Beginning Thursday, March 17, the decision to wear a mask at school will be at the discretion of each family. On that date, masks will become recommended, not required, in all District 97 schools. This change applies to:
- All grade levels, including the Early Childhood classes at Whittier and the PKP classes at Longfellow;
- The district's administration building;
- School transportation/buses;
- After-school activities and events.
Details about this change, as well as supporting documents, are linked below.
- "Supporting the Transition to Masks Recommended, Not Required" (March 4 communication)
- FAQ - Masks Recommended, Not Required
- Resource document for families
- Summary of District 97's COVID-19 Mitigations
- "Families and COVID-19" (Centers for Disease Control)
Masks will continue to be required in two areas in school buildings:
- Nurses' offices: Masks will continue to be required in school nurses' offices, which are considered healthcare settings. Disposable masks will be available if needed.
- SHIELD testing areas: SHIELD Illinois will continue to require masks in testing areas, since collection sites are technically considered healthcare facilities. This means that all students participating in weekly SHIELD testing will be required to wear masks in the collection area. The district will have disposable masks available, however, we encourage families to make sure that their students bring their own masks on their designated testing days.
- Schools will not segregate or seat students based on mask or vaccination status.
- Beyond reminding students to follow their family’s wishes, teachers and staff will not track parent wishes or monitor mask use of students.