Listen to this article

Paxton-Buckley-Loda Superintendent Cliff McClure released a summary of COVID-19-related mandates and how PBL school district will implement them in the coming school year on the district website Thursday.

The notice went as follows:

Good afternoon PBL Families,

Although we have been planning for various options to return to school in August, the picture became clearer last week. The Illinois State Board of Education has released new rules on reopening as Illinois moved to Phase IV.

Our current plan is to open for all students as scheduled on August 19, 2020 provided our region remains in Phase IV. While we are excited to have everyone return, it will look a bit different this fall. Below are new requirements for schools followed by what we are planning for PBL.

- The use of personal protective equipment is required of everyone in the district.

Everyone must use a face mask unless medically exempt. We will have masks on hand, but you are encouraged to bring and use your own. We will also continuously remind students and staff to wash hands and will have hand sanitizer available.

- More than 50 people in one space is prohibited.

We plan to move some classes to larger spaces in our buildings to allow for increased social distancing.

- Require social distancing as much as possible.

By utilizing larger spaces and our total square footage of usable instructional space will allow us to maintain appropriate social distancing. We are proposing alternate schedules which will reduce contact time and limit student/teacher interaction. Our teams plan to present these schedules to our Board of Education in July and the general public as soon as possible thereafter.

- Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or

require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings.

We are still working out the specifics of this requirement.

- Require an increase in school-wide cleaning and disinfection.

Our custodial and maintenance staff will clean and disinfect school buildings during the day and will follow-up each evening by disinfecting spaces utilized that school day.

I am sure this preliminary information will raise just as many questions as it provides answers.

This is a very fluid situation, and there could be changes to our current plan prior to school beginning or during the school year. Please read all district emails or follow us on one of our many social media platforms as more details about the start of school are revealed.

If there are questions or concerns that we have not addressed, please email back2school@pblpanthers.org. Individual emails will not be answered, but we will compile a list of FAQs to share with everyone on the district’s website and social media platforms.

Thank you so much for your patience, support, and understanding as we work together to return our students and staff safely back to school.