Dear District 57 Families,
As you have most likely heard, Gov. Pritzker announced yesterday that students, teachers, staff, and visitors at all Illinois schools will be required to wear masks indoors. This means that District 57 will no longer have a mask-optional option for vaccinated individuals -- everyone is now required to wear masks in the buildings, effective immediately. This new requirement, part of the state’s ongoing effort to combat a COVID-19 surge as the Delta variant rapidly spreads, is in alignment with the CDC’s most recent recommendation for universal masking at schools, regardless of vaccination status. This also applies to those participating in indoor sports and other activities. However, masks will continue to be optional outdoors, where transmission risks are lower.
I understand that some of you are relieved to hear this news, while others are disappointed. The pandemic has certainly challenged us in more ways than we could have imagined and required us to take our flexibility and resilience to a whole new level. As we all adjust to what the latest developments mean for the return to school, I want to assure you that my administrative team and I are working hard on developing mitigation strategies and other back-to-school plans to keep everyone as safe as possible and ensure a smooth and exciting start to the year. Next week, I will share more details about our District-wide protocols and plans. You will also continue to receive school-specific information from your principal in the coming days.
I think it’s important to remember that we are in a better place this August than we were one year ago when there was so much uncertainty in our community and throughout the world. We are incredibly thankful for how far we’ve come and that we are planning to kick off the school year with in-person learning. We can’t wait to see students on the first day of school -- Aug. 18 for grades one to eight, Aug. 20 for kindergarten, and Aug. 24 for early childhood!