School mask status rundown

You can't keep straight your school districts' student and staff masking policy without a scorecard.

Things can change by the hour on this front, but as of press time here is the rundown.

Glenbrook High Schools District 225:

At a special virtual meeting of the District 225 board on Saturday, Feb. 19, the board decided to go with a "mask-recommended" policy moving forward.

It came with several qualifications, such as masks must be worn in health offices, training rooms, school buses, school transport vehicles and on a limited basis to comply with student and staff Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accommodations.

The district retained the right to return to masks based on future spiking of COVID cases and executive, judicial or legislative orders.

At its Feb. 14 board meeting there was more of a wait-and-see approach on masking to jibe with Gov. J.B. Pritzker removing the indoor mask mandate (schools excepted) on Feb. 28 and the March 5 expiration of his school mask mandate. In the wake of the Illinois appellate court decision declining an appeal related to mask mandates in schools, the board came to a new decision.

Many students arrived at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South the morning of Feb. 18 to learn that the schools had already shifted to a mask-recommended environment.

Northbrook School District 27:

Currently, universal masking remains. However, in light of the appellate court ruling as well as reduced COVID cases and testing and vaccination procedures unavailable when the board made its initial 2021-22 plan, at its Feb. 24 meeting the District 27 board will bring an updated mitigation plan. That will include the recommendation of implementing a mask-recommended policy March 8.

Northbrook School District 28:

Currently, universal masking remains. The district, though, will transition on March 7 to a mask-recommended policy. District 28 will retain the wearing of masks on school buses, a federal requirement, and will continue to monitor local health metrics and guidance.

Northbrook/Glenview School District 30:

Currently, universal masking remains. At the district's Feb. 17 board meeting, the board authorized administrators to bring an updated Safe Return to School plan with the target date for shifting mandates to a mask-recommended environment.

The board will evaluate the plan and establish the date for transition at a special board meeting Feb. 24.

West Northfield School District 31:

Currently, universal masking remains. At the district's regular board meeting of Feb. 24, however, the board will discuss a "mask recommended pathway" that will make masks for students and staff "strongly" recommended beginning March 7.

Other mitigations will remain, including but not limited to weekly SHIELD testing and social distancing, as well as the wearing of masks on buses and in district gatherings of more than 75 people when social distancing cannot be maintained. The reduction of social distancing in the classroom will be considered no sooner than April 11, with other mitigation reductions to follow.

Glenview School District 34:

Currently, universal masking remains. After many public speakers and much discussion at a remote board meeting on Feb. 15, the District 34 board agreed to go with a mask-recommended approach as of Feb. 28. That decision stands.

Loyola Academy:

The Ramblers of Wilmette follow guidance provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago. On Feb. 8, its guidance was updated to a mask-optional environment beginning Feb. 10 for archdiocese schools in Lake County and for most of suburban Cook County.

Loyola has remained mask-optional since then, while maintaining mitigations such as social distancing and limiting group work in school to no more than 15 minutes.

New Trier District 203: On Tuesday, the board approved a resolution to make masks optional as of the next day, Feb. 23.

In a letter to families on Feb. 18, district Superintendent Paul Sally stated more than 92% of New Trier High School students and 96% of its staff are fully vaccinated. New Trier had observed the mask mandate until Feb. 23.

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