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Important Update on Mask Guidance: District 30 Schools Shifting to a Mask-Recommended Environment on February 28

Important Update on Mask Guidance: District 30 Schools Shifting to a Mask-Recommended Environment on February 28

Dear District 30 Family,

Yesterday I sent information communicating our Updated 2021-22 Opening of School Plan adopted by the Board of Education on Thursday night. This plan included a transition to a mask-recommended environment on March 7. As has been true for much of the last two years, last-minute changes to rules and regulations have forced the district to pivot quickly. 

Friday afternoon, the CDC released new guidance that updated the definition of COVID-19 Community Levels, placing Cook County in the low-transmission range and therefore does not require indoor masks. 

Late Friday, after my communication, the Governor announced he was dropping the mask mandate for schools effective Monday, February 28. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) also issued a statement late Friday to follow newly updated CDC guidance, which recommends masking in schools only in areas of high transmission, stating: 

“Per the Governor's announcement, masks are optional for all schools and school districts starting Monday, Feb. 28. ISBE will work with the Illinois Department of Public Health to update our guidance documents as soon as possible.”

The new CDC guidance, the Governor of Illinois, and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recommend removing universal masking in schools on Monday, February 28, 2022. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have said that we will do our best to follow the guidance. Therefore, District 30 will implement our mask-recommended environment and transition as methodically as possible on Monday, February 28. Note that we will continue to use mask-recommended this week as we transition and will update our language to a mask-optional environment next week.

Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask in school is free to do so, and we will respect and support each family’s decision to act in the best interest of their children. Situational masking may still be required in some circumstances, including when visiting the school nurse and participating in SHIELD testing, so please continue to send your child to school with a mask. 

We have worked for weeks to generate and implement a well-thought-out transition plan. We are also positioned well for this change due to our high vaccination rates, our responsible community, and dropping local COVID-19 rates. We are grateful for the planning we have done and will need to move forward with a compressed timeline. 

A few highlights include:

  • District 30 schools will implement a mask-recommended environment on Monday, February 28
  • The CDC’s Public Transportation Guidance no longer requires masking on buses, and our mask-recommended environment extends to school bus routes as well
  • Athletics will shift to mask-recommended beginning Monday, February 28
  • We will continue other layered mitigations, including SHIELD testing, excluding positive COVID-19 cases and individuals with symptoms, fresh air, hand sanitizing, etc.

Except for approved accommodations:

  • Beyond reminding students to follow their family’s wishes, teachers will not police masking
  • Seating arrangement requests based on masking preferences will not be honored

Thank you for helping us prepare our students for this transition this weekend. Here are a few good resources to get us started: 

We will continue to share information and update our plans as we learn more. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your principal and administrative team if you have questions or concerns. While we intended to have a slower, more measured transition, we are confident that our preparations and amazing teachers and staff will be ready to move forward. We ask every member of our District 30 family to model grace, kindness, and empathy as support each other through this transition.


Dr. Brian K. Wegley