Illinois State Board of Education pushes for in-person learning this fall


FILE – In this April 29, 2021, file photo, students line up to enter Christa McAuliffe School in Jersey City, N.J. Children are having their noses swabbed or saliva sampled at school to test for the coronavirus. As more children return to school buildings this spring, widely varying approaches have emerged on how and whether to test students and staff members for the virus. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A resolution to send Illinois public school students back to in-person learning at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year was unanimously passed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

The passage of the resolution does not mean in-person learning is mandated. State Superintendent Carmen Ayala said in an ISBE blog post that she plans to make in-person learning mandatory “at the conclusion of the current academic year.” When she officially declares this, in-person learning will be mandatory and there will not be any exceptions other than students who are not vaccinated and under a quarantine order from the Illinois Department of Health can choose to learn from home.

Many of the students ISBE expects to be eligible for remote learning are under 12 years old due to a COVID vaccine not being approved for them. The Pfizer vaccine was approved for those ages 12 and older on Wednesday, May 12.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved for those ages 18 and older. The Moderna vaccine is approved for those ages 16 and older.

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