COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 School District and Board Guidance

During this unprecedented national health emergency, school districts face a myriad of issues in terms of dealing with school governance and operations. IASB has compiled a variety of guidance resources to assist boards of education as they confront the challenges of providing quality public education oppertunities during a worldwide pandemic.

Return to School: Resetting for the New Year and Key Considerations for School Boards

In April of 2021, IASB compiled a list of discussion items, questions, and board activities to guide the strategic thinking and processes for boards to learn, prioritize, monitor, and evaluate plans for returning to classroom for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The document is intended to provide a framework for board discussions around articulating a clear vision and purpose for their district, connecting with the community on priority issues, monitoring progress toward goals, and maintaining productive relationships with their administration and staff.

A suggested timeline for discussing key considerations — academic, social and emotional/mental health, fiscal and operational, and governance and policy — begins this May.

Download Return to School: Resetting for the New Year and Key Considerations for School Boards (April 2021)

Read IASB Letter to Governor and State Superintendent Calling for Local Control in COVID Mitigation Decision-Making (July 2021)

In a video overview, IASB Executive Director Thomas Bertrand, Ph.D, talks about key considerations for districts, the importance of monitoring and evaluating return in-person learning plans, and the overall role of the school board in getting students back into the classroom.

Resources for School Districts

SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing is now available to all school districts — free of charge. SHIELD Illinois is a screening testing program and infrastructure that deploys the University of Illinois’ innovative saliva test. The program provides regular testing, which allows for identification of pre-symptomatic individuals, who can then be isolated before they can infect others. Please refer to the SHIELD Illinois website for additional information about the program.
IHSA information related to COVID-19, including Return To Play Guidelines, 2021-2022 season schedules, sport specific considerations, and other educational materials is available on the IHSA COVID-19 resource webpage.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

  • Coronavirus Guidance for Districts and School Officials

    As districts across Illinois continue to work to prevent and respond to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), resources are available to assist school leaders with preparedness.
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  • A Message to IASB Members from the Executive Director, March 23, 2020

    With the extension of statewide school closures, school leadership teams continue to face a changing landscape and myriad of challenges.
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  • Statement on Remote Learning

    A statement from IASB regarding the March 27 Executive Order 2020-15 and the subsequent release by ISBE of emergency rules, a joint statement, and Remote Learning recommendations.
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  • Field Services Directors Interview Board Members

    Join IASB Field Services Directors for interviews with board members to see how they are continuing their board work during the stay-at-home orders.
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  • Emergency Amendment Delays May 1 Filing Deadline for Statement of Economic Interests

    Under normal circumstances, May 1 would be the day to file required Statement of Economic Interests; the filing requirement deadline has been suspended.
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  • Journal Available Online Now; Covers Coronavirus, CTE

    The May/June Illinois School Board Journal digital edition is available in advance of the print edition, which will arrive in member mailboxes as usual in early May. The edition takes a first look at the impact of the coronavirus emergency on school districts across the state, including remote learning guidance and governance concerns.
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  • A Message to IASB Members from the Executive Director, May 20, 2020

    School leadership teams continue to face a changing landscape as an unprecedented school year comes to a close.
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  • New Guidance for Districts Regarding Reopening Schools

    IASB has compiled guidance to assist boards of education as they prepare to confront the challenges of the 2020-2021 school year and reopening in the fall.
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  • End of Session Recap Videos

    A video playlist by the IASB Governmental Relations highlights education-impacting action taken by the General Assembly during its recent four-day return to Springfield.
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  • OMA Changes Signed into Law

    Legislation codifies previous executive orders that allow public bodies to meet remotely without the physical presence of a quorum in the event of a disaster declaration related to public health concerns, under a number of conditions.
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  • Plans for Reopening Schools Announced

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released joint guidance to address the start of the 2020-21 school year and return to in-person instruction.
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  • IASB Board of Directors Discusses Challenges Ahead for Schools, Approves Budget

    The IASB Board of Directors met for its quarterly meeting to discuss the next fiscal year budget and challenges facing schools regarding the safety and well-being of students.
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  • Governor’s New Executive Order Addresses the Open Meetings Act and In-Person Instruction

    Governor Pritzker has renewed the statewide disaster declaration and issued an Executive Order to address in-person attendance at public meetings and in-person instruction in K-12 schools.
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  • Webinar, Guidelines Address PRESS Policy Updates

    A July 9 webinar will offer insights into IASB Policy Services’ Policy Reference Manual updates from the June PRESS and PRESS Plus Issue 104. A recorded version will be available within 48 hours of the live event.
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  • IASB In-District Services Now Available In-Person upon Meeting Health, Safety Requirements

    With all regions of the state in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, IASB staff will begin to provide in-person services to member districts, upon request.

