Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

2021 – 2022



Date of Posting to Website: 02/17/2022


Date to review Plan: September 1, 2022 (no less than every 6 months)


Documentation of stakeholder input provided by:

·         5Essentials Survey - Winter 2021, Winter 2022

·         Parent Registration Survey - Summer 2021

·         Student Registration Survey (4th-8th grade)- Summer 2021

·         P/T Survey - October 2021

·         Student Survey - October 2021

·         Board of Education Agenda Item - August 4th, August 16th, July 2021, December 2021, January 2022, February 2022



 Funds provided through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act require schools to create a Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. This plan was created with the requirements of the Act along with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We regularly consult with our legal counsel and insurers regarding our rights and obligations on these issues.

 Although everyone is not always in agreement with those policies, the District’s obligation is to operate in compliance with all legal and safety requirements. Our goal remains to provide a quality education for the students at Cornell Grade School and to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. With these principles in mind, below are some FAQs we have put together to address some of the concerns we have heard regarding the masking and health protocols.

 What is the current rule for masks in Illinois Schools?

 On Feburary 4, 2022, Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischlow declared that Executive Order 2021-18 was null and void and any non named Plaintiffs or School Districts throughout Illinois may govern themselves accordingly.  Therefore, at a special meeting held on February 6, 2022, the Cornell Grade School CCSD #426 Board of Education Adopt Mask Optional Policy for Cornell Staff, Students, and School Events voted 6-1 to adopt a mask optional policy for Cornell staff, students, and school events.

Who will make the decisions on whether students can stay in school or be sent home to quarantine based on symptoms or close contacts?

 The Superintendent will be in close contact with the Livingston County Health Department. He will communicate with students, parents and staff regarding policies and procedures regarding COVID-19. Ultimately, the Superintendent, in conjunction with current health department guidance, will make the final decisions on the status of students and staff who can stay and the students and staff who must be sent home to quarantine, and for how long. Decisions to test and/or quarantine will be based on the student’s symptoms and circumstances surrounding potential exposure/illness.

 Can my student choose to be educated at home?

All students will be required to be in-person. Choosing full-time Remote Learning IS NOT an option for 2021-2022. Remote Learning may only be offered to those students with documented health exceptions but those will likely be very rare. Administration will provide more information to qualifying families and will have final discretion on those eligible.

 What COVID-19 PROTOCOLS will still be in place for the daily school day?

·         We will continue to implement best practices and safety protocols in line with current guidelines from the CDC, including recommending (but not requiring) the use of masks.

·         Social distancing protocols will be maintained while school is in session.

·         Hand washing and hand sanitizing will be frequent.

·         Handsanitizer will be available for students and staff.

What will ATTENDANCE procedures look like?

·         Self-Certification cards will no longer be required. If a parent/guardian sends a child to school, it will be assumed that the child is not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.

·         Please do not send students to school that are displaying any symptoms.

·         If students are deemed symptomatic once at school, current guidelines from the Livingston County Public Health Department will be followed.

What happens when your child is CALLED IN ABSENT because they are not feeling well?

·         Parents/guardians will need to call the school prior to 9AM to report any absences. Students should be symptom free for 24 hours before they return to school after any illness related absence. Current known symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion, or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

·         COVID-like symptoms or questions should be directed to the Livingston County Health Department at 815-844-7174 or your family doctor.

What happens when someone is COVID POSITIVE?

·         Students and staff that become COVID positive will be quarantined according to current Livingston County Public Health Department guidelines.

·         In these cases, the expectation is that absent work will be completed in the manner of a traditional absence according to the school handbook policy.


·         Desks/Classroom seating may be shared, and students may be seated in groups/pods. Groups/pods will be similar and/or “mirrored” when possible as students move classrooms to help reduce the number of close contacts students have each day.

·         Desks/Classroom shared seating will be wiped down by students or staff in-between usage.

·         Desks/Classroom seating will be cleaned and sanitized each night.

·         Extra furniture will be removed from classrooms to maximize space for desks. Students will move throughout the building for the library, PE, junior high classes, etc.

·         Art will take place in the Art room

·         Music/Band will be held in the Music and/or Band room.

How will you follow social distancing during the school day at Cornell Grade School?

·         Social distancing of at least three feet when possible.

·         Limited number of students/guests in restrooms at any one time.

·         Six feet spacing/assigned seating in the cafeteria.

What will BUS TRANSPORTATION look like?

·         MASKS will be optional.

·         It is recommended that siblings sit together but at discretion of the bus driver.

·         Buses will be cleaned after each route.


·         Lockers will be used by students.

·         Students will use the locker room to change for PE.


·         Teachers will monitor restrooms when an entire class is taken for a restroom break.

·         Water fountains will be used to refill water bottles only.

·         Additional protocols will be put in place for cleaning restrooms and water fountains.

What will BUILDING ACCESS look like?

·         Social distancing will be required for in-person meetings and/or volunteer situations.

·         Parents/Guardians coming to the school to pick-up sick children will be met at the front door.

What will extracurricular activities look like?

·         Extra-curricular activities held in the district WILL NOT require masks.

·         Per IESA: Local policy should dictate the masking requirements of contests the district is attending.