COVID-19 Information » 8-18-21 Covid-19 Update

8-18-21 Covid-19 Update

To:       The Marissa CUSD 40 Family                                                                                                       August 18, 2021

From:   Jeff Strieker, Superintendent

Re:       COVID-19 Update

 

Good Wednesday afternoon, everyone.  I appreciate being able to share the following information with you.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at 295-2313, ext. 301, or email me at jstrieker@marissa40.org  I ask that your concerns not be shared in the various common dumping locations on Facebook, as I do not typically keep up/respond to and/or may be blocked from some of those pages.

 

  1. The Early Dismissal Schedule of 1:40/1:50 PM will continue through Labor Day. We are planning to return to full day attendance on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021.
  2. The Board of Education adopted the District’s Revised Return to Learn Plan (found on the district website- Covid-19 Resources), which officially includes reference to the Governor’s Executive Order, mandating mask-wearing in all Pre-K through Grade 12 Schools in Illinois (Pannier/Fritsche, 5-0).
  3. The Board voted (DeMange/Pannier, 5-0) not to approve Covid Testing options (Shield Testing) within the regular school environment. Students and/or Staff in need of a Covid Test may consult their physician or the St. Clair County Health Dept.
  4. The Board voted (Harper/DeMange, 5-0) NOT to require vaccinations in order to attend school and/or work within the school setting. The Board and Administration still highly encourage those students and staff who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 to submit a copy of the vaccination card to the district’s School Nurse, Trish Baker.
  5. Because masks are mandated, and as such, it has been stated in our Return to Learn Plan that students must wear them on the bus and/or in the school buildings, it is expected that students arrive at school with a mask to wear. We have been issuing masks to those who do not have one upon arrival, but purchasing them and issuing them in large volumes is not sustainable.  Please wash the cloth masks upon your child’s return home and have them set out for school the next day with their other school supplies.
  6. As of this date, our numbers of those quarantined has reached 10% at the Elementary Level- perhaps due in part to the recent active weekend experiences here in Marissa. We will continue to monitor and work with the St. Clair Co. Health Dept. for the purpose of contacting those who need to be quarantined or provide a negative test to return to school.
  7. School Districts around the State who have declared the position of Mask-Recommended or Mask-Optional have begun receiving their letters from the Illinois State Board of Education, reducing their recognition status to that of “On Probation” due to exhibiting deficiencies that present a health hazard or a danger to students or staff. Within 60 days, districts are required to have a corrective plan submitted to their Regional Superintendent of Schools and State Superintendent.  Districts who lose their status as being ‘recognized’ by the State of Illinois risk the capacity of their high school graduates to receive a diploma from a no-recognized school, their student-athletes will be prohibited from participating in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) or Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) sanctioned sports. Concerns of eligibility to receive state and federal funding, their employees from being recognized by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois, and others also exist.  I share this information with you as a matter of fact, not of preference.  Simply put, your school district is following the guidelines provided in order to continue to provide the best educational experience for its students and to ensure that their best interests in receiving a high school diploma are being held in higher regard than any political beliefs that may be held or taken into consideration.
  8. As superintendent, I have received numerous phone calls from the State Board of Education as it relates to the district’s compliance with the Governor’s Mandate on mask-wearing. It appears as though the picture of our faculty and staff I took last Monday was deemed inappropriate (or worse) by individuals in and outside of the Marissa CUSD 40 Family.  For the record, I have responded to the ISBE with full acknowledgement of having taken that Staff picture without masks on, AND I have informed them that our district is in full compliance with the mask mandate. 

 

Final thought- please, if you will, share your and my appreciation to your child(ren) for coming to school to learn and being a part of the educational environment we have in place- they have started the school year in such an impressive manner, and their teachers, support staff, administration, and Board of Education are very thankful for that! 

Best wishes for a continued successful start to your school year!

Jeff