Dear District 58 Families and Staff,
The District 58 Board of Education held a Special Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 10 at Downers Grove Village Hall. The meeting comprised a Return to Learn update from Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell, a one-hour public comment opportunity, and a Board discussion on District 58’s COVID-19 mitigations.
Ultimately, the Board voted to adopt a resolution that makes the following changes to District 58’s COVID-19 mitigation plan, effective Monday, Feb. 14:
1. District 58 recommends, but will not require, students and staff to wear a mask at school. Masks are still required on District transportation, per federal mandate.
2. District 58 will not require “close contacts” to stay home from school.
3. District 58 will not require unvaccinated District staff to submit to weekly testing.
Please note: The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Governor Pritzker’s mask mandate has already been appealed, and motions to stay the TRO have been filed. It is possible that the TRO will be overturned. If the TRO is overturned, District 58 will immediately review and follow the court decision, and this might mean that District 58 will require masks in schools again. School districts that ignore or refuse to comply with state mandates risk losing accreditation, state funding and insurance coverage. This is not a risk District 58 is willing to take.
The updates outlined above will begin on Monday, Feb. 14 to give staff time to prepare and to have conversations with students. We ask all families and staff to please respect this decision and to continue to follow all COVID-19 mitigation measures, including wearing masks, while at school on Friday, Feb. 11.
Although masks will not be required starting next week, District 58 still strongly recommends all students, staff and school visitors wear a mask, in alignment with Illinois Department of Public Health guidance. The guidance also recommends a layered approach to removing mitigations, which is what District 58 will do. District 58’s instructional spacing will remain at 3 feet, and lunch and recess will be handled in the same way as they are today. In addition, staff will maintain 6 feet of distancing in instructional spaces to the greatest extent possible. The District will also provide additional PPE, including KN95 masks, to staff upon request.
Finally, District 58 asks all families and staff to please respect one another’s mask choices and to treat each other with kindness. District 58 teaches its students to be kind and respectfully requests everyone to lead by example.
View the agenda. The meeting was livestreamed by the Village of Downers Grove; the Village will process the video and send it to District 58; as soon as we receive the video, we will promptly post it on the District 58 YouTube page.
Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools