Dear District 44 School Community,
Today the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued guidance regarding the reopening of schools in the fall. This guidance is incredibly expansive and includes a mixture of requirements and recommendations for school districts to decide how to implement. ISBE has allowed specific implementation decisions to be made at the local level.
For example, this is what must be implemented, according to the guidance:
- Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings; • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
- Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;
- Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and,
- Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection
How local school districts implement ISBE’s guidance is of great significance and consequence.
Therefore, in an effort to develop an implementation plan that carefully considers the needs of District 44 students and staff, we have formed an action team focusing solely on applying ISBE guidance in a way that best supports our school community.
This action team, coined “Back to 44,” is composed of staff, union leadership, administrators, parents and board members. They will be meeting over the next few weeks, with an implementation plan to be communicated immediately after their work has concluded. Communication will be frequently shared with our community as this work progresses.
We are taking this work seriously. Although ISBE gave us a strong starting point, we must carefully consider the unique needs of the District 44 community and use those to inform how to best apply all these critical recommendations.