staff, regardless if they are vaccinated or not.
Will the tent have running water for proper sanitation? Washing station will be needed for washing our equipment.
The tent will have a station with running water. Because the station is not going to be very large, there will be staff present to facilitate.
Where can we find the teen and instructor pledge and safety protocols?
All program documents, such as the Teen Health Pledge, the Instructor Health Pledge, the ASM COVID-19 symptom checker, and other necessary safety protocol flyers, will be available for access in the document section of Cityspan. They can also be reviewed here: www.afterschoolmatters.org/asm-covid-safety/
Will there be any leeway for teens who have to miss program days to isolate due to a positive COVID19 test or to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone who tested positive?
Teens are strongly encouraged to let their instructor know if they or someone they live with tested positive for COVID-19. Because ASM wants to keep our program environment safe, we will work with the teen through an appeal process and/or communicate with our Teen Stipend team about these absences to ensure that they receive their stipend on time.
What will be the cleaning protocol for ASM buildings? How often will everything be cleaned?
ASM building will be disinfected daily. Frequently-used surfaces and shared spaces will be sanitized multiple times a day. In the case of a confirmed infection of COVID-19 at an in-person facility, the contaminated area will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly following CDC guidance.
Are staff and teens still required to wear masks? Why?
We will require face masks while in programs, field trips, or any ASM sponsored activities, whether vaccinated or not. This is to ensure the safety of all the teens as well adults in ASM programs.
Do teens have to go through the ASM COVID-19 symptom checker every morning?
ANYONE entering an ASM building is required to self-check according to the ASM COVID-19 symptom checker before going to an ASM location every day and entering the location.
Will ASM eventually require teens or instructors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
At this point, we do not require a vaccine. There is no federal or state mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, though the CDC recommends the vaccine to all Americans ages 16 and over.