Back to School: Fall 2021
Rockford Public Schools is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health, Winnebago County Health Department, Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois governor’s office to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, remote-only instruction will not be provided in the 2021-22 school year.
State, federal and local leaders agree that in-person instruction for all students is a priority. According to the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health, “In-person learning with the appropriate protective measures should be both safe and essential to students’ mental health and academic growth. … The majority of students need full-time in-person access to their teachers and support network at school to stay engaged, to learn effectively, and to maintain social-emotional wellness.”
The back-to-school plans in the handbook include several COVID-19 prevention strategies to continue to provide in-person instruction for all students and keep our staff, students and families safe:
- Encouraging the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible staff, students and families
- Following the mandate from Gov. JB Pritzker to require masks indoors at all schools. Masks are especially important for people who are not fully vaccinated and are unable to physically spread out.
- Testing for COVID-19
- Keeping students in small groups, or cohorts
- Increasing and/or improving ventilation
- Encouraging students and staff to thoroughly and frequently wash their hands and practice good hygiene
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Encouraging staff and students to stay home when they’re sick or not feeling well
- Enforcing routine and special cleaning and sanitization to help reduce the spread of germs
Rockford is affected by the local, state and nationwide worker shortage, and it’s especially affecting our ability to recruit bus drivers and transportation staff. At this time, we do not have enough bus drivers to support every route that our K-12 students need. Every day, some bus routes will not be provided.