County Superintendents React To ISBE Guidance

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On Tuesday, June 23, the Illinois State Board of Education released it’s guidance for schools for the 2020-21 school year, with the public and school districts receiving the document at the same time.

This has resulted in a number of questions for superintendents, who asked for their communities patience in press releases on Wednesday.

“We ask for your patience as our staff thoroughly reviews this detailed guidance, gets input from parents and employees and determines how best to proceed with our plans to reopen,” Hillsboro Superintendent David Powell said.

Litchfield Superintendent Dr. Greggory Fuerstenau, Nokomis Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr and Panhandle Superintendent Aaron Hopper also had similar statements. 

Dr. Fuerstenau said to expect Litchfield’s transition plan next week. Doerr added that the district’s transition team would be meeting to discuss Nokomis’ options, with a plan coming in mid to late July. 

Hopper also noted that the Panhandle administrative team would working on their transition plan.

The 60-page document is meant to answer critical questions that school officials and parents share regarding the 2020-2021 school year. This includes in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process.

Doerr notes in the Nokomis press release that ISBE has indicated that more guidance documents are being prepared and will be released in a few weeks. In the Hillsboro release, Powell expressed concern over some of the conditions and hoped that ISBE and IDPH will reconsider.

“I, personally, find some of the requirements problematic and I hope that ISBE and IDPH will reconsider and change some of these positions,” Powell said. “I am, in fact, working to effectuate that change.”

The full 60-page document can be found on the ISBE website at www.isbe.net/Documents/Part-3-Transition-Planning-Phase-4.pdf. 

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