In-person learning for K-12 schools, community colleges, and higher education institutions will resume for the upcoming academic year, Illinois Gov. Pritzker announced on Tuesday.
“Today ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education), IBHE (Illinois Board of Higher Education), and ICCB (Illinois Community College Board) are issuing guidance that will serve as baseline public health requirements and expectations for the return of in-person learning this fall in P-12 schools and higher education, including all public school districts, non-public schools, colleges and universities,” the governor said in a press release.
School districts will determine how to implement the guidance based on its unique student enrollment, school facilities, staffing, transportation, and technological capacity. ISBE is strongly encouraging schools and districts to provide in-person instruction for all students, especially those under age 13, to ensure children have rich instructional environments.
The IDPH requirements for schools to reopen in Phase 4 are:
- Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
- Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
- Require social distancing whenever possible;
- Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require self-certification that individuals entering school buildings are symptom free; and
- Increase schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.
Gov. Pritzker also added that schools should be prepared to go remote in case of a second wave. ISBE will use funds from CARES ACT to help schools respond to the pandemic.
Educational institutions reopen as part of Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan that starts on Friday, June 26th. The phase allows businesses and industries to reopen following safety and health guidelines from IDPH.