Governor releases recommendations for school opening plans in fall

No plans finalized for Rochelle schools yet


ROCHELLE — On Tuesday, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education released recommendations for how to best safely educate Illinois students for the 2020-21 school year.

As a result of recommendations made, Rochelle Schools Superintendent Jason Harper released a statement to elementary and high school parents.

Today, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education released recommendations for Illinois school districts as they determine how best to safely educate our students for the 2020-21 school year.

I know you are all ready to have immediate answers about what school will look like next year, but the Rochelle Schools will still need time to process the more than sixty pages of guidance. We ask for your continued patience as we develop our plan for next year.

As we plan, we will keep the following priorities in mind:

  1. The health and safety of our students, staff, and the greater Rochelle community,
  2. Providing for our students’ basic physical and mental health needs,
  3. Providing an excellent education to every student, and
  4. Being good stewards of our district resources.

When we have our local plan ready, we will share it out with students, parents, and the community as quickly as we can.

Some of the recommendations made during the governor’s press conference Tuesday included:

Students and teachers will be required to wear face coverings if they are medically able;

Gatherings in one place will be limited to no more than 50 people;

Schools must adhere to stricter cleaning and disinfecting guidelines;

And conduct regular symptom checks. 

Gov. JB Pritzker said at the news conference every district must develop its own plan based on those guidelines. 

Pritzker also said the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide public K-12 districts in Illinois with 2.5 million cloth face masks, allowing schools to provide one to all students and staff.

Pritzker first ordered all public and private schools, including colleges and universities, to close for in-person instruction on March 13 and on June 4, schools were allowed to offer limited in-person instruction and summer school programs as part of Phase 3 of the reopening plan.