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An Update Regarding the COVID-19 Lawsuit

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As students and staff return to school tomorrow, Monday, February 7, 2022, for in-person learning, please know that masks will continue to be required with the exception of students who have already been identified as having a medical exemption and the students named as parties in the pending legal complaint in Sangamon County that names our district as a defendant.  

Late Friday afternoon, Judge Raylene Grischow issued a temporary restraining order in this pending litigation. Due to a separate ruling limiting the scope of the litigation, the order applies only to the parties to the lawsuit of which there are nineteen District 300 students named.  The temporary restraining order will be appealed and may be stayed, meaning that the order could be placed on hold while the appeal is decided. As a result, the legal effect of the temporary restraining order is uncertain over the next couple of weeks. The District anticipates that the appellate ruling will provide additional clarification and guidance on how to move forward with mitigation measures. We anticipate a final ruling from the appellate court by February 17, 2022.      

Because of this uncertainty and significant confusion reflected in various reports regarding the temporary restraining order, we want to let the community know our clear expectations. District 300 will continue to follow and implement its safe return to school plan. Aside from the parties to the lawsuit, District 300 will continue to enforce requirements relating to masks and school exclusion for close contacts.  

In addition, please note that all students remain subject to the federal order requiring all passengers on school buses to wear masks. Lastly, District 300 will continue to follow procedures for the exclusion of all symptomatic individuals and will continue to engage in close contact tracing.   

Until the appellate court issues its ruling, we remain focused with your help to keep our students calm and focused on learning. Our main priority has always been to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff members, parents, family members, and residents of our local communities. The recent court decision does not change that fact.

This is obviously a very complex situation that has caused confusion and upset. Rest assured, we will continue to monitor all of the various outcomes of the litigation and the appeal as the situation unfolds. We will provide updates with our families as they become available.  

Sincerely,

Susan Harkin
Superintendent