While there have been no reports of new mumps cases at schools in Barrington Area Unit School District 220 in more than a week, there are still some unvaccinated students who have to be excluded from normal school activities.
Superintendent Brian Harris said the lack of new cases is a sign that the worst may be behind the district.
"We're in great shape right now, but we still have students that aren't here on a daily basis," Harris said Tuesday night at the district's school board meeting. "We certainly want to make sure that they continue to receive their education."
The small number of students who are unvaccinated have spent more than a month excluded from their peers.
The first mumps case at Barrington High School was reported March 2. At that time there were about 40 high school students who either were not vaccinated or had an incomplete medical record.
District spokeswoman Morgan Delack said by the end of the second day of exclusion from the normal school day, the number of excluded students had gone down to 17.
Delack said most of the students in that group of 25 were allowed back because their parents had immediately taken them to get immunized.
"We're trying to work to maximize the vaccination," Harris said. "We really need our parents to vaccinate their kids and we still have some that have chosen not to."
The number of excluded students now is down to six -- four high school students and two students at Station Middle School. Delack said if no more new mumps cases are confirmed at either building, the high school students will return to class Monday and the middle schoolers will Wednesday.
The district has been helping excluded students continue their education from home in a variety of ways, including having access to coursework through their school-issued laptops. The district also has invited the students to come in and receive one-on-one instruction after school for things like tests and time learning in the lab.
On March 13, the health department held a vaccination clinic where Harris said 85 staff members took advantage of the opportunity to get a second dose of the vaccine.
Adults born after 1957 and before 1989 were required to get only one MMR vaccine, but now two doses are recommended.