COVID-19 Coronavirus

Preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year

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 guidance to assist boards of education as they prepare to confront the challenges of the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance document is intended to provide a framework to guide local school boards in discussions about the reopening of school in the fall. Local boards of education are encouraged to use this guide to spur conversation on the critical issues involving governance, policies, programming, personnel, health and safety of the school community, and the fiduciary responsibility of the board of education.

In a video overview, IASB Executive Director Thomas Bertrand, Ph.D, talks about the board's role in planning and conversations about the opening of school.

Resources for School Districts

The Illinois State Board of Education has compiled a list of survey responses to indicate what type of learning plans districts are undertaking in the fall of 2020.  The dashboard includes which districts have returned to school with remote learning plans, in-person learning, or a blended remote learning option.

A significant challenge among school district families during this pandemic is securing transportation to complete essential trips. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has partnered with Aetna, a CVS Health company, and Lyft, to give school districts access to essential rides for families. Read more about this collaboration with NSBA.
The 2020 Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Grant (ESSER) was awarded as part of the CARES Act. The grant is intended to provide funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Districts should submit their applications in the electronic Grants Management System in IWAS. 
Funding is also available to districts to assist with acquisition of deep-cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and any other equipment needed to prepare school buildings for students to return. Funds are available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance program for these expenses.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is working to offer clarity for school districts on how new procedures and changes to current unemployment law will impact districts. A July 8 webinar with IDES Chief Legal Counsel Kevin Lovellette discusses the modifications, including providing additional details about non-charging and answers to questions about eligibility changes pertaining to school district employees.
New state guidance calls for signage. IASB in-house printing services are available to districts at cost as a benefit of membership. Email for more information or to place an order.

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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • IASB Legislative Report 101-22

    Disctricts can now access school reopening guidance for the 2020-2021 acedmic year developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education.
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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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • IASB Briefs

    Updates for 2020 awards, return-to-office plans, and a new IASB Service Associate.
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  • Federal Legislative Report 116-20

    The latest Federal Legislative Report covers the FY21 appropriations discussion and more.
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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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More