Plainfield – Masks will be optional for District 202 students and staff in school buildings to start the 2021-22 school year, based on parental choice.
The Board of Education approved the district administration’s recommended “Back to School 2021-22” plan at its July 19, 2021 regular meeting. All individuals ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged – but not required to wear masks indoors.
However, as required by the State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health, everyone riding a school bus, including drivers must still wear a mask.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lane Abrell stressed that district staff will continue to monitor local health conditions and may adjust the district’s plan and mitigation strategies if school, district, or local health conditions worsen.
“This is a welcome step forward,” Abrell said.
“As we have done from the start of this pandemic nearly 16 months ago, we are following the flexibility allowed by the CDC, IDPH and Illinois State Board of Education to the best of our ability and practicality while ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff, and community,” Abrell said.
When the guidance required masking and social distancing, the district complied. Then, when guidance loosened last spring, District 202 re-opened schools for five, half-days of instruction each week. Abrell said.
“The most recent guidance gives local districts more latitude in terms of mitigations, and we are very happy to finally get students back in the classrooms full-time where they belong, and where we can best serve and support them,” Abrell said.
“We trust that if CDC, ISBE and IDPH believed all students and staff should be masked all the time, they would direct all schools to do just that,” he said.
The district’s return plan also says:
- Students will return to a “traditional” full school day of in-person learning
- Social distancing will be three feet or less to ensure all students have access to in-person learning
- Staff and students 12 and older are highly encouraged, but not required, to get vaccinated.
- Athletic programs will continue to follow guidelines from the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH.)
- Full lunch will be provided
- District officials will continue to consider providing Covid-19 screening
The CDC on July 8, 2021, issued new guidance that significantly altered its previous Covid-19 mitigation rules.
The IDPH and State Board of Education fully endorsed and adopted the CDC’s new guidance the next day and further clarified its guidance to support returning students to in-person learning this fall.
District 202 will continue to post the most updated and detailed information about its return to school plan on the “Back to School 2021-22” page on the front page of the district website.
Return 2021-22 Update 7-19-21 UPDATED