February 15, 2022 Updates Regarding COVID Mandates
The Joppa-Maple Grove USD #38 Board of Education held a Special Board Meeting on February 15, 2022, to discuss the mask mandates. As many have already heard, there was a lawsuit that resulted in a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued on Friday, February 4 restraining the Governor, IDPH, and ISBE from enforcing various COVID mitigations and mandates.
Senate Republican Deputy Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris) issued the following statement after the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules (JCAR) successfully voted to suspend the Pritzker Administration’s attempt to reissue emergency rules that would have required school districts to enforce the Governor’s school mask mandate despite a recent court ruling. JCAR voted to block the emergency rules with a bipartisan 9-0-2 vote: “Today, the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules made it clear that we would not accept the Governor’s attempts to go above a court ruling made by a co-equal branch of government.”
Presently, Joppa-Maple Grove USD 38 will be following the directives of the current ruling, meaning that we will not be enforcing and requiring any of the items listed in the TRO (masking, mandatory staff vaccination, contact exclusion, unvaccinated staff testing).
- Mask use is recommended, but not mandated indoors for students, staff, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated.
- Mask use is recommended, but not mandated outdoors during activities (e.g., participating in outdoor play, recess, physical education, sports, extra-curricular) that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission.
- School staff is to model support for and encourage students to be supportive of people who continue to wear a mask as a personal choice or because of a personal medical reason.
- Unless exempt by CDC Order, passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses.
- Driver Education student passengers and drivers must wear a mask.
In addition, we will continue to layer our mitigations by cleaning and sanitizing areas and keeping appropriate spacing to the best of our ability. Staff and students who are sick should stay at home. We will continue to offer testing for those who need it and will have masks available for use. Again, any and all of these requirements may change depending on a future decision by the courts. We will closely monitor this and make changes as required.
We have been able to continue with in-person learning this year and hope to continue those efforts. We expect that all will be treated respectfully as they make their decisions. It's thanks to all of you and your cooperation that we have been as successful as we have to this point. We will continue to update you on other potential changes in the specifics of this policy as we go forward.
Dr. Vickie Artman, Superintendent