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  Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office issues COVID-19 guidance for 2021-2022 academic year
07/21/2021

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Diocese of Joliet Catholic schools have followed scientific mitigation guidelines offered by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). These efforts allowed our schools to successfully conduct in-person learning for our students during the 2020-2021 academic year.

The CDC recently issued guidance for in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year beginning this August, which was adopted by IDPH and ISBE. Diocesan schools will follow this guidance as follows:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated — including children younger than 12, who are not yet eligible for vaccination — are recommended to wear masks. Staff and students will not be required to provide their vaccination status.
  • Parents will decide whether their children will wear a mask. All parents will be required to sign a “Mask Use” form.  This is based on the decision-making control granted to local school administrators by the CDC guidance:

“CDC continues to recommend masking and physical distancing as key prevention strategies. However, if school administrators decide to remove any of the prevention strategies for their school based on local conditions, they should remove them one at a time and monitor closely (with adequate testing through the school and/or community) for any increases in COVID-19 cases. Schools should communicate their strategies and any changes in plans to teachers, staff, and families, and directly to older students, using accessible materials and communication channels, in a language and at a literacy level that teachers, staff, students, and families understand.”

  • Physical distancing of 3 feet is still recommended.

Diocesan school officials will monitor any outbreak of COVID-19 cases and, if needed, implement more stringent mitigation efforts — including mandatory masking — to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We look forward to the new school year and welcoming back our students to a diverse curriculum focused on academic excellence and Catholic values.



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