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Durand schools placed on ‘probation’ for not implementing mask mandate

DURAND — Durand CUSD 322 is one of 29 Illinois districts that were placed on “probation” by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Wednesday for violating Gov. JB Pritzker’s mask mandate.

According to the ISBE, Durand’s COVID-19 safety plan for the upcoming school year is not approved by the state because it does not mandate masks inside schools. The district announced last week that it was leaving the decision to wear masks to parents.

Pritzker announced Aug. 4 that students, staff and visitors must wear face coverings inside all K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status. The mandate includes public and private schools statewide.

Durand Schools is now subject to a conference with state officials, after which it must submit a corrective safety plan that includes a mask mandate. If it fails to do so, the district would lose recognition status, meaning it would lose state funding and the ability to participate in ISHA and IESA activities. Diplomas awarded to students would not be recognized by the state board of education if the district loses recognition.

“We will continue to act swiftly with both nonpublic and public schools that have confirmed they are not implementing universal indoor masking as required by Executive Order 2021-18,” the ISBE wrote in a statement. “ISBE will not compromise students’ health and safety. Masking is a safe, easy, and effective way to ensure all students can attend school in-person this fall, where they can learn and grow to their fullest potential. Doing so not only puts students’ health and safety at risk but also opens the district to extraordinary legal liability – potentially without any insurance to cover damages.”

As of Wednesday, the following schools are on probation.

  • Carlyle CUSD 1: Clinton County
  • Benton CCSD 47: Franklin County
  • Warsaw CUSD 316: Hancock
  • Patoka CUSD 100: Marion County
  • Red Bud CUSD 132: Randolph County
  • Durand CUSD 322: Winnebago County
  • North Clay CUSD 25: Clay County
  • West Central CUSD 25: Henderson County
  • Wayne City CUSD 100: Wayne County
  • North Wayne CUSD 200: Wayne County
  • La Harpe CSD 347: Hancock County
  • Field CCSD 3: Jefferson County
  • Beecher City: CUSD 20: Effingham County
  • Edwards County CUSD 1: Edwards County
  • Flanagan-Cornell District 74: Livingston County
  • Abingdon-Avon CUSD 276: Knox County
  • Brimfield CUSD 309: Peoria County
  • Central CUSD 3: Adams County
  • Vandalia CUSD 203: Fayette County
  • Cornell CCSD 426: Livingston County
  • Odell CCSD 435: Livingston County
  • Flora CUSD 35: Clay County
  • Woodlawn Unit School District 209: Jefferson County
  • Oblong CUSD 4: Crawford County
  • South Central CUD 401: Marion County
  • Hamilton Co CUSD 10: Hamilton County

Schools in five Illinois districts previously had their recognition revoked but have since submitted corrective plans. They are:

  • Timothy Christian Middle School: DuPage County
  • Timothy Christian High School: DuPage County
  • Spoon River Valley CUSD 4: Fulton County
  • Ewing Northern CCSD 115: Franklin County
  • Meridian CUSD 15: Macon County
  • Unity Christian School: Williamson County

Durand officials could not be reached for comment.

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