February 15, 2022

As you may know, on February 9, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the mask mandate for public places will end on February 28, 2022.  It is also possible that it might be lifted in schools in the coming weeks.  

In addition, Illini Central CUSD #189 experienced a high number of COVID-19 cases during the month of January.  Fortunately, we have seen a welcomed decrease in positive cases, and we continue to see this movement in a positive direction.  

Beginning Wednesday, February 16, 2022, Illini Central CUSD #189 will begin following the CDC guidance that masks are recommended, but not required.  This means it will be up to you to decide if a mask should be worn.  Please talk to your children and encourage them to be respectful and supportive of people that choose a different mask option.  

Masks will still be required to be worn on school buses due to the Federal CDC order.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will still have to isolate.  Close contacts will be encouraged to wear masks while at school, monitor symptoms, and be tested if symptoms appear, but will not be required to do so or be subject to exclusion unless ordered by the local health department.  Please keep in mind that the school has normal health protocols for sending home sick children that we will continue to abide by.

We will continue to offer rapid testing to symptomatic students and staff for those requesting it, we will continue to offer SHIELD testing weekly for those who have signed up. 

We understand this will make some of you happy and others not so much.  Unfortunately, schools are in a no win situation and have been for quite some time.  Some of our staff and students have specific health issues with elevated risks.  Please feel free to discuss with your building principal any mitigations that might be possible to ensure students and staff feel safe in the school environment.  This will not include requiring any specific student or staff to wear a mask.  We cannot address every concern, but we will do our best to make this a workable situation for everyone.  Please contact your school if you have any further questions.

Thank you,

Mike Ward