EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Edwardsville District #7 sent a letter home to families yesterday addressing it being named in two lawsuits over masks, exclusions, and COVID mitigation strategies.
The letter from the superintendent says there could be a ruling from a judge later this week and it could possibly end with children doing remote learning.
The letter says one lawsuit was brought by parents across the state against 145 school districts and the State of Illinois regarding the mask mandate and the requirement that districts exclude close contacts from school.
The second lawsuit was brought by individual staff members across the state against 21 districts and the State of Illinois regarding the testing mandate for staff and the requirement that staff wear masks in schools.
The superintendent says both lawsuits have asked for class certification which means the judge could choose to apply the outcome of the case to all students and staff in the district.
The district is working to put plans in place to respond based upon the outcomes. The superintendent says the district could have to pivot quickly in response to the ruling.
He says the district’s goal is to ensure that students are able to learn in-person, and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all staff and students.
The superintendent says it is possible that the judge will determine that schools cannot enforce the use of masks in school for students and staff members. Masking is one of the district’s current mitigation strategies.
The letter states that even though COVID numbers are trending down in the district Madison County has a a 22% positivity rate.
The superintendent says if the health and safety of our students and staff cannot be guaranteed due to the high number of positive cases, there is the possibility that the district may have to implement a district-wide adaptive pause and move to remote learning.
The superintendent says he hopes this is not the scenario, but it is a possibility.