Amboy schools update 2021-22 ‘Return to Learn’ plan

Posted

AMBOY - Amboy School District 272 posted an update on guidelines for the start of the 2021-22 school year in accord with the most recent CDC and IDPH guidance.

Families and the community are reminded that everything is subject to change depending on the virus and its impact on the district and any newly updated guidance from the Lee County Health Department (LCHD), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 

The goal of the CDC’s guidance is to get students back to in-person school safely. The Amboy District pointed out that this makes more sense when people realize that only 10 percent of Illinois school students were able to attend in-person classes all of last year the way Amboy was.

Mask Guidelines

1. Bus and School Vehicle Transportation - While traveling on a bus or any other school transportation, masks are required. This order includes all bus occupants, including students and adults, who shall be required to wear a mask while traveling on all school transportation regardless if they are vaccinated or not.

2. Masks Must Be Worn Inside School Buildings - All students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a face covering while inside the buildings. Students or staff with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask, with a note from a doctor, will be allowed to not wear a mask. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

3. Students who arrive at school and forgot to bring a mask will be provided a mask. Students who refuse to wear a mask will not be allowed to attend class or events in the school and will be taken to a safe and supervised area until reliable transportation can be arranged and the student picked up.

Social distancing

Masked and vaccinated students and staff should keep at least 3 feet of social distance unless it prevents in-person instruction.

Unvaccinated and unmasked individuals should try to maintain 6 feet of social distance space unless it prevents in-person instruction.

Testing 

Binax rapid testing will continue to be available if an individual is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and is unvaccinated. 

Shield testing, a University of Illinois PCR/saliva test, may be used when there are multiple cases in a building or if an outbreak has occurred.

Contact Tracing and Quarantines

Vaccinated students and staff who do not have any symptoms, do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact at school. Proof of vaccination will be required if a vaccinated individual is a close contact though.

Unvaccinated students and staff who are close contacts at school will still be required to quarantine. Quarantines can be up to 14 days. 

Remote Learning for Quarantined Students 

Remote Learning is limited to students who are not eligible for a vaccine and under a quarantine order. Students will receive five hours’ worth of instructional material a day that they can work on at their own pace. However, with the transition to full in-person instruction, remote learning opportunities will not be as robust as the program that was available last year. 

Visitors and Field Trips

Unfortunately, during this time field trips will be on pause and visitors will have the same limited access to the buildings that they had last year. 

Return to Learn 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What happens to the district if we do not follow the governor’s mask mandate?

Answer: In a state of emergency, a governor’s executive order is considered to have the force of law, so by not following the mandate, we would essentially be breaking the law. This choice would open the district up to potential lawsuits, and we would lose our insurance coverage. The state will also withhold state funding ($1,354,085) and potentially federal funding ($2,242,670). Also, the state will begin the process of decertifying the district. If the school district lost our state certification, we would not be able to issue diplomas and participate in IHSA or IESA competitions. 

Question: If a student consistently refuses a mask, will disciplinary action be taken?

Answer: Yes. Refusing a mask would be treated as a dress code violation and progressive disciplinary action will be used. 

Question: Are spectators welcome at sporting events? Should spectators be masked?

Answer: Yes, at this time, spectators are allowed to attend sporting events. Everyone must wear a mask during indoor sporting events and follow any IDPH, ISBE, IHSA, IESA, LCHD, or other appropriate guidelines. 

Question: Is the vaccine mandated for students, teachers, and staff?

Answer: No, the vaccine is not mandated at this time.