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  • NSBA Offers National Scope to Coronavirus Response, Return to School

    The NSBA COVID-19 Update webpage offers reopening information and guidance on response measures for boards of education.
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  • ISBE Publishes Fall Learning Recommendations

    The July 23 document provides recommendations to educators for implementing in-person, blended, and/or remote learning during the 2020-21 school year.
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  • IHSA Announces Modified Schedule (Includes IESA Update)

    The Illinois High School Association has announced a modified schedule for high school sports in Illinois during the 2020-21 academic year.
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  • IDES Update: Important Clarification for School Districts as Employers

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has provided additional information to IASB member districts pertaining to unemployment insurance statements mailed earlier this month.
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  • IASB Briefs, August 2020

    Updates for 2020 awards, return-to-office plans, and a new IASB Service Associate.
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  • OMA Considerations, Limits Come with Latest Disaster Proclamation

    Latest disaster proclamation reinstates 10-person meeting limit at regular meeting location for virtual board meetings.
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  • Update: Tier 3 Mitigation Measures May Impact In-Person Board Meetings

    A board should locally determine, with counsel, a decision on in-person meetings in certain conditions and with safety precautions.
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  • Latest EO Effective through February 6

    The status quo regarding the Open Meetings Act an in-person attendance continues, with the possibility late this week of regional moves to Tier 2.
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  • Guidance Available on Employee Vaccinations

    K-12 educators are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Considerations for BoEs are included in this guidance.
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  • IHSA Unveils Slates for 2020-2021 Seasons

    The IHSA has determined when high school sports competitions in Illinois will begin.
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  • ISBE, IDPH Offer Revised Public Health Guidance

    The guidance outlines the latest in mitigation strategies for safe return to the classrooms.
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  • The Coronavirus Year

    School buildings may have closed, but public education did not stop.
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  • VIDEO: Returning to school, resetting for the new year, and key considerations for school boards

    IASB has released a guidance document for districts to plan for the upcoming shool year.
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  • COVID-19 Testing Available at Reduced or Free Rates for Illinois Public Schools

    Learn about the program and how schools can gain access.
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  • IDPH Guidance Updated, Webinars Scheduled for COVID Testing in Schools

    The updates include testing for those vaccinated, and outbreak testing.
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  • IASB Letter Calls for Local Control in COVID Mitigation Decision-Making

    A letter from Executive Director Bertrand and IASB President Neeley was sent to Governor Pritzker.
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  • School Districts Receive Revised Guidance for 2021-22

    CDC updates guidance for return to school; IDPH and ISBE follow.
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  • SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Testing Available

    SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing is now available to all Illinois school districts, free of charge.
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  • Latest EO Indicates Change on In-Person Meeting Requirements

    The latest updates do not extend certain OMA findings.
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  • IDPH, ISBE Update Coronavirus Mitigation Information

    The latest FAQ is based on CDC guidance and updates the previous announcement.
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  • U.S. DoED Releases Return to School Resource

    Federal agency offers guidance with the goal of in-person learning all school-year long.
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  • UPDATING: Governor Announces Mask Mandate for Schools; More SHIELD Testing

    Includes updates from ISBE, IDPH.
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  • A Message to IASB Members from the Executive Director

    A letter addressing challenges resulting from changing guidance was sent August 9.
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  • EO Extended in August

    On August 20, Governor Pritzker issued another 30-day disaster declaration.
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  • Governor extends date for school staff to be vaccinated

    A new EO issued by the governor extends the vaccination and testing requirement deadline for school personnel.
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