News Update: District 401 Moves to Mask Recommended, Not Required

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NOTE: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Leah Gauthier sent this update to the District 401 community on Feb. 18, 2022. The digital email version of this update is available here. Links to all District 401's updates related to COVID can be found at our Safe Return Plan page.

Late last night the Appellate Court moved to dismiss the appeal made on the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that was ruled on Feb. 4, 2022. On Feb. 15, 2022, there was a ruling by the Illinois Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (“JCAR”) that declined to renew the Illinois Department of Public Health's emergency rules relating COVID-19. Due to these rulings we will make the following changes based on the executive orders listed in the ruling:

  • Effective today we will move to mask recommended, not required. 
  • Effective today we will no longer require unvaccinated staff to weekly test. 
  • Effective today, we will move to optional exclusion for those deemed close contacts.

I know that these changes will be welcome to some and concerning to others. Throughout the past two years we have adapted to the changes made and I have no doubt that we will do the same here as well. The District has held 15 vaccine clinics, has provided PPE to those who needed it and added additional space options to social distance. We will continue with those mitigation strategies as we move forward together.

Please know that masks are still required to be worn on any school-based transportation, including bus routes and taxis, due to the Federal CDC order.

We have various after-school teams that are scheduled for away events at schools outside of District 401. Please be advised that all D401 students, staff, and parents are expected to follow the expectations set forth by the hosting school district in order to attend away events. 

District 401 will continue to support and create an environment where all of our students and staff feel safe to abide by their choice. Thank you for your continued flexibility as we adapt to new changes that are brought our way.


Dr. Leah Gauthier
Superintendent of Schools

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