What will the upcoming school year look like in Illinois? Local districts announce their reopening plans

Local News

MARSHALL/ HUTSONVILLE, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — No masks, no vaccine requirements and social distancing implemented. Those are just some of the similar guidelines shared by local Illinois school districts.

A few weeks ago, the Illinois Department of Health and Illinois State Board of Education announced it would be fully adopting CDC guidelines in classrooms. For Marshall and Hutsonville school boards, health boards and parents are being asked to play a more active role.

“This was a good time to release our plan,” Marshall Schools Superintendent Kevin Ross said. “So, faculty and parents can have an idea of what the upcoming academic year will look like. But, it’s important to remember that things can either get more restrictive or loosen up at anytime.”

In the Marshall School District, face coverings or masks are recommended, not required. Classrooms will maintain a three-foot distance between students or six feet whenever possible.

All P.E. and outdoor activities will revert to pre COVID-19 protocols.

Ross said there is no vaccine mandate for staff or students.

“Right now in schools, let’s be clear: that is a choice throughout the state of Illinois,” Ross said. “It’s a choice in Marshall, it is not required by law at all. There are others that are required, but that’s not one of them. We have a majority of our staff that did get vaccinated, others didn’t. We respect all decisions.”

Remote learning will only be available for those quarantined.

Staff and local officials said they will constantly monitor COVID-19 cases, mitigation strategies and county metrics.

“Trying to get back to normal is that major concern, but also not going too quickly, not going too slowly,” Ross said. “We’re taking this one step at a time, you can’t rip the band aid off this things. We’re still in a pandemic.”

For a complete link of Marshall School’s reopening guidelines, click here.

For the Hutsonville School District, masks will be recommended, a social distance must be maintained and there is no vaccine requirement. Superintendent Julie Kraemer said community involvement was a key part of this plan.

“Knowing where our community stands as a small school district, what we’re able to do both inside of the school and outside of the school. Local control means all the difference,” she said. “Especially getting that right now before we go in. I can tell you our community is ecstatic.”

Crowds will also no longer be limited at extracurricular activities.

Students needing to quarantine will do so at the discretion of the Crawford County Health Department. Kraemer said student well being will still be prioritized by educators.

“This year going into it, our main goal is not only moving them forward, but also making sure we cover all the holes and gaps that may have occurred last year,” Kraemer said. “We know how social and emotional health has been impacted.”

Other items on Hutsonville’s reopening outline.

  • Parents should not send their kids to school when they’re sick.
  • No restrictions for extracurricular activities.
  • No limitations on maximum spectators and no restrictions.
  • Masks will still be required on school busses.
  • Hutsonville CUSD #1 will not be a testing site.
  • The district will continue to provide sanitizing procedure.

“Our goal is to get these kids back into school as normal and as safely as possible we can make it,” Kraemer said. “That way we can get back to the business of educating.”

To learn more about Casey Westfield’s reopening school plan, click here.

Both superintendents said each plan is subjective to change pending an increase in COVID-19 cases, Delta variant cases or R.S.V.

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