Coronavirus Guidance for Districts and School Officials

  • Date Posted
    March 11, 2020
  • Category
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.

IASB has a sample policy, 4:180, Pandemic Preparedness, in its PRESS policy service. Sample policy 4:180 establishes board direction about pandemic preparedness issues, including emergency school closings. This information may also be a part of a district’s safety plans. In the case of a pandemic, local health departments, emergency medical agencies, and the Regional Office of Education may direct a school to close. Closure can also be ordered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to contain the spread of disease or by the governor through that office’s emergency powers.

UPDATE (March 16): The Illinois State Board of Education has and is updating a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Resources page, including a guidance-to-schools document. 

The National School Board Association (NSBA) has also put together guidance for school leaders, “COVID-19: Preparing For Widespread Illness in Your School Community.” The resource includes a planning checklist, potential challenges schools may face, basic terminology to become familiar with, and a list of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resources.

It is important that public schools stay apprised of and follow federal, state, and local health agency guidelines on current measures to prevent and respond to COVID-19. IDPH is providing updates on the status of COVID-19 within the state and has also made available a number of guidance documents and FAQ’s to assist with preparedness.