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IDPH School Reopening Phase 4 Summary


School Reopening – Phase 4

IDPH Guidelines

In-person school instruction may resume as regions transition to Phase 4. Districts must follow IDPH guidelines, which provide the following: 

  • Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;

  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;

  • Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;

  • Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and,

  • Require an increase in school-wide cleaning and disinfection.

All public and nonpublic schools in Illinois serving Pre-K through 12th grade students must follow these guidelines.

IDPH has also published guidance, in conjunction with ISBE, regarding health and safety protocols for specific activities and areas of the school. This includes new recommendations regarding illness and diagnoses monitoring, mental health, nap time, libraries, auditoriums and multi-purpose rooms, self-contained classrooms, related services, before- and after-care programs, health offices, extracurriculars, playgrounds, dual credit and career and technical education, and field trips.

Blended Learning and Grading

Schools and districts are strongly encouraged to provide in-person instruction to students. 

However, schools and districts that are unable to adhere to IDPH requirements may choose to implement Blended Remote Learning Days, which are authorized by P.A. 101-643. During these days, schools and districts may utilize hybrid models of in-person and remote instruction. A high priority should be placed on providing in-person instruction for students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 504 Plans, and/or who receive English language supports when building an equitable schedule for Blended Remote Learning Days

Remote and Blended Remote Learning Days must ensure at least five clock hours of instruction or school work for each student. Districts can be flexible in determining how to best meet the requirement in their own context by counting all learning activities toward the five clock hour expectation.  

Regarding grading, ISBE recommends school districts return to traditional grading policies and make modifications as necessary. ISBE strongly recommends that any return to traditional grading policies ensures that students have all the necessary tools, technology, and teacher supports at school and at home to complete all assignments, take assessments, and complete projects in a timely manner.

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