The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have released a guidance for starting the 2020-21 school year. This guidance is Part Three of the Transition Advisory Workgroup’s recommendations for transitioning to in-person instruction and focuses on considerations during Phase 4 of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan.

According to the guidance, “in-person instruction is strongly encouraged in Phase 4; however, it is critical to note that this does not signify a return to pre-pandemic operations. Appropriate social distancing, face coverings, enhanced sanitation measures, and other accommodations will be necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff, and their families. During Phase 4, IDPH guidelines will:

• Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face
coverings;
• Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
• Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;
• Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that
individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings;
and
• Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.

All public and nonpublic schools in Illinois serving prekindergarten through 12th grade students
must follow these guidelines.”

More information and resources, including posters and infographics, can be found on ISBE’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Resources page.