Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District Superintendent Cliff McClure recently sent out a letter to district families informing them of the district’s return to school plan for the upcoming school year.
The letter and plan is printed below:
Dear PBL Families:
PBL’s plan with recommendations for reopening schools for the 2021-2022 school year.
We are releasing this plan to you, our families and partners in education, for your review and to assist you in planning for your child(ren). This back-to-school plan was created by following CDC guidance for schools. Please carefully review and consider all of the procedures and safeguards that will take place to ensure reopening in the fall will be as safe as possible for all of our staff and students. Our goal is to provide the least restrictive learning environment while prioritizing student and staff safety. We appreciate the patience and understanding you have continually shown throughout this pandemic. Please be aware and understanding that this situation is constantly evolving and things in the plan are subject to change with little notice. We continue to monitor guidance and recommendations daily and make every effort to keep you informed of changes as soon as possible.
Our final plan will be approved by the PBL Board of Education at their August 11th regular board meeting. If you would like to comment on the plan, you may by emailing us at: email@example.com.
We appreciate and value your input, and all comments will be reviewed by
administration for consideration.
The plan is listed below:
The contents of this plan are based upon current guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and Ford County Health Department.
Changes to Federal, state or local guidance could require procedures to be relaxed or strengthened. PBL will closely monitor guidance and work to provide the least restrictive learning environment, while prioritizing student and staff safety.
• Recommend use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),
including face masks (indoors) for individuals who are not fully vaccinated
• Require social distancing be observed as much as possible
• Continue with increased school-wide cleaning and disinfection
• Increase ventilation
What can I expect from the district and your school regarding health & wellness?
• All Staff will receive COVID-19 training (including transmission, prevention, and use of masks)
• Staff & students who are not fully vaccinated are recommended to wear masks
• Staff and students who are fully vaccinated may continue to wear masks indoors based on individual family decisions and needs
• District signage posted describing signs/symptoms, proper hand washing,
social distancing, and when to stay home
• Frequent promotion of daily hygiene and social distancing measures throughout the school buildings
• Water fountains will be disabled with only the water bottle filling option
available (please send a personal water bottle for your child)
What can I do to support the health and wellness of your student, their
peers, and school staff?
• Be informed of the district’s plan for reopening and ask questions to clarify procedures
• Be patient and understanding when plans and procedures need to change to
keep students and staff safe
• Inform the school as soon as a positive COVID test result occurs with any
members of your household
• Follow health care provider or health department directives regarding the need for quarantine or isolation for you or your household
• Screen your child daily and report illness concerns immediately
• Adhere to the district procedures regarding student’s exclusion from
school and return to class after illness
• Reinforce/educate your child on proper hand washing, covering his or her
cough or coughing into a tissue, when to wear a mask, and how to social
• Speak with your health provider regarding the importance of flu and
Covid 19 vaccination this season to avoid absences
• Provide your school with current contact numbers, home address, and
email addresses to assist in open communication between school and
• Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise, and develop good sleep
• Practice ways your child can greet /interact with peers that does not
involve contact (air high fives, air hugs, nodding, waving, etc)
• Provide a personal mask for your children
• Keep your children home if they are sick or exhibiting symptoms. Actively
monitor your student’s health daily for any changes or concerns
• Reinforce the recommendation that your student wears a face mask, if not
fully vaccinated. Encourage your child to wash hands frequently, and follows good general hygiene practices. Educate your children to constantly self-regulate their behaviors in following IDPH and school guidelines for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff. Educate them about hand washing, social distancing, refraining from touching others, and refraining from touching their faces
What can I expect from the district and your school regarding mental
health & wellness?
• PBL Unit #10 is aware that all of our students and families have been
impacted in some way by COVID, and we are prepared to continue to support our students when they return in the fall
• Resources are available to assist your student with mental health needs.
This ranges from direct support from our school counselors, social
workers, psychologist, and school nurses as well as linking your child with
community resources if needed
• Teachers and staff will be carefully monitoring students and will notify
parents/guardians of any child who may need additional emotional or
mental health support
What can I expect from the district and your school regarding the facility and safety?
