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Posting on behalf of State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala: Dear Colleagues: Governor JB Pritzker signed into law today Senate Bill 1569, which includes many education provisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the Governor’s press release below for highlights from the bill. Importantly, the legislation creates a Blended Remote Learning Day option to gives schools additional flexibility as they develop plans for fall. ISBE will release guidance in the next week to support a safe transition back to in-person learning this fall. We will emphasize in-person learning for all students to the greatest extent possible, while realizing that may not be feasible in all situations. Blended Remote Learning Days allow schools to utilize a mix of in-person and remote learning, if needed, to protect the health and safety of students, teachers, and families. Schools that plan to utilize Blended Remote Learning Days should consider equity and prioritize in-person learning for our students with greater needs. You may have listened into the ISBE Board meeting yesterday, which included a preview of the preliminary guidance for starting the 2020-21 school year in person. ISBE, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and our 56-member Transition Advisory Workgroup have worked together to develop common and clear requirements, while preserving the flexibility of each school district to implement a reopening plan that meets the needs of the community and the children that they serve. The guidance will include public health requirements for personal protective equipment, including face coverings; capacity limits on individuals in one space; social distancing; symptom screening; and schoolwide cleaning and disinfection. Having been a district superintendent in Illinois, I understand the urgency of getting clarity and direction out to all of you as quickly as possible. At the same time, the stakes have never been higher for our guidance to adhere to the best and most current science and data. Meeting this standard has meant deep collaboration with public health experts. I appreciate the patience you have shown as we have sought to meet the high standard necessary to protect the health and safety of our students. We hope to release the guidance in the next week and will follow the release with webinars to answer your questions in real-time. We respect the herculean effort required to plan for in-person instruction under the current circumstances, and we thank you for your ongoing partnership. Sincerely, Dr. Carmen I. Ayala State Superintendent of Education Illinois State Board of Education Mr. Geoff Schoonover, Superintendent, Cornell CCSD 426 Contact Information: gschoonover@cornellgradeschool.org phone: 815 358 2216

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