I am writing this communication to address the recent decision by a sub committee of the General Assembly, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). In a meeting yesterday, they objected to the reissuance emergency rules by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) that impose quarantine and modified quarantine rules. In a 9-0-2 vote, JCAR removed mandatory mask rules in schools and reverted quarantine rules back to previous standards. In short, schools cannot mandate masks nor can IDPH quarantine an individual for longer than 48 hours without a court order. This ruling is separate from, and has no bearing on, the State's appeal of quarantine and the mask mandate ruling made earlier this month in Circuit Court. The appeal to that ruling is expected to be delivered by the Appellate Court later this week.
How does this affect Mt. Pulaski Schools? Essentially it doesn’t affect our schools at all. Mt. Pulaski Schools continue to recommend individuals wear masks, but it is optional for all students, staff and guests in school buildings. Mt. Pulaski is returning to traditional handbook procedures with students and staff will be removed from school only when they show symptoms of illness or test positive for an illness. IDPH is responsible for imposing quarantines. The Board plans to address the masking and quarantine options at the February 23, 2022 Board meeting.
Mt. Pulaski Schools will continue to work to keep you informed during these confusing times and as always, we will keep the safety of our students, staff and community in the forefront of all decisions. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Fred Lamkey, Mt. Pulaski Superintendent