• Social distancing will be maintained where possible. One-way traffic flows
inside buildings may be created where feasible to improve social distancing of students and staff
• Touch points around the campus will be disinfected throughout the day and highly utilized spaces will be deep cleaned
• HVAC filters will be changed with increased frequency
• Spray bottles of germicide and microfiber cloths will be placed in each
• Hand sanitizer will be available
• An isolation room (separate from the nurses office) will be available in each school for students exhibiting symptoms
When is my child considered in “close contact?”/ What is the guidance about quarantining due to exposure?
• Vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact (within 3 feet for 15
minutes or longer) with a person who has tested positive for Covid will be
required to monitor their health and report any Covid symptoms for 14
• PBL is waiting on further clarification on non-vaccinated individuals who
are determined to be in close contact
• Final determinations for vaccinated or unvaccinated on close contact
investigations and quarantine necessity and length will be made by the Ford County Public Health Department
What can I expect from the district and your school regarding food and
• High touch points in the cafeterias will be frequently sanitized
• Breakfast and lunch will be served in designated cafeteria areas unless
otherwise directed by building administration, adhering to social distance
• Additional cafeteria tables have been purchased to enhance social distancing
• All condiments will be provided in pre-portioned packages
• National school breakfast and lunch will be FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL PBL
STUDENTS in the 2021-2022 school year. Extra milk and Ala Carte items
will remain available for purchase
• If you prefer your child not handle cash or checks for extra milk or Ala
Carte items, you can place money on your child’s meal account through
your Skyward parent portal (the fee associated with this service will be
What can I expect from the district and your school regarding transportation?
• Eligible students choosing to participate in school transportation will
continue to receive transportation services similar to years past, however,
some rural route student bus assignments may have changed to decrease
the number of students on buses
• All persons on the bus will be REQUIRED to wear a face mask (both fully
vaccinated and unvaccinated) while being transported and will follow
seating charts that are established to enhance social distancing. Children
from the same family will be seated together as much as possible
• School buses will be sanitized daily
• Hand sanitizer and tissues will be available on buses for student use.
What can I expect from my school regarding registering or enrolling
my child for the 2021-2022 school year?
• Enrollment for students who are new to the district, who did not attend PBL schools last year, or any Pre-K or Kindergarten student that did not participate in preregistration this spring will need to enroll in person.
Parents/guardians should contact the school office to schedule an appointment to enroll their child/children. For grades Pre-K-5, please call Clara Peterson School at 379-2531, Grades 6-8, please call PBL JH at 379-9202, and Grades 9-12, please call PBL HS at 379-4331
• Registration of students who attended PBL schools in the 2020-2021 school year will take place on-line. Parents will login to their Skyward family access and select RETURNING STUDENT REGISTRATION.
• Online registration began the week of July 15 and will close August 5. All registration and enrollment after August 5 will be held in person
• PBL registration information will be posted on the website, on the PBL app
through push notifications, and on the PBL Facebook and Twitter pages.
We’ll also share information with the local media
What can I expect from my district/school in regards to the 2021-2022 school calendar?
- Clara Peterson Elementary: 3:05p.m.
- PBL Junior High: 3:02 p.m.
- PBL High School: 2:55p.m.
- Session 1: 8:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Session 2: 12:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.
- Each Tuesday during the 21-22 school year will be an early dismissal for students. CP will dismiss at 2:20, PBLJH will dismiss at 2:17 and PBLHS will dismiss at 2:10
What can I expect from your school regarding technology?
• Due to tremendous support from the PBL Education Foundation, PBL is in our 2nd year of having enough devices to allow each student in grades K-12 an individual iPad or Chromebook and we have refreshed our state-of-the-art Mac Lab at PBL HS
• PBL has utilized federal grants to supply each teacher with a laptop to
utilize in their classrooms for instructional purposes, planning, and online
• Many teacher and student resources are available online. Resources include; Wonders reading libraries, math in-focus materials and virtual manipulatives, Science texts and videos and Social Studies virtual materials. The district is also investing in online platforms such as Newsela, vocabulary.com and IXL to support learning. Teachers may utilize Khan Academy and many other educational platforms to support and enhance instruction
• The district has installed “hot-spots” outside of buildings for student use in Roberts, Buckley, and Loda. Hotspots are currently available for student
use at CP, PBL JH, and PBL HS parking lots
• The majority of classrooms at PBL have been equipped with Promethean
Interactive Display Devices
What can I expect from the district and school regarding instructional
• Our goal is to resume full day, on-site student instruction while meeting
state mandates and CDC guidelines to insure the safety of our students
• Students will attend school 5 full days a week (with the exception of prescheduled holidays and breaks)
• Students who are unable to attend school physically due to a medical condition due to Covid 19 illness or quarantine may be offered learning
opportunities through remote or other forms of instruction. This instruction and the delivery platform will vary from grade-to-grade and from building-to-building.
