Dear Robinson CUSD#2 Families,
On behalf of the entire Robinson CUSD#2 staff, I want to express how excited we are to be welcoming back your students tomorrow. Again this year we are facing challenges and some modifications to the typical school experience. These challenges do not diminish the great sense of anticipation and happiness that we feel on this eve of the first day of the 21-22 school year.
As you may be aware, our 2021-2022 Return to School Committee created a plan based on the Guidance for K-12 Schools published by the CDC. Our goal with the plan was to provide in-person instruction and educational experiences safely while minimizing disruptions to the learning process and, when possible, adapt our prevention strategies to be more or less intensive depending on the level of community transmission in Crawford County. The draft version of this document can be found on the Covid-19 dashboard of the district website here. Included in this draft plan is a statement that Robinson CUSD#2 will comply with directives from any official or agency with the authority to issue directives to public schools. This happened with regard to universal mask requirements in all PreK-12 schools on August 4, 2021 with the issuance of Executive Order 2021-18.
At the August 16, 2021 Board of Education meeting, the Robinson CUSD#2 Board affirmed by a 6-0 vote that Robinson CUSD#2 would comply with the universal masking requirement. However, to clarify, they have not yet approved the full return to school plan. The Board of Education has directed the Return to School committee to make some additions and revisions to the draft plan. I would like to highlight two of those forthcoming updates.
One update is with regard to “mask breaks” during the school day. Mask breaks were encouraged during the 20-21 school year. This year we feel it is important that mask breaks are planned each day. Schedules will be slightly different at each school but mask breaks will occur. The final wording that will appear in the plan and each individual school’s schedule will be communicated as soon as possible but mask breaks will occur tomorrow and each school day until masks are no longer required.
Another update will be in the Remote Learning section of the plan. Last year, the state required us to provide a remote learning option to all students as an alternative to in-person learning. In contrast, this year, schools “must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days” with the exception of students who are not eligible for a vaccine and are under a quarantine order. This language from the Illinois State Board of Education resolution was included in our draft plan. We now realize that this language may be interpreted to mean that nothing will be provided to our students 12 and older. This will not be the case. Quarantine periods will be treated like any excused absence for all students. Our students at all grade levels will be provided with classwork and the support necessary to keep up with their work. This will include access to a licensed teacher as needed to provide explanations and answer questions.
We all look forward to a time when such plans and precautions are no longer necessary. Until then, thank you for your patience and cooperation as together embark on what I am confident will be a successful school year.