February 6, 2022
Nothing about navigating the current school year has been easy for our students, staff or families. Because we pride ourselves in full transparency, I am reaching out to you today with an update on how a recent court ruling will impact our school district.
The political divide in our country eventually made its way into the courtroom resulting in a ruling with implications for our schools. As a school district we do not choose sides, but rather consult with district legal counsel to make decisions that provide a safe environment for our students and staff, and allow our students to grow academically and socially.
After consultation with district legal counsel, Friday’s ruling/order from Sangamon County Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow means the children of the five families in our district who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit will no longer be required to wear masks or be excluded from school if they are determined to be a close contact to a positive case. The ruling does not apply to all students at this time.
The ruling/order will be appealed and a decision from the appellate court will come in the next two weeks. In the meantime, the following is effective throughout CUSD 10 beginning February 7, 2022:
- The five plaintiffs (families/students) named in the litigation may attend school without a mask and will not be excluded as close contacts. Each of the respective families will be provided electronic correspondence by a district representative prior to school on Monday.
- Families/students not named in the litigation will continue to be required to wear a mask throughout the school day.
- Masks will continue to be worn by all staff throughout the school day.
- Masks are still required on school buses by all staff and students.
- Our heightened cleaning protocols will be maintained throughout the school day and windows will be opened in classes to provide additional fresh air in classrooms.
- Students will continue to be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible in the classrooms, hallways and cafeterias.
The district’s Return to Learn Plan is not being updated immediately as this is an active litigation matter. Once Judge Grischow’s ruling/order is considered at the appellate court, the district will consult with legal counsel, revise the Return to Learn Plan accordingly and provide updated information to families based on the appellate court’s decision.
Earlier this year I shared with our families that during a difficult time in our personal or professional lives, when faced with a challenging situation, we have two choices: work together and make the most of a difficult situation or implode and fight amongst ourselves. Our kids are depending on us to not necessarily agree with each other, but find a way to maintain a consistent school schedule that allows them the opportunity to interact with their peers and teachers on a daily basis. I have no doubt our district will continue in this manner!
Questions or concerns regarding this situation should be directed to your child’s principal.
Mark B. Skertich, Ed.D.