What can I expect from my district and my school regarding extracurricular
activities & athletics?
• PBL will adhere to guidance issued from the CDC, ISBE, Illinois Elementary
School Association (IESA) for junior high school athletics and the Illinois
High School Association (IHSA) for procedures around practice and activities. Coaches and or athletic directors/administration will communicate detailed information regarding participation and spectator procedures regarding their sport/activity
• At this time according to guidance, masks are not required for participants
or spectators at outdoor activities regardless of vaccination status
• Social distancing will be adhered to for both indoor and outdoor activities
• Unvaccinated participants and spectators are recommended to wear a
mask for indoor activities
• Please refrain from attending any school activity if you are experiencing
any Covid 19 symptoms
• Crowd sizes could be limited due to social distancing regulations, and
community transmission rates
What can I expect when other schools visit PBL?
• All competing schools and spectators must adhere to the guidelines in
this document when events are being hosted at Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
• All visiting schools must report to PBL officials that their coaches and
athletes are healthy to the best of their knowledge. Anyone displaying
symptoms should not be in attendance
• Upon arrival schools will be directed to a designated area by a PBL coach
or administrator. Opposing schools will notify PBL of their planned arrival
• Concessions will be provided abiding by safety protocols
• Bathrooms will be available and signs will be posted limiting the number
of people in restrooms
• All spectators must remain in the designated spectator area. Signage will
be posted for spectator areas
• Spectators must not come in contact with any of the competitors, coaches,
or other personnel working the event unless medical attention is needed for your child
Please see the following frequently asked questions regarding PBL guidance?
Q: Is there anytime during the school day where a mask is required not just
A: Yes, masks are required on school buses and school transportation regardless of
vaccination status based on CDC guidance. In times where social distancing is not
possible, masks shall be worn and in cases in which students or staff become
symptomatic during the day until they leave school premises. We ask that you continue
to provide a mask for your child.
Q: Could wearing masks be switched from RECOMMENDED to REQUIRED? Why would
A: Yes, for vaccinated or unvaccinated, if CDC or IDPH guidance changes, transmission rates necessitate it, or there are a number of clustered cases that could lead to an outbreak the district could require mask wearing as a mitigation effort in order to maintain in-person learning in a class, grade level, school or district. This decision will be made in collaboration with the public health department.
Q: Who specifically is recommended to wear a mask?
A: According to CDC guidance, masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Since children who are under 12 years of age are currently ineligible for the vaccine it is recommended that all students up to age 12 and all unvaccinated students and staff age 12 and above wear a mask in indoor spaces.
Q: Will PBL offer a fully remote learning option for the 21-22 school year?
A: No, In accordance with the ISBE declaration on July 9, 2021, all schools will be open fully for in-person learning. However, we will have a supportive education plan for those students who are under quarantine for an extended period of time as directed by Illinois Department of Public Health. Please note that a fully remote option is NOT the same as shifting to remote learning if needed as a result of inclement weather or COVID outbreak in our district. The district may choose to temporarily implement remote learning in either of these situations.
Q: Will PBL require or track COVID 19 vaccination status?
A: No, it is not our plan to track student or staff vaccination status. However, you may choose to share this information with school officials as it will be helpful in discussions centered on a student’s or staff members health and type of quarantine. COVID19 vaccinations are not mandatory. PBL will continue to share information regarding vaccination clinics.
Q: Will PBL require daily student and staff temperatures and health screenings?
A: No, it is imperative as we decrease mitigations that parents keep ill students at home and ill employees shall not report to work.
Q: What if a student or staff member tests positive?
A: Please report all positive tests results immediately to your school nurse or administration. The school nurse will provide you with specific instructions. While anyone in your household is waiting on test results please keep your child at home unless they are fully vaccinated.
Q: Will this plan change?
A: This plan will be reviewed and updated when necessary or as instructed by
the health department
To read the full plan online visit: www.pblunit10.com.