It has been a very interesting 5 days between snow storms and court rulings. First of all, this was our first chance to use E-Learning on snow days and we appreciate everyone being a cooperative part of our learning process. Teachers and administrators will be reviewing our practices to see what we can do better in the future. As for now, we are excited to get everyone back to in person learning!
As many of you know, our school district was one of over 140 school districts who were a part of a lawsuit through clients of attorney Thomas DeVore. The court struck down all emergency rules and emergency orders to school districts. The judge has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing schools involved in the lawsuit from mandating masks, quarantines and vaccine mandates. The State of Illinois has indicated that they will appeal this decision, but for now Mt. Pulaski CUSD 23 cannot enforce a mask mandate put in place through executive order or emergency rules. MPCUSD23 does not plan to join the appeal. It is expected that the state appellate court may put a stay on the TRO, which would mean schools could still mandate masks, quarantines and vaccine mandates until the appeal process is complete. We can only wait to see if this becomes a reality.
The Mt. Pulaski School Board is recommending all persons entering school buildings wear masks as we await the courts to sort out what is, and what is not, allowable. The Mt. Pulaski School Board will not exclude, segregate or isolate students and staff for non-compliance with this recommendation in accordance with the TRO.
It is possible that there will be changes in the court rulings, emergency orders and emergency rules in the next few weeks. It is the district's goal to maintain as much consistency as possible, while also respecting the rights of our students, staff and community. The Board and administration asks for your patience and understanding while we work to provide a sound learning environment in our schools.
Fred Lamkey, Mt. Pulaski Superintendent