Vaccine Requirement Coming Sep. 5, 2021
Christian Liberty Academy was classified as “non-recognized” on Thursday, August 26, 2021 by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for not complying with the Mask Requirement which the State of Illinois claims helps protect against the spread of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, August 31, 2021, there are 13 school across Illinois that are actively categorized as “non-recognized”. ISBE established a list of schools, including public and private schools, that are categorized as “Non-recognized” or “On Probation” connected to Coronavirus mitigation procedures. According to the ISBE, the board is working in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure the state board of education is providing the most current resources and guidance to support Illinois education communities regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The ISBE sets educational policies and guidelines for public and private schools, preschool through grade 12. ISBE board members are appointed by the governor of the State of Illinois.
The Non-recognized status affects the school’s eligibility to participate in IHSA events and the Invest in Kids Act scholarship program. On Facebook, Christian Liberty Academy promoted a Rally for Parental Rights event that was scheduled on August 11, 2021.
Please know that this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to share up-to-date information as it becomes available.
Across Illinois, 46 schools have been categorized as “On Probation” even after school officials agreed to comply with the State of Illinois Mask mandate. Some schools have been re-established as “Fully Recognized”. Most of the schools on the ISBE list of recognition status are not located in Chicagoland. Among the total 60 private and public schools on the status list, 47 are public schools as of Monday, August 30, 2021.
OUTDATED INFO ON STATE WEBSITE (8/31/2021) …
Do I have to wear a mask in public?
In accordance with CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals can stop wearing a mask and practicing social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask and social distance in public settings.
WGN SKYCAM9 news helicopter hovering over Arlington Heights Road after circling Christian Liberty Academy on Tuesday morning after rush hour. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Gov. JB Pritzker announced a Mask Requirement effective immediately for all students, teachers, and staff at pre-kindergarten – 12th grade schools and day care centers in a press release on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
In preparation for the start of the upcoming school year and in response to the highly contagious Delta variant, all students, teachers, and staff at pre-kindergarten – 12th grade schools and day cares will be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, effective immediately. This guidance is in line with recommendations from the CDC, according to the press release.
The state is also requiring universal masking in long-term care facilities regardless of vaccination status.
Illinois is home to 1.8 million children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the press release. With the “Delta variant infecting the younger population at a greater rate and with people under 29 years old now accounting for 12 percent of COVID hospitalizations in June, requiring the use of masks is the most effective tool to allow students to return to their classrooms safely while protecting them from the virus.” the release said. Mask wearing will also help prevent unvaccinated students from transmitting the virus to more vulnerable members of their broader communities, said the Governor’s statement.
The mask requirement is inclusive of youth sports and activities, with masks now required for all indoor extracurriculars and sports. In line with CDC guidance, masks are not required for activities outdoors where transmission risks and rates are lower.
The administration is providing free testing to all pre-K-12 schools in Illinois outside of Chicago, which received a separate federal funding allocation for testing.
IDPH also provided additional guidance for students and staff who are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Close contacts of a positive case can remain in school if they receive testing on days one, three, five, and seven post exposure and if they wore masks at the time of exposure.
“The CDC strengthened its guidance last week for universal indoor masking in schools, and Illinois will continue to follow the science, data, and public health experts to keep students in school and keep communities safe,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “We know that consistent and correct mask use is the simplest, most effective way to keep students safely in school, where they can learn and grow to their fullest potential.”
A number of school districts across the state have already adopted CDC guidance and implemented a mask requirement to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students, teachers, and staff and the communities they live in. Those districts include the state’s two largest school districts, Chicago and Elgin U-46, as well as Edwardsville Community School District 7, Peoria Public School District 150, Champaign Unit 4 School District, Springfield School District 186, and Naperville School District 203, according to the August 4, 2021 press release.
To help schools across the state protect the health and safety of students and staff, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has distributed 2.5 million free face masks to public schools since the beginning of the pandemic. The free masks grant every child the ability to access the learning opportunities provided by their school in person, regardless of their ability to purchase a face covering or make one at home. The administration will continue to supply masks to school districts as they request assistance.
VACCINE REQUIREMENT BY SEPTEMBER 5, 2021
On Thursday, August 26, 2021 Governor Pritzker announced a COVID-19 Vaccine requirement for healthcare workers, pre-K-12 teachers and staff, higher education personnel and students “to slow the spread of the Delta Variant.” The governor’s press release stated “(a)ll healthcare workers, including nursing home employees, all pre-k-12 teachers and staff, as well as higher education personnel and students will now be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Employees in all of these settings and higher education students who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week, and DPH and ISBE may require increased testing in certain situations.”
According to the governor’s press release on August 26, 2021, workers and students in applicable settings must receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccination series or a single-dose vaccination by September 5, 2021. Second doses of the vaccine must be received by 30 days after the first dose.
MASK REQUIREMENT ALL INDOOR SETTINGS FOR VACCINATED AND UNVACCINATED
Also on August 26, 2021, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a mask requirement at all indoor settings for people over age 2. The press release declared that in order “(t)o slow the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant, all Illinois residents over the age of two will be required to wear a mask in all indoor settings, effective Monday, August 30th (2021). The requirement is applicable to both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents statewide.
The August 26, 2021 press release cited three studies that “confirm the benefit of universal masking via community level analyses.